I'm the first one to say that I wish this weren't the case. I've been struggling pretty much my whole life to try and detach myself from food. I had always been one to try the latest and greatest diet, initially wanting to lose weight, and then priding myself on the control I had over my body. After all, I am the master of serious will power and discipline! My accomplishments in following the rules always gave me the added motivation to stick with my rigid ways. I am now aware of the danger zone of attachment, through my spiritual practice.
It is so important that we ebb and flow with the tides of the day. If we are too rigid, we will snap. We need to learn to bend a little, but stay anchored as if we were the roots of a tree.
The beauty in life is that with each moment, we are granted an opportunity to change. The only constant we have in this life, is change. Challenges are our biggest blessings. If you feel resistant or doubtful in a situation, here's your cue to welcome the opportunity to shift your perspective.
Ask yourself, what is it that you need to learn here?
My diet and lifestyle is a full time job. I thrive off the mastery of it, but when it's not on my terms, I get a little rattled. Here is my opportunity to learn to bend, and re-assess my lifestyle choices.
This encounter came about while I was away on vacation. I am so grateful for the window of truth in understanding why and how I choose to live my life--it's all about the choices we make. We all shape our lives subconsciously and with the gift of free will.
Why is it then, that I choose to live such an extremely structured lifestyle?
For me, I operate systematically. I take each step and I master it, feeling my way through, as I get closer to my realization. I envy those who can see the big picture first, and execute accordingly. This is not the unique make up that is me, however. I feel blessed that I am strong enough to assimilate as I go, so that when I do reach that awakening, I can make sense of my chartered path in a more peaceful capacity.
While on vacation, I started questioning my eating habits. Making the choices to eat a certain way, will always draw attention to yourself. I strongly value my health, and always have, so I feel very confident when asked about my dietary restrictions. I choose to eat a diet that primarily consists of whole grains, vegetables, beans, white fish, limited fruits, nuts, seeds, and oils. I feel strongly about not consuming dairy or sugar. I don't eat meat, but am not as opposed to that, as I am dairy.
That being said, the reasons I choose to embrace this lifestyle are based on what I know to be the foundation of vibrant health.
To stay healthy, we must be alkaline and have a strong digestive tract. Those two essential building blocks will keep our bodies happy. Sugar, dairy, and meat contribute to an acidic environment, and are known to cause an extreme energy within our chakra/channel/chi (energy). By eating a diet consisting of the above mentioned, I am aligning myself with a more balanced overall affect on my body. But why should I have to go around telling people this long winded answer as to why I do, or don't eat something?
While traveling, I was not in control of my daily food intake. I did not have access to my well stocked kitchen, nor did I know where the best restaurants were to cater to my needs. And forget about the fact that I don't speak french, to be able to ask whether something can be made without dairy or not, in a Parisian restaurant!
This opened up a whole new sense of doubt that rattled my firm beliefs and values.
So I am left with this: food is the essence of life. We can't survive without it, right? But I couldn't help but start to relate to all the different cultures in this world. We are all ONE, just rooted in different locations. Our unique selves are a sum of all our surroundings.
Food contributes to that expression of living. What are we without food?
Cultures and cuisines go hand in hand. It is not a coincidence that the English eat lots of roasts and pies--it's freezing there! They need comfort food. The French love their wine, cheese, crepes and pastries. The middle east and parts of Africa take on the Indian aromatic spice dishes. We, New Englanders, love our seafood.
The trendy new "farm to table" concept is a wonderful way to keep us grounded in the basics of life itself--to use our natural resources that are local and sustainable.
Traveling offers us a new perspective on life, and usually revolves around food. I'm sure you'd agree that your vacations usually are jam packed with eating, right?
So stop trying to think we can escape the hold that food has over us. It's our primal connection to the world, to the earth, to life itself. Embrace the gift of food. Connect with the source--the harvest, the hands that touched your food, and the life force within it.
The awareness that I'm bringing to my newfound appreciation for being okay with the fact that I love food, and think about it all the time, is to offer myself some wiggle room.
Pick and choose where you'll allow yourself to gain a deeper connection to food.
Take a look at your surroundings and decide how it can enhance your experience. I didn't have cheese in France. But that's okay, because that wouldn't have brought me happiness.
I did, however, have wine the other night, which I haven't had in 6 months. But you know what, it was the right time and space for that experience. I savored the art and creation of that bottle! It may not have aligned with my health values, but I honor and acknowledge that there is another element to the circle of life through culture and cuisine, and the gift of our abundant surroundings.
I am open and receiving of new experiences to bend in the wind and not stay too rigid.
I hope this invites an opportunity for you to see how you can evolve, when you allow for a little wiggle room.
In health and happiness,