Soften a Sugar Habit with Presence, Compassion and Grief
TUITION: $150 USD
"Go back and take care of yourself. Your body needs you. Your feelings need you. Go home and be there for all of these things." - Thich Nhat Hanh
When you want peace with sugar - and it's December
If you use sugar to self soothe, to care for painful emotions, or to comfort yourself when you're stressed, the next few months - November, December and January - may be an especially difficult time.
You may find yourself getting triggered by external events - extra demands, parties and get togethers, and more to do - or internal events - feelings of loneliness, sadness, frustration, or overwhelm.
You may find that your bandwidth - your normal, every day capacity to tolerate stress or challenging emotions - is depleted or on empty at this time of year.
This can combine into a big, giant hair ball where you're using sugar way more than you'd like to come down at the end of the day, to soothe yourself when you're sad or lonely, or to get through holiday visits.
This can be really frustrating and have you dreading this time of year. Or you may feel hopeless and feel like saying, "Oh, screw it! I'll worry about this in January."
You may wish you could have a holiday season where you don't feel like you're diving into a free for all with sugar. But likewise you don't want to become stressed or fixated on trying *not* to eat sugar.
What you may be longing for is trust - to trust yourself to handle sticky situations and the holiday season without leaning too much on sugar. You may want to feel at peace with food and your food choices, where food becomes more neutral and less charged.
You may want the confidence to know you can be present with food - that you can enjoy and feel nourished by food without overdoing it. And you may want to feel confident that you have a variety of ways to care for your needs and emotions - that you have support and a refuge beyond sugar.
Peace, confidence, trust, nourishment. How do we get there? That's what this class - Soften a Sugar Habit with Presence, Compassion and Grief - is about.
In this four part class, you'll learn how to use presence, self compassion and grieving to unhook from painful patterns with sugar. I think Thich Nhat Hanh says it best: "Go back and take care of yourself. Your body needs you. Your feelings need you. Go home and be there for all of these things."
This is the what and how that we'll be practicing together. These are tools that I teach in all my classes - but I don't always explicitly name them. In this class, we're specifically focusing on these basics to help you have a less stressed, less sugary and more grounded holiday season. You can learn more about the course curriculum and what's included below.
The class curriculum
Module 1: Nurturing presence
Most of us approach sugar, our bodies, our health and our inner life (thoughts, sensations and feelings) through the lens of our left brain: where we're focused on our agenda, on creating a certain result.
While these desires are understandable, this striving creates an environment of stress, pressure and insecurity that makes it very difficult for you to heal, grow and change our patterns with sugar. You end up inadvertently activating and fighting against your nervous system rather than working with it.
How you go about healing really matters. The solution is presence. Presence nurtures the warmth, safety and loving, attentive relationship that's the foundation of healing.
All healing rests on presence and relationship - and yet it's often not something we talk explicitly about. In this module, you'll learn how to nurture presence with your inner life and with your habits with sugar so you can care for your needs without depending so strongly on sugar.
Module 2: Deepening self compassion
Many people who self soothe with sugar, care for addiction, or who overeat feel overwhelmed by their inner life, struggle with shame, and have a strong inner critic. This can make us fear ourselves, our needs, and life itself! You may feel overwhelmed by the triggers that send you into sugar and try to keep them quiet.
In this module you'll learn how to bring warmth, care and support to your triggers so they can be held and nurtured rather than fed with sugar. You'll learn how to respond to cravings - what we call a cry for help - and how to care for the needs underneath the drive for food.
Self compassion builds resilience and helps us feel less afraid of our cravings and the wounded places inside. It makes us strong, sturdy and resilient! This feels so much better than pushing our needs and feelings away, white knuckling it, or 'toughing it out.'
This module may be especially helpful for you if you feel frozen or don't know what to do when you get triggered. It can also be helpful if you tend to be really hard on yourself, struggle with self criticism or struggle with self hatred. This module can also be helpful if you feel confused about compassion or worried that compassion will make you unmotivated to change.
Module 3: Caring for grief
Underneath our patterns with sugar we often find grief: grief for our losses and wounds, grief for what we didn't receive, grief for the ways sugar has had a hold on us, grief for our mistakes, and grief for the shame of addiction.
In this module, you'll learn why grief is your ally and how to open to grief as your partner and healer. The peace we feel after grieving softens, warms, and tenderizes us. It also births new life.
I'll also introduce you to the adaptive process, the developmental process that prunes out what doesn't work. This process of letting go, acceptance, and 'moving from mad to sad' brings relief to the nervous system, helps us stop doing the same thing over and over, and softens frustration. It also moves us out of fight or flight!
Our journey into grief sets the stage for module 4, where you'll learn how to rest in limits rather than feel angry, frustrated, or resistant towards them.
This module may be especially helpful for you if you sense that there's a lot of 'stuff' inside that arises during the quiet times of the day - and times when you get a lot of cravings or impulses for sugar.
Module 4: Leaning into limits and protective love
One of the places where people struggle the most with sugar is in setting limits. How do you set limits with sugar without being overwhelmed by trying to do it right, get stressed trying to eat perfectly, or become fixated on diet, nutrition and food?
How do you set limits with sugar that aren't too rigid? How do you set limits with sugar that aren't too loose? How do you set limits with turning the limit into another version of an eating disorder?
That's what this module is about. Limits are an area where strong reactions can arise, especially with sugar. I call limits 'the form of love that is no.' In this module, we'll explore how you can feel protected and supported by limits and care for the feelings of resistance, fear and anger that often arise around them.
You'll learn how limits can 'hold' and care for you in yang compassion, in protective care. And you'll learn a way of setting limits that doesn't put the nervous system in a stress response and that cares for all the emotions that arise along the way.
This module might also be especially helpful to you if you have to set limits on certain foods beyond sugar - dairy is a common one, for example - because of allergies, autoimmune illness, chronic illness, or other health conditions.
How the class works
Class begins Monday, November 27th and ends Tuesday, January 2nd.
Each week (minus the last week of December, which is a rest) we'll cover one of the core practices - presence, compassion, grief and limit setting - that can help you soften your sugar habit. You'll receive a downloadable audio lesson for each module.
You'll also receive audio meditations/guided practice to nourish and deepen your healing. These will help you practice what you're learning and offer a place of calm and holding.
You can play these meditations on your phone when you're feeling anxious. Or replay them before bedtime or in the afternoons when cravings often arise.
We'll gather each Tuesday for group webinars where you can ask questions, share your experience, and connect with others. Webinars will have time for Q&A but also time to do short meditative exercises together and to practice what you're learning.
During these gatherings we'll practice things like:
- sitting with the tension of craving
- being with the part of us that wants to soothe with sugar and being with the part that doesn't
- softening painful feelings and judgment about mistakes
- and feeling the 'holding' of a limit
Webinars are on zoom from 2 to 3:30 pm Central Time. You can join us live or listen to the recordings later.
We also have an orientation webinar on Tuesday, November 28th from 2 to 3 pm central time. During this webinar, I'll orient you to the online space, introduce you to listening partners, and set the tone for our time together.
These are the dates for the webinars:
- November 28 (60 minutes long)
- December 5
- December 12
- December 19
- and January 2
Unlimited online access
The class is hosted on our Mighty Network, a private, quiet, calm, ad free space where you can access the course materials without the noise, distraction, and privacy concerns of Facebook.
You'll have unlimited online access to the course materials including after the class ends. And you can download the Mighty Networks app so you can access the course easily on your phone or other device.
You'll also have the option to pair up with a listening partner for the duration of the class. With a listening partner, you each take turns listening to each other as you share what's arising for you.
Being listened to with warmth, care and presence - with no pressure to change or fix - is a healing balm that helps the places within us be supported, allowing us to shift and change the ways we nourish ourselves.
I'll offer guidelines about listening partners during the orientation webinar so you have support, both in receiving and offering listening, especially if you've never done something like this before.
Weaving a web of support
The practices, group webinars, and listening partners come together, weaving a web of support to hold you during the holiday season. This can lower the stress you feel and also help you seed new patterns with sugar.
As the founder of polyvagal theory, Stephen Porges says, "Safety is the foundation of healing." To change our patterns, we need lots of warmth and acceptance. We need to feel safe to be right where we are. And we need understanding and empathy, including understanding and empathy for ourselves.
This creates the safety to look inside, to help us heal, and to help us take the exquisite risk towards growth. This class will help you understand this gentle yet powerful approach to healing and help you begin to use these tools in your daily life - with sugar and beyond.
About me, your course guide
My name is Karly Randolph Pitman, and I understand why this feels hard. Food - especially sugar - was my constant companion, my primary way of caring for myself. I turned to food when I felt overwhelmed by my feelings, experiences, or by life itself. As a sensitive person, this happened a lot! Food was my protector and friend, where I felt safe and understood.
Unraveling my bond with food has been my life's journey, reconnecting me, year by year, with my heart, strength, and wholeness.
I created my first course in 2008 and love weaving the insights of neuroscience, attachment theory, and presence into a place of safety and healing where the painful places in your being can unfold.
I live in Austin, Texas with my family where I love to go for long walks, write poetry, play Scrabble, and lift heavy things. Underneath all my work you'll find a love for the human heart.
Do you feel moved to join us?
If you feel led to join us, and if this course feels like a good fit for your needs, we'd love to have you. And if you have any questions, please reach out. We want you to get the help you need.
You can also read feedback from our students. Below you'll find examples of what past students have shared with us. While your experience will be unique to you, their stories can give you an idea about what to expect.
Kindly note: this feedback is not about this class in particular as it's brand new. We believe these stories are a good reflection of a class experience with us and can help you discern if we're the right fit for you.
What past students have said
As I know many in this course have done, I feverishly searched for answers trying to find understanding, relief and change. And I found bits and pieces here and there, but it lacked the depth and comprehensiveness that I was yearning for.
Today that has changed and therefore I have changed. This course facilitated so many aha and breakthrough moments.
I was finally able to see and tap into the shame train that I was on since a traumatic incidence in my childhood. That incident connected me to shame which grew deeper and wider through the years and over many life experiences. I also saw with clarity that I gripped to shame because, while it was destructive, it also protected and served me, giving me a reliable entity to lean on.
Through this course I came to a place where I could look behind with gratitude and understanding while looking ahead with optimism and excitementand chose to step OFF the shame train and wave goodbye. With this massive shift, I was also able to begin practicing self-worth which I think was previously tied to perfectionism but I loosened that grip.
I am no longer obsessed with finding the right diet, model, lifestyle, etc because I have found the right model ...staying connected to my power, my light, my true self, my worth though compassion and a fierce yet tender love.
I am not eating perfectly nor am I my ideal weight but I am no longer wrapped tightly around trying to force that. I have confidence, courage and compassion in a new way. And I believe that this is the platform for all other change that needs to take place.
THANK YOU for bringing so much wisdom, so much intelligence, care and love to this program. It's truly helped me to break free.
- Jenn Urso, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
"[The course] has worked in me to lower defenses, shame and alarm...I also have approached limits with food in a much healthier way without trying or forcing...it seems like an inner shift has taken place outside of conscious effort on my part!
"The beauty of working with Karly for me has been the experience of being accepted and supported unconditionally in the most nurturing way I have ever experienced.
"[It creates the]...most incredible experience with every course I have taken with her -- 4 in total now!"
- Mary, New York, USA
I feel so grateful to have stumbled upon one of Karly's classes. It was a 30 day class on sugar. It so spoke to me in content. Then when I watched her introductory video.....I was hooked. Her voice was so kind and caring and gentle. I needed that kind support in my life as I tried to make change.
I had some amazing shifts in her class. Helpful material. Very good support.
As a mental health professional I can personally endorse Karly as an educated, competent teacher who knows her material well and provides a very safe space for participants to share and explore and grow. I look forward to taking more classes with Karly.
- Faith Storms, USA
A space to trust your process
Our classes are built upon a foundation of trusting your healing process. This means that we're mindful about not creating pressure to 'fix,' meet a certain expectation, or to force healing. We focus on nurturing the conditions that help you organically soften and let go.
This approach helps softens the part of us that feels responsible for making healing happen. (It may also activate another part of us that feels worried that healing won't happen if we're not forcing it!)
Acceptance is what we need in order to feel safe to grow. Changes can and do happen - but changes occur when we approach our relationship with sugar with reverence, respect ("to look again") and trust. Past students have shared how feeling held, witnessed, and accepted just as they are was a gift and how safe they felt in the class.
Healing is a beautiful Mystery, and we invite you to lean into Her. It's a relief to soften the urgency to 'fix' yourself and the pressure of feeling like it's all on your shoulders.
So you'll prepare good soil. You may put up some fences. We'll water your seeds of growth. And as Martin Prechtel said, "the holy in your seeds will direct."
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I get behind? Can I access the course materials after the class ends?
Sometimes we get behind or can't attend all the live calls. After the class ends, you'll continue to have unlimited online access to the course materials in our online campus, the Growing Humankindness Mighty Network.
What if I'm unhappy with the course? What's your refund policy?
We're really proud of our offerings and stand behind them, and we also want you to find the right fit for your needs. If you have any questions if this is the right course for you, please reach out! We're happy to help.
If the class isn't for you, we offer a full refund prior to Monday, November 27th, the start of the class. After this date, we offer a refund through Friday, December 1 minus a $25 administrative fee. After this time period, we don't offer refunds or exchanges. To ask for a refund, please contact us by email or phone. And if you have particular extenuating circumstances that are outside the scope of our refund policy, please reach out.
What if I can't attend the live webinars? I'm at work or it's the middle of the night for me.
We understand! All webinars are recorded so you can listen in later. You'll also have a way to ask questions even if you can't attend live.
I've taken other courses with Karly. How is this course different?
In all our courses, you'll find common threads like fostering compassion, relating to rather than cutting out various parts of ourselves, and approaching ourselves with reverence. What makes this course different is it's specifically focused on a few core areas where people struggle with sugar.
How do I know if this course is the right fit for me?
If you're willing to reflect upon your experience, feel into your true needs, and make time for the exercises and webinars, you'll do well. It's helpful if you're open to meditation practices and if you're comfortable in an online environment. Lastly, this course is especially designed for highly sensitive people and offers gentle ways of supporting growth and change.
How do I know if this course is NOT for me? Can this course heal trauma?
Healing trauma is beautiful and holy work. It can also be complex and often requires time, patience, and the skill of a trauma therapist. While this course offers support and nourishment to deepen your relationship with yourself, and while many people receive healing from it, I want to be clear that we're not trained therapists. Therapy is wonderful, but this course isn't a replacement for therapy or designed to heal trauma. For help with trauma, we recommend searching for a therapist with trauma training like EMDR, Internal Family Systems, or Somatic Experiencing in your local community. This kind of support can make all the difference - and we want this for you!