I’m writing you from high on a hill, up in the sky from a 15th century medieval stone village, in Italy’s central land of Tuscany. It’s so ancient and reminiscent of romance; as the old shares its story with the new through aged architecture, cobble stone streets, grape vines, and olive trees.
If the stone could speak, it would surely tell tales that would melt our hearts – fables of folklore, of spiritual quests and quandaries, of love and longing, hopes and fears, and everything in between.
In the old times, those living especially close to Earth, would probably be called a witch, and shared their information with only the most trusted. Still in these times, we may be considered odd and even threatening for stepping out of conventional ways of eating, living, medicating, and being.
Do you ever feel persecuted, judged, or even rejected for your “witchy ways”? Lately this topic has led me into a deeper self-inquiry that’s been a life and game changer – as I know life happens for me, not to me.
A few years ago, feeling quite restless and discontent with a rawfoodist label and how it was affecting me, I found myself – after 9 years of 100% raw, and intensive fasting – sitting in an Ethiopian restaurant in Amsterdam. I felt so content that no one knew me, and “normal” – like everyone else. I had a glass of wine, and thoroughly enjoyed my first cooked food in many years, though the old guilt and fear of “doing something wrong” returned. I knew this meant a deeper self-inquiry was being called for.
That day started an intensive investigation within. “Why do I eat raw food, why do I “teach” this topic, and what’s happening within me”? After living something for a long time, have you had a version of this conversation with yourself? It was quite disturbing, as my personal identity and constructs were shattering. Absolutely everything in my life, and in my mind was up for inquiry and questioning. In this period, I let go of a negative partnership, stopped working like crazy, and released a lot of self-pressure around how I “keep myself together.” It’s been an amazing journey that’s helped me to break out of a self-imposed box, gain courage to grow beyond certain concepts, expand into something else, and find true love for who I am, rather than what I do… and to eventually find love with a different type of man, I never thought I’d be with.
Do you love someone who isn’t into raw food, cleansing, health, etc.? Yes, many of us do. Is finding integration with your witchy ways/health choices, loved ones, and the world on your radar?
Beyond a need for belonging, and at times lonely due to my food and lifestyle choices – this grand experiment into intensive self-honesty has shown me how I actually alienate myself, by defining who I am with labels such as raw food, detox, doctor, teacher, partner, boss, this, that, etc. One thing is sure, there’s so much more to life, you and me, than how we label ourselves. Uninvestigated, we may get stuck – or feel trapped – in some of the preordained ideas we find shelter in to feel safe, secure, and “good enough”. Been feeling restless or the need for change and growth? Maybe you’ve outgrown some identities or definitions of yourself that no longer fit?
I’ve also learned that typically the need for love and connection – over time – is often far greater than “making the right food and lifestyle choices.” If my heart isn’t fully met, common interests and health habits can only go so far. Inviting love based on who I Really Am, rather than how I label myself – wow, I attract different people into my life. For example, as a self-identified raw foodist, I would only be with a man who eats and lives within my same habits. More integrated into my own needs, heart, and true sense of self, I’ve actually fallen in love with a man who often has very different food and health choices than my own. I learn much through our differences, and my heart has never been happier.
Why do we develop such identities? For me it had to do with attempting to keep my wild and crazy nature “on the straight and narrow,” and to free myself from “societies sicknesses.” Eating only raw was natural and effortless for a long time. Though once it wasn’t, if I didn’t let it go, that identity would rule my life, rather than my own truth leading the way. Self-growth practices help me tremendously – and when I realize I’ve become unconsciously attached and defined by them, I’m reminded to let go again – and instead choice to be true to myself, rather than loyal to a persona. Do you use “spiritual” practices to tame the tiger of desire, while wrestling with the bigger questions? To what extend do practices help you? To what degree do they incur an identity?
Beyond raw food identities, I’ve gotten back to why I started this path in the first place, almost 20 years ago. From the beginning, it completely regenerated my health, prevented early stages of uterine cancer from developing, and freed me from many negative habits. It’s also been a catalyst that continues unlocking other ways of thinking, and has led to greater states of self-love, healing, and thriving. After experimenting with some cooked vegan food again in the past few years, for me the recalculation is very clear. Eating a high raw, to all raw diet, with regular fasting is foundation in how my body best responds for excellent health. It’s been highly reflective and educational to not feel as well as I usually do, to have had a couple of little colds (I hadn’t been sick in years), and in general witness my vitality drop to some degree. As I refocus on what works best for me, enriched with a panoramic view and awareness of how labels keep me from me, I realize I no longer need identities as coping system to “control” myself, or keep on track. What’s most important is that I’m honest, real, and myself – moment to moment. Though not always easy, and often at high stakes, I’d rather dig deep within myself for truth, than be superficially content with coping mechanisms masked as the Real Me.
It’s brought me all the way back to me, just me. Not Dr. Amy, this person’s teacher, or that “raw food” person. After much break down, tear down, and now in a regeneration phase, I have much more understanding and compassion for what people go through who want to make healthier choices, and the struggle it can be. Most important, I feel unguarded and without defense for the first time in my life, and free of how I’ve used food and detox to protect myself. I’m very thankful to re-approach these tools in a different, more well rounded way.
My true witchy self is just fine if she doesn’t eat all raw, or if she does. It feels good that my self-worth is no longer wrapped up in what I eat or don’t eat, what I do or don’t do, etc.
Love from Me… wherever this may find you on your path.
Need some support on this topic?
To go beyond raw, detox, and any person, place, thing or belief you may be attached to as “right”, “the way” (or may keep you from you and love), here are some questions:
• do I labeI myself? If so, how (“I am a raw foodist”, “I am a doctor”, etc.)?
• what are my true needs (need to feel safe, to be healthy, etc.) beyond labels and identities (“I choose to be healthy”, rather than “I am a raw foodist and that is most healthy”)?
• am I FULLY honest with myself? What does this mean to me?
• if I’m not fully honest with myself, is there something within I don’t want to look at? (Be gentle and easy with yourself, self-acceptance and self-forgiveness are key… they open doors to full honesty and healing).
• fully honest with myself, what are my values… beyond labels or self-imposed identities…. that support my health and well being?
• am I attached to food, substances, people or a place that I defend or feel the need to justify?
• do I experience attachments that show up in my life? If so, what are they? What do they look and feel like? How do they affect me, and those in my life?
• do I pay a price for being attached to certain choices in my life?
how can I best honor and take care of myself, beyond attachments, identities, or ideas I have about what is most healthy?
Pure Raw Courses, Now and Ongoing
Holistic Nutrition & Detox Coach Course, Online (bonus 10 day Bali retreat included). Take Anytime from Anywhere. Personal to Professional.
10-Day Raw Food Chef Certification & Detox Training, Nov 5 -16, 2015, Bali – 2 SEATS LEFT
Learn in person with chef Jillian & Pure Raw founder Dr. Amy Rachelle, ND
NOTE: THIS IS THE LAST RAW FOOD CHEF TRAINING WE WILL OFFER. NEXT YEAR’S 10 DAY BALI TRAINING WILL HAVE SOME FOOD PREP, THOUGH THE FOCUS WILL CHANGE. MORE TO COME.
Internship Program – 1 SEAT LEFT
Learn how to run your own retreats while working with us in Bali for during our 10 Day Raw Food Chef Certification & Detox Training, Nov. 5-16. About this training:
-come 7 days before Nov. 5th
-stay 2 days after
-work hands on, as needed – before, during, and after retreat (be prepared for long hours, though you’ll have time off, and you can join the retreat as well)
-you’ll receive instruction as we go with meeting before the event, during, and after to talk about direction, what’s needed – and you’ll learn how to run a retreat.
-participation in retreat as possible
-food and juice during 10 day retreat
-Holistic Nutrition & Detox Facilitator Course (2nd online program)
-working closely with Dr. Amy, and chef Jillian Love
To apply, please ask for a questionnaire.
Travel & Bali Info
Dr. Amy’s eBook
About Dr. Amy
Based in New York City and Bali, Indonesia Amy Rachelle is a naturopath specializing in raw and whole food nutrition combined with detoxification, and understanding oneself, science to spirit. She created Pure Raw in 2005 and has since coached thousands in living and eating healthier. Her work is a successful and proven formula that helps people to:
• develop lifelong habits for eating and living healthy, physical to emotional, personal to professional.
• balance body weight
• heal skin imbalances (acne, psoraisis, excema, etc)
• be free of digestive difficulties, colitis, constipation, bloating, headaches, candida, gas, headaches, dark circles under eyes, back pain, & fatigue
• regain skin elactiscity, feel fresh and whole with more energy, greater vibrancy, and a vibrant presence
• feel purposeful, be free of depression, balance mental stability, heal relationships, gain clarity
Bali: 08 123 916 5702