Been working on this for you guys after 2nd chakra / Water / Salt workshop….Food and the watery quality of feelings
Habit and desire:
When doing a detox or making changes to your diet it is sometimes easy to get too focused on what you can’t have, what you are taking away and eliminating-making it easy to forget what you are giving yourself and the amazing things that come from that.
I believe it is super important to focus on what you are giving yourself instead of what’s being taken away. A simple shift in perspective gets us there.
The simple YES list in our meal plans is easy. Contained within that list is good quality proteins, fats and carbs. Look at your plate, see if all three things are there and start to identify the ratios; notice how your energy levels shift when you move those rations around, notice how long you last between meals, and check in with yourself to see if you feel satiated.
As I mentioned, the AVOID list can get long. No sugar, no gluten, no booze, no processed foods, on and on. Let’s take sugar as an example. If you are taking sugar out of your diet, what are you giving yourself in return and what meaning do we give that substance?
As Cortney mentioned in her part of the workshop last Saturday, if you are looking beyond just sugar, but at the deeper meaning of that form of “sweetness” where else are you getting it, or lacking it in your life? Am I fulfilling my need for sweetness through processed sugar because I’m not experiencing it from other places- through hugs, touch and quality time? And am I nurturing myself with the sweetness of self love and appreciation, a moment of silence to acknowledge that which I’ve accomplished and done well?
Where is the sweetness in your life and where are you getting it?
Removing a substance or food from your diet without identifying why you desire it might trigger backlash and self sabotage. Restriction without understanding the cause of the desire and giving yourself something to replace that desire, usually ends up in a balls out relapse. Putting people on the never ending yo-yo diet.
With sugar, when you pull it out I want to encourage you to give yourself something back. What would I give back to you? The fun answer is fat! I’ll trade you that croissant for a small stack of delicious crispy bacon any day.
But really, many of the things you enjoy, although not in alignment with our bigger goals, must give you some sort of pleasure. And that pleasure is what we are trying to distill out. A glass of wine after dinner, a piece of chocolate before bed, for me a kombucha or two in the afternoon. What is the pleasure here?
Let me share a personal example. That kombucha in the afternoon marks when I have some personal time and a break before heading into a meeting or to meet up with my next client. So it’s more than just a kombucha, it’s the meaning I associate with that kombucha.
When contemplating the notion of eliminating something from my world , pulling something away for the sake of investigating a habit, I ask myself, what does that thing MEAN to me? What does it signify?
I believe it’s important to ask yourself what certain foods or drinks MEAN to you?! And encourage you to dig a little into this one.
If you just snatch it away from yourself without investigation, in a way you are robbing yourself of the meanings and feelings that you equate to it. In my case with the kombucha it’s about getting some quiet alone time. It signifies a moment to myself, a pause in the day and a tiny reward, as the fizz and gently yeasty smell is reminiscent of having a nice cold beer.
If you do choose to eliminate things from your world what can you give yourself to get the same feelings, and/or meanings without participating in the same old habit?
What would fill (feel) me up in the same way?
The experiment of choosing something different is the Tapas (link coming). What physical, emotional, spiritual things I notice from that experiment is the Spanda (link coming).
Get curious. Get creative! How can you get those same needs met with something different? Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be a food or drink item, as it’s frequently not an equal exchange. In my case, It’s about getting a sense of quiet alone time and a pause, not trading kombucha for tea or some other beverage per se but getting clever about a new habit that will really give me that pause i’m looking for.
I’ve been experimenting with giving myself quality kefir water which has way less sugar than kombucha, stopping by Dolores park on my way home and sipping it slowly while putting my toes in the grass. This small shift actually takes up less time than stopping by the store to buy kombucha and ultimately feels more rewarding! Another swap I’ve been experimenting with is drinking filtered water with essence of orange in it and being present by reminding myself of why i’m giving myself that thing, not just doing it to do it but really stopping to honor and enjoy it.
A conscious pause.
Can you share? What are you giving yourself in place of the things that you’ve pulled out. What do they mean to you and how might it be more rewarding?
I’ve lost 3# by cutting out the kombucha already…that’s not my goal, that is a nice side effect.
Frequently the things that you give yourself are actually silently stealing away the thing that we think we are actually getting. They are a short term bandaid that can become a long term habit. For example, you drink booze to relax and unwind but end up waking up at 2am because your body goes into a sugar crash giving you less sleep and time to recover. You have a coffee in the afternoon to keep you going, the caffeine keeps you up too long and you end up even more tired and exhausted.
I was working with a client around these same ideas when it came to her that having a couple of glasses of wine before bed was something she wished to shift.
Now, before we go further, I want to express that having a couple of glasses of wine is not “bad” at all! Again, I encourage you to eliminate the “good / bad” cycle from your thought process as it keeps us stuck in a pattern where shaming can become commonplace. It’s about the curiosity of that habit and whether or not it is serving your grander desires, rather than just the short term ones.
We got curious about what the wine was about. Sure, it’s fun to get a little buzz before bed, but upon further investigation, we discovered that what the wine meant to her was finally getting some alone time. The kids had been put to bed, the husband was playing on the iPad and she had some peace and quiet to refuel herself, kick her feet up and relax. And who doesn’t deserve that?!
Wine equaled personal time, peace, quiet, time to refuel and silence.
We all need it, but how can you find it through a more sustainable source?
Until you investigate the habit, you don’t know whether or not it is serving you. This is the fun part!
Taking the judgement out of habits so you can explore them gives you all kinds of information about yourself that you might blow right over had you not dug into this brave adventure we are all on right now!
So with a little exploration and curiosity, we came up with a list of things that might give her the same results without drinking wine.
This is where practice come in.
For her, music was high on the list. Kicking on some Miles Davis at 9pm and putting her feet up, relishing the moment and being conscious of what she is doing became the substitute for the wine and wildly more satisfying for her in the long term.
When asked how it was going she replied “listening to music, and reading in the backyard sunshine – these are both working! I went from a glass or two of wine every night to no alcohol at all, and I’m not missing it. “
None of this sticks if you don’t pay attention to the results of your experiment. There is so much juice there! So much information that your body and mind are trying to share, least you listen.
See if you can release habits of short term pleasures over long term rewards.
In other words, that delicious cake tastes great for about 5 minutes, but that jog you took can help you gain momentum for an entire week.
My teacher Jay says, when a habit it is ready to fall away it is like low hanging fruit from a tree, easily plucked. You aren’t up there with a ladder and shears tittering on one leg breaking your neck to get the damn thing down. You barely touch it and it falls away. This is when you’ve gotten all the juice out of that habit, you’ve gotten to know yourself on a much deeper level. You’ve honored the habit and thanked it for the pain it’s given you and….all the depth and reward.
Pay attention. Do something different. Be good to yourself!