(This post dedicated to my fantastic sister, Marcia)
It has come up to write about an important insight I’ve had recently about relating to life. It was very freeing for me to get this and it feels important to pass it on. The past six months or so it has become increasingly more noticeable to me how I was out of sync with a couple of aspects of my life. The signs were quite evident to me but I just wasn’t able to see what was really occurring. And then…my sister gave me a book called In Defense of Food – An Eater’s Manifesto by noted author Michael Pollan. When I first got the book, I was intrigued by the title….”In Defense of Food”. Wow…why would he be defending food? Has food done something wrong?
So, I began to read. I won’t go into great detail but suffice it to say the book delves into the history of the nutrition movement; how we’ve turned food into nutrients with values, weights, measures, calories, percentages, etc.; how this has contributed to our attitudes about food and our current state of health. About half way through reading it I had an epiphany – one of those forehead slapping moments. Through all my education “about” nutrition, how to eat right, control portions and caloric intake, “don’t eat this, don’t eat that, this is bad for you, this is good for you “- I had bought into a concept about food and eating and turned it into “the enemy”.
As a result of this dysfunctional relationship that I had created, I struggled with my weight for the past 8 years. When I saw what I had been doing, it was an amazing discovery. It was freeing. Suddenly I was open to seeing food in a new light – an appreciative, loving light. Suddenly we were friends and in relationship – a good, healthy one. And suddenly, and I’m not exaggerating, my body began to drop the weight – one or two pounds at a time.
As of today, my body is 18 pounds lighter. And even though I’m choosing not to eat things like refined white flour, sugar, cookies, etc. I don’t consider these items of food “bad”. In fact the other day, I was in a restaurant and the server brought out yummy, fresh and hot chocolate chip cookies. I told the cookies (ya gotta have fun with this folks) how delicious and beautiful they were) but I was going to allow them to live longer and not eat them. It felt good to do this and have fun with it and appreciate the work and effort that had gone into making such a beautiful dessert. Sniffing them was good enough for me in moment. And then I didn’t give them another thought. I made them my friend and we moved on.
Now I’m applying this idea of being a friend to all aspects of my life. What this really means is being in full relationship with myself (my Self). By making the choice to do this, it is allowing me to see all those places where I’ve resisted my life and made it the enemy. It leads me to take full responsibility for my thoughts and actions and their out picturing. When it is seen and fully accepted, a powerful shift within happens. The result is being my own best friend who loves and accepts every inch of my being … just the way I am.
Get that pencil and paper and take yourself through this exercise. Take yourself through the following steps:
- Pick one area of your life that has been troubling you (job, home, food, body, money, relationships)
- How have you made enemies with this aspect? Write it down. Be thorough and write until there is nothing left. Let it flow!
- Once you have completed the first two steps, read over what you have written. Take it in, close your eyes and notice what is happening in your body. Are there areas of tightness and tension? What emotions are present? Just see it. Let it be as it is.
- Ask yourself, “who is experiencing this’? Feel the answer…”I Am”. Breathe into the answer and relax here as you feel the body relax and the emotions/thoughts subside. Just watch anything that comes up and let it be there just as it is. It will allow you to be as you are.
- When you are ready, open your eyes, breathe…smile. Go look in a mirror and give your good friend a big, appreciative hug. You can even say, “I love you” if you like. Now, go have fun with your sweet ‘ole self!