I've recently come to terms with giving up striving for health and wellness perfection. When I say recently, I kinda mean just now... today. I had a profound conversation with a dear friend this morning which really hit some deep stuff. I find myself constantly seeking for the new wonder herb, lotion, potion, supplement, food, diet, protocol, scheme, information and whatever else, to save me and bring me into a state of perfect health and happiness. I've been doing it for years. I've tried everything... and for all the time I've been seeking, searching and trying I've been distracted from what it is that I DO have.
Now don't get me wrong, supplements, herbs, food and dietary/lifestyle changes have played an incredibly important and integral part in my own healing journey. For almost everyone these things are necessary to really give the body the tools it needs to start re-balancing and healing. But looking back over the years I realise I may have placed so much importance and pressure on these external things to save me and make me perfect. I may well have created more stress and anxiety around doing 'the next new thing' and placing so much meaning on whether or not it worked.
Most of my stress has been around food and what is right and what is wrong for me. Now going gluten free, sugar free for some periods, coffee free, alcohol free and focussing on a nutrient rich diet full of fruits and vegetables and supplementation programs have been absolutely necessary and non-negotiable in my healing and it has helped me immensely. These changes and courses of action are part of working on ones health and wellness. However, if this comes at the cost of becoming stressed, anxious and worried about food choices and beating ourselves up when we 'fall of the wagon', then we have transferred the issue from a physical one to an emotional one and are no closer to true health and wellness than we were before.
Eating healthily should be a joy and a celebration and a gift that we give ourselves everyday. It is the most profound act of nurture we can take for our lives - the food we eat becomes who we are. It becomes our cells. It becomes our skin and organs. It becomes our thinking and feeling brain. Our nervous system. That's food for the body. But what about food for the soul? What about the food that brings us joy and happiness and makes our hearts and taste buds sing when we put it in our mouths, taste, chew then swallow?
I love coffee. But I don't think I've sipped a cup of coffee in three years without feeling like I shouldn't be or like I've failed my liver or myself as a human being. Does that sound dramatic? Well, it' true... it's not like it's the end of the world, but more of a very quietly rolling, distant but disdainful voice that's always present.
I love chocolate. I love cake. I love red wine. But have I enjoyed these things recently without that same voice echoing through my body. Sadly, I don't think I have.
After this immense conversation with my friend I realised all of this and I forgave myself for all the hard times I've given me. And do you know what I did? I made myself a beautiful cup of coffee and I went to my local baker and I bought myself a freshly made slice of gluten free orange and almond cake and I sat and I enjoyed them both and my taste buds, my heart, they sang. And do you know what? The miracle is that a tummy that usually would have gurgled and bloated and 'told me off' for betraying it didn't utter a peep.
This is a huge learning curve for me.
Now, don't get me wrong. Am I now going to start having red wine every night, three coffees a day, chocolate after dinner and lunch and a cake treat every afternoon?
That will not make my body sing. It will not make my soul sing. I want to nourish my body. I want to nourish my soul.
Will I freely enjoy, with in reason, the things that I love and that make my soul sing? Yes I will and I shall do it without a shred of guilt, shame, blame or sense of failure. I will now move forward feeling into every moment and food choice and make sure I am nourishing and nurturing my body, mind AND soul.
ps thank you for letting me share my personal story, thoughts, feelings and emotions.