I’m in Bali now preparing for our upcoming 10 day raw chef & detox retreat, its super exciting, and busy! On the plane ride over from Spain, I wrote the following article for a magazine, and would like to share it with you… as I know how food and emotions affect me. Big topic.
In the past days, honestly I discovered I was in self-sabotaging behavior eating stuff I only thought I wanted. It was one of my favored things in a favorite place – with cozy past memories. Oh belly ached. And why? When I got down to it, I discovered my little girl inside really needed my attention – and liberation – to break open a place that seemed lock inside. Deepening the inquiry, I found out I just needed to make the choice to be present and feel – instead of stuffing it with food – and I had another option other than drowning in super old feelings of feeling orphaned… betrayed, sad, alone. It took some hours, though I found out what triggered this was actually misreading a message (literally) – and it wasn’t true at all. What was important of course, were the realizations it gave me. It sure sent me on a journey and showed me the connection between food and feelings. Wow.
How about you? How are your food choices affected by what you’re going through? Do you find yourself wishing you wouldn’t have, or seeking another way when stressed and such? Please let me know if you find this helpful…. funny how we predict our own medicine!
Some like it hot, some sweet, and some saucy. Whatever your taste, could the flavors you’re attracted to also be an indicator of what’s going on inside of you? Perhaps. And they are certainly a biochemical sign of what your body needs, doesn’t want, or is addicted to. How adept we are at listening to our body through feeling – may be the difference between nourishment and breaking through – or depletion and breaking down. Heeding the voice of our body invites us to slow down, take note, and listen. Care-fully. Like we would hear someone we love.
As a naturopath, it’s not uncommon people say to me: “it doesn’t matter what I eat, I can eat anything and it doesn’t affect me.” Yet at the same time, often that same person experiences:
-a bloated belly
-more weight than comfortable
-inflammation (making us feel full, stiff, and puffy)
-lack of energy
And that’s just physically! What about emotionally?
The gap between physical symptoms, their corresponding emotional roots – and what we consume – can be an opportunity or an obstacle. Unaware of what’s going on inside of us and in our body, it can be easy to think what we eat, or how we feel doesn’t matter, or affect us. Though we all know the body has a way of getting our attention through the wake up call of discomfort, pain, and feeling sick. In my experience, the opportunity is in how we meet and greet these teachers, and the obstacle comes when we deny them. The good news is that by receiving the body’s messages, we can become aware of what it’s telling us, act on it, and use that information to guide our health and life.
We are designed for self-healing. By putting our well-being first, we have the potential to not only repair and regenerate, yet to experience life in a new way… possibly pain free.
When we repeatedly consume what our body doesn’t want, we condition it to adapt, and though we may suffer with symptoms (or be asymptomatic), it can be quite challenging to stop. Adaptation to food and substance generally doesn’t mean it’s not affecting us, it means our system has acclimated and is now storing toxicity, instead of eliminating it the way we’re designed (hence poor digestion, not pooping properly, gas, etc). How can you know the difference between what’s harmful, and what your body can truly utilize? Do a detox, then reintroduce questionable foods and such one by one. You’ll know, depending on how your system reacts, by feeling it. The key is ruthless self-honesty, while sensing and feeling yourself with great interest and noticing.
Attempting to put another “diet”, protocol, or practice in place to deal with food, body – and ultimately emotional issues – is like shoving clothes you don’t use into a closet until you can’t find anything, then eventually you lose touch with what’s inside. And you certainly don’t want to open it. Yet, what to do when it’s overflowing (i.e. symptoms)? We likely won’t be able to keep the door shut forever – and that’s a good thing!
If we’re willing to investigate and approach ourselves with inquiry and curiosity, over self-judgement and badding – then what seemed like a daunting and overwhelming task can become an invitation into something else: an adventure, discovery, and doorway into unknown possibilities that may even lead to dreams fulfilled, while a deeper part of us is seen, heard, and held.
Is it safe to be that sensitive, open, and – vulnerable? We may only know if we push the boat out from shore, set sail, and go on the journey. Ultimately, it’s likely not about food and what we consume, yet an opportunity for self-reflection that beckons us to a lighter state of being, emotional resolve, peace within, smiling at our humanness, and taking a risk on love – in all the ways it comes. Especially for ourselves, in all our forms.
8 Ways to Bridge Food, Emotions & The Messages of Your Body:
- Drop into presence with yourself, come into equanimity, and watch what you’re feeling, and what your head says.
- Consciously tune into yourself and your body (daily), and listen to its messages.
- Truly desire to hear your body’s messages… act on what it tells you.
- Welcome all of you… allow yourself to feel, to be vulnerable, and to be seen in your tenderness.
- Open to transformation and embrace the adventure
- Seek support, know when you need a helping hand
- Spend time in nature… lead your head into your heart
- Do a detox
My loves…. bless the journey we share, we’re all in this together.