Today I want to talk to you about something I often see in my clients that maybe it will help you in as you address what is happening in your health and wellbeing.
So often my clients come to me thinking that there is one thing that is keeping them stuck or that is holding back from them having more energy and feeling vibrant. So they go after that one thing, and then they find that working on that one thing just doesn’t seem to make a difference. They try over and over again with little to know progress and then they wonder why it’s not working, they give up or worse, they think there is something wrong with THEM.
For example, sometimes clients will come to be thinking that they need to change their food choices, and maybe they have been directed by a doctor to make different nutritional choices. They think food is the problem. It starts to set up this adversarial relationship with food. I can’t eat this. I must eat that. And it becomes hard and heavy and all about the food. The focus becomes on what is wrong and what needs to change. Often there is a story about how it’s so hard, because um, yea it’s hard when we are in an “me against food” mentality. Or even worse it gets thrown into the ‘diet’ mentality and the scale comes out. They want to measure the progress by weight management.
What’s really interesting is that much of the time, when I start to ask more questions around the food (or moving the body, or sleep), there is often a root cause of the difficulty with making change that doesn’t really have to do with food. It’s not about fruits or vegetables, or food itself. There is usually an underlying issue that comes to the surface when I start to make suggestions. First it comes out as how hard it is to make the changes, or how it’s not possible, or all the reasons and excuses for why it won’t work. In episode 40, I talked about how this is how we all argue for our own limitations. What’s really interesting is what’s underneath all of those arguments and what seems like a food issue.
What’s underneath the food issue could be more about big emotions that aren’t being processed with food being used as comfort. We all have big emotions in our lives and many of us are taught to feel our feelings. We are taught to cover them up, push them down and distract ourselves with something else like food.
Another thing that could be underneath are the emotions connected with food. For some women, it can be connected to childhood, and how as a child your eating habits or body was shamed. Then of course anytime you try to change what you are eating or what to eat it may be brought to the surface, even if it is 20, 30, 40 years later. This could be a soul essence that needs to be returned to your spiritual wellness body.
For some clients, it’s about the current relationship with a partner or spouse. Many times women will say that they can’t make food changes because their partner won’t make changes the changes. So there becomes tension in the relationship. This can happen in the mind before the client even has a chance to ask which is a different issue from actually asking the partner to make changes and they say no. This can have lots of different root causes such as lack of self-love, a lack of emotional or energetic boundaries, or other past issues in the relationship that have been unresolved. These can come to the surface when there is any sort of change that is being initiated, especially when there are two people. It’s the dance of identify- both who am I and the partner’s response of who are you?
For some, it could be related more to beliefs about yourself. It may show up as “why bother” at first for some people, but “why bother” is usually a symptom of bigger themes. For example, it could be rooted in beliefs such as you can’t finish what you start, or you aren’t able to be anything other than what you are currently. The very common underlying belief is not being good enough. If you don’t feel like you are good enough then it can feel like a heavy and large burden to make changes with food.
In short, it’s not about spinach or the 9 fruits and vegetables you are encouraged to eat everyday. It’s about this holistic version of you. Of course I use the Centered Wellness Framework to look at everything, so it’s about all aspects. It’s about the physical, emotional, mental, energetic, and spiritual bodies. The changes you want to make with food can be about the emotions that are all tied up with food or how we use food not to feel the emotions. It can be about thoughts that we have or how we feel about ourselves. It can be with the energetic boundaries we have yet to create, or the energy that needs to be removed, or the power or soul essences that need to be returned.
Here are some of the layers: Lets’ take for example that you are in pain and wonder if inflammation might be the root cause. After listening to this podcast you decide to follow an anti-inflammatory diet. And then the layers start to peel back.
There may be a fear of deprivation. Or the connection with a particular food as who you are or what you like. For example, when I became vegetarian I ate a lot of cheese. When it was suggested that it might help me to remove dairy from my diet I fought that idea! I could never live without cheese! It felt like it would balance me out! I felt like I needed it for the protein, and for the feeling it gave me. There was an identity there as a person who loved cheese and needed cheese to survive. I turned to cheese as comfort, and I thought I wouldn’t be able to cook for my family. And then I found out my boys were allergic to dairy. They would have all sorts of problems if they ate dairy- emotionally, physically, mentally. So I stopped. I figured out a way because there was suddenly a reason for me. I could step out of my internal reasons because of them. I saw it was possible and then I saw the benefits in myself. I took that lesson and applied it to all other areas. I realized it wasn’t about the food. I was making excuses before because obviously I could (and did) make the changes that I wanted to make. I just needed a strong enough reason. Over time I learned a different strong enough reason. I had to become my own strong enough reason.
I want that for you. I want you to be your own reason for making change. It doesn’t have to be for your kids or your friends or even your family. I want your reason for making change to be because you love yourself and you want to take care of and nurture this precious human. That’s what I want for you. I want you to become your strong enough reason for any positive change you want to make in your life.
How do you do that? You start small. It’s always about starting small. You say kind words to yourself that you actually believe. You change the conversation in your head to be one of love and compassion. You listen to what would nourish you, and you make time to do that thing. You show up for yourself, and you learn to love yourself. It’s very simple, and I know it’s not easy. I have walked this path myself for over 20 years, so I know what it feels like AND I also know it’s possible. Let me tell you- life is so much more enjoyable now that I know how to love and care for myself.
Your health and purpose are directly correlated. So many times, I encounter clients who are in survival mode – everything they do and every decision they make is just to get by. Everyone experiences this at some point in time, but when you can transition out of that mode, you start to see the possibilities for your health and for your life are endless.
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