Law of Attraction

Feeding the Soul: Exploring Spirituality and Mindful Eating with Marcella Friel


Introducing Marcella Friel, a beacon of spiritual transformation in the realm of mindful eating. Transitioning from a culinary expert to a guide for soulful healing, Marcella’s journey delves deep into the intersection of spirituality and our relationship with food, offering profound insights into reclaiming inner peace and holistic well-being. Learn more in her exclusive MysticMag interview below.

Can you please introduce yourself to our readers and share a few details about your professional journey?

My name is Marcella Friel, and I am a mindful eating mentor who helps health-conscious women heal the emotional roots of yo-yo dieting, binge eating, sugar addiction, and body shaming. I like to say that I help women reclaim their souls from restrictive dieting.

I came to this work after spending about 20 years as a natural food chef and culinary arts instructor, teaching the healing properties of food to people interested in health-supportive foods or struggling with specific health conditions. I loved my work, but around 2013, I felt a calling to go deeper in my teaching and my journey.

At that time, I had been a student of EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), the main tool I use in my practice nowadays, and had experienced amazing results. I decided to train and certify as an EFT practitioner, thinking I would help people figure out what to eat. But when I started working with women, we talked very little about food. Instead, we discussed the traumas causing their distorted relationships with food.

For example, many women were put on diets by their mothers at a young age, even when they weren’t overweight, leading to long-term weight issues and body shame. One woman said, “Some women use razor blade, I use food.” This shocked me because, while I had never struggled with dieting or being overweight, I understood trauma. The words “women, food, and forgiveness” flashed across my mind, and this inspired the founding of the Women, Food, and Forgiveness Academy in 2018.

In this program, we work with archetypes of feminine power, the Maiden, the Mother, the Queen, and the Crone, to help women understand their food struggles at a spiritual and archetypal level. We use EFT Tapping, a neurological repatterning tool, to heal these behaviors at the root. I like to say that I am a brainwasher – I do brainwashing for a living, helping to rewire my clients’ brains for positive change.

The results have been mind-blowing for both my clients and me. I am very grateful to be here and to be doing this work.

How can you help a person transform anger into wisdom?

That’s a big question, because I primarily work with women, although not exclusively. As women, we have gotten the message for centuries, if not millennia, that it’s not ok to be angry. We’re supposed to be nice, kind, and sweet. Consequently, women can have a long history of suppressing anger. What I like to say is that anger itself is a wisdom energy. Anger, ultimately, is the energy that says “No”. It sets up boundaries, saying this is ok, this is not ok.

If you look at nature, every creature has some way of protecting itself. Cats have claws, tigers have saber teeth, porcupines have quills, and even single-celled organisms like amoebas have membranes to protect them from harm. Anger is a part of that protection mechanism. It helps keep away what we don’t want, things that can harm us, things that are not good, things that are not right, things that are not just, etc.

As women, we have been very compromised in expressing anger. Consequently, we can go in one of two directions with it. Either we turn it inward and suppress it, which can lead to food addictions and other addictions and self-destructive behaviors, or we turn it outward and become rageful and explosive, which can cause a lot of damage.

What I teach in terms of transforming anger into wisdom is how to bring these two extremes into the middle, so there’s clarity and a clear understanding of what exactly is triggering the anger. Sometimes anger can get distorted and become self-righteous, which is very poisonous. So, we need to find a wise relationship with anger, where we can express it clearly but also stay detached from acting it out or suppressing it.

Transforming anger into wisdom is not an event but a process. It’s an ongoing journey.

What courses do you offer?

I have a presence on a platform called DailyOM where I offer two courses. One of them is called “Lose Emotional and Physical Weight with Tapping,” which is very popular. In that course, I outline the archetypal journey of liberating yourself—the heroine’s journey—by addressing the emotional roots of your food and body love struggles. This course focuses on the tool of EFT Tapping.

I also have another course on DailyOM called “21 Tapping Meditations for Emotional Eating and Beyond.” This course consists of tapping meditations addressing various concerns such as discomfort with feeling good, fear of feeling everything if we feel one thing, and uncertainty about recognizing if we’re really hungry. These meditations help people address and alleviate their emotional eating patterns.

Additionally, I have courses on my own website. One of them is called “From Emotional Eating to Emotional Freedom,” which dives deep into understanding what emotional eating is and how to address it. This course provides foundational knowledge about emotional eating and practical steps to overcome it using EFT Tapping.

What are your retreats like?

I have a retreat coming up this August, starting on August 1st, called “Becoming Ageless as We Age.” This retreat represents a new body of work I’ve been developing over the past year, particularly tailored for women in midlife transition. These women are often postmenopausal, retiring or recently retired, and experiencing their children leaving their household. They are navigating a multitude of life transitions and seeking to redefine the next chapter of their lives.

In our early adult years, many of us, especially women, focus intensely on others – raising children, managing careers, maintaining a marriage, and achieving personal goals. As midlife approaches and these responsibilities lessen, a new question arises: How can I make the rest of my life the best of my life, a time dedicated to myself?

My in-person retreats provide a supportive environment to explore this question. The upcoming retreat will take place in Southern Colorado at a beautiful hot springs location. During the retreat, we will work on clearing the slate of past regrets and consciously creating the future. We will use EFT Tapping to address and release common regrets, such as career choices, relationship decisions, and self-care neglect, which often hinder our ability to age gracefully and joyfully.

The retreat will focus on three key areas:

Detoxifying the Soul: Clearing emotional and spiritual regrets through EFT Tapping.

Detoxifying the Body: Learning Ayurveda practices to maintain vitality in later years.

Croning Ceremony: A unique feature of this retreat will be a croning ceremony, where we honor ourselves as elders, celebrating our wisdom and experience.

In addition to these core activities, the retreat will include restorative yoga, sound healing, soaking in hot springs, campfires, and creative sessions to foster relaxation and community. It promises to be a transformative experience, combining personal growth with enjoyable and rejuvenating activities. 

What can people expect from enrolling in the Women, Food, & Forgiveness Academy?

The Women, Food, & Forgiveness Academy is a comprehensive 12-month online program designed for women committed to deep personal transformation. Participants can expect a year-long commitment, ensuring sustained support and guidance through various phases of personal growth and healing.

Throughout the year, the program explores seasonal archetypes of feminine healing. In the spring, we work with the Maiden archetype, focusing on early messages about body, food, self-care, and self-nourishment. This includes reflecting on your first food-related experiences that shaped your current relationships with food. We also look at your teenage years and the image you had then. In the summer, we shift to the Mother archetype, emphasizing compassion, nurturing oneself, understanding our needs, and balancing the energy given to others. This phase celebrates the nurturing aspect of feminine power.

Come fall, we work with the Queen archetype, concentrating on leadership, following one’s calling, and understanding one’s sacred ordination. This also involves addressing the relationship with success and granting oneself permission to be successful. In the winter, we embrace the Crone archetype, dealing with issues of solitude, spirituality, aging, and connecting with a power greater than oneself. This season focuses on embracing the timeless, ageless essence within.

In addition to the archetypal work, the academy covers practical aspects of self-care related to food and overall well-being. This includes meal planning, blood sugar regulation, gut health and microbiome nourishment, sleep importance, and incorporating fun and play into daily life.

The program is intensive and personalized, involving a small group setting that allows for close, individualized work with each participant. Women who fully engage with the program often experience profound life changes. The academy fosters a supportive community where participants can share their journeys and learn from each other. Testimonials and video stories from past participants on my website reflect the transformative impact of the program. This experience can really be life-changing for many women who decide and apply themselves to it.

What can you tell me about your book “Tap, Taste, Heal”, and why would you recommend it to our readers?

My book Tap, Taste, Heal has been described by one reader as a warm hug. Many women who have read it have said, “Oh my gosh, Marcella gets it. She really understands what I’m going through.” The book is about using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), or Tapping, to eat joyfully and love your body.

The first part of the book covers the basics of Tapping. I explain the principles of EFT and discuss why you haven’t failed – your diets have failed you. A restrictive diet is just a binge waiting to happen, and this section helps readers understand the principles of addiction, especially as they relate to food addiction. It also guides you on how to use tapping to clear those tendencies.

The middle part of the book critiques the food system. Recently, I’ve been reflecting on how, in the healing world, there’s a heavy focus on individual responsibility. However, it’s also important to acknowledge that we live within a very toxic food system designed to keep us addicted, overweight, obese, and self-loathing because that’s profitable. This section delves into how the food system has betrayed us through food production and distribution. Furthermore, after World War II, home cooking was deliberately sabotaged – a backstory I explore in the book. This part aims to help readers make friends with their kitchens and cooking again, drawing on my background as a chef.

The third part of the book is about spiritual principles like mindful eating and forgiveness. It wraps up with encouraging readers to make friends with success and give themselves permission to live the life they want. Tap, Taste, Heal is a lovely, comprehensive guide for anyone looking to transform their relationship with food and their body.

To learn more about Marcella and her work, you can visit www.marcellafriel.com and www.womenfoodandforgiveness.com

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