Handstands, Eating Slowly, and Trusting People


“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” ( Dweck, 2015)

“People in a fixed mindset believe you either are or aren’t good at something, based on your inherent nature, because it’s just who you are.” (sivers.org/mindset)

I don’t always have a growth mindset around my lack of growth mindset.
So now I am working on it.


I have been working on my handstands for about 8 years. I work on them about 10-20 minutes, 5-6 days a week. I don’t plan it, I just work on them when I feel like it. I also take adult gymnastics classes, and occasionally get some tips like--- the shoulders need to be more over the wrists, use your fingers to balance more, and, use your hips and shoulders to find balance--- all things I’ve been working on for the last few months. That last one, about using my shoulders and hips, it just never really felt applicable to me. I wasn’t really holding my handstand long enough to need to balance, justified my argumentative brain. I have become kinda ok at kicking up and walking around on my hands, I’m usually not very straight and I don’t really ever find balance, but at least I am up there, kinda. I’ve been taking more yoga classes, which, provides me with an often much smaller space than a gymnastics or CrossFit floor to work on them. Usually a strangers’ downdog is 2 feet from my floppy, flailing handstand, so, out of fear of kicking them, I don’t do many handstands in yoga classes. But, sometimes, I do them, and just insist I not walk forward or backward with my hands to find balance, but instead, keep my hands planted where they are. A few days ago, I kicked up in yoga class, insistent on not moving my hands, and my hips did a little wiggle for me to help me balance! Whoa?! That’s what my coach has been saying all along!---using my hips and shoulders to help balance. So, after a few days of continuing to practice NOT walking on my hands, I’ve gotten a little better at balancing in place.

Eating Slowly:

This is kinda the cream-de-la-cream for me and my eating habits. I work with an eating counselor, given my history with eating disorders, she helps me navigate the field of being an eater, with a body, in recovery. I told her about 2 weeks ago that I want to try and slow down a little when I eat, not necessarily because I am trying to manipulate my natural speed of eating, but because I want to be mindful, appreciative, and in the moment when I am eating. I wanna taste my food. This is something I have a history of being very bad at. Before I met her, and before Intuitive Eating really freed my from my severe restriction and binge cycles, I hired a very esoteric (and probably orthorexic) diet coach, that gave me very challenging mindfulness exercises to do while I was eating. At that time, if I was eating food, I considered myself a failure, and did not want to feel my body. My body felt numb, my body felt shame, and the only tactic I knew to deal with that was over eat or don’t eat at all. There was no space in my head for smelling my food, feeling my heartbeat, taking deeps breaths, putting my fork down, etc. But, now... now, there was. And I’m almost ready to celebrate them.

So I go to eat, and I shove it in, as I always do, and I shove in another bite, and I notice I am eating fast, and not being mindful, and the shame comes pouring in, and I almost start to eat faster, in response, in reaction, in fear. I want to eat faster because I am mad at myself for being a fast eater.

But, I don’t. Eating fast isn’t who I am, it’s just something I am doing, and I can change. About 4 bites in, I stopped chewing and felt the food in my mouth, the texture, the seeds, the taste. I don’t know if I have ever done this before.

Noticing something about myself, that I am trying to change, doesn’t have to mean I should belittle myself because I am not where I want to be. It means I have an opportunity to grow. I was honestly, so afraid to force myself to eat more slowly because I was afraid that I will just be mean to myself about it, so….I HAVE NEVER TRIED.

So I chewed slowly, noticed my breathing, noticed my heart, noticed the swallow, noticed which tastes were interesting to which taste buds. I think I forgot by bite 7, but that doesn’t mean I can’t come right back, whenever I remember.  

Trusting People:

I posed the question the other day, on my Instagram stories, Are you willing to invest in someone so much that it will destroy your worldview if they betray you? It occured to me that people actually answer yes to this. Like, there are people out there, who invest fully into someone else. This blew my mind.

I have known, for a very long time, how severe my trust issues were, but now I am really starting to understand how and why this directly affects my relationships with other people.

And I immediately felt mad. Mad at my dad for lying to me a lot as a child. I had my worldview shattered a lot as a child, and decided very young that everyone has a duplicity. And ager has been my tactic for a long time, but it’s not helping. So I thanked the anger, listened to it, and used it in constructive ways (for me workouts, art, music) as they say to do, because ignoring or suppressing anger helps it grow.

But I am still back to ground zero.

How do I make myself trust people?

How do I go into a relationship all in?

I don't know.

I thought about seeing a therapist, but I have been dismissing the idea for so long, (like I did with balancing my handstand, instead of walking it around, or actually just try to slow down my eating) so I decided to really sit with the idea of why I don’t want to see a therapist, with curiosity and I found out. I am afraid to meet with a talk therapist because, I am afraid that if they don’t understand me, I will lose all hope of being understandable. So, then I sat with that, and realized I don’t trust my future therapist to be a “good” therapist and the relentless search to make sure someone is “good enough” sounds exhausting. Hmmm. This seems a lot like dating.

Most likely, I would go into any relationship with a therapist, thinking they are guilty until proven innocent...as I do with lots of other relationships in my life.

My writing coach once asked me “How long is it going to be you against the world, Chelsea?”

I haven’t decided if I can trust her or not, but…


So, How do I learn to trust?

Well, I’m not sure. But I think, it starts with trying. I haven’t been trying. I have been too afraid to try. And blaming other people. And hating myself for being where I am in this journey...surrendering into a category of I am a person who has trust issues so this is just what I do, but...I don’t know...noticing...and like trying.