Archive for August, 2009

Italy09 002[2]I recently returned from a 3 week meditation and spiritual retreat. It was deeply profound. There is something in particular that I wanted to look into here. It has everything to do with perspective, clarity and discernment… and how this relates to food… you’ll have to read to the end to find out!

Timeless moment

The first half of the retreat we were spending anywhere from 8 to 16 hours per day in mediation. After a few days like this, I experienced a timeless moment of clarity. It was one of those moments that some people experience just before a car accident or near death experience; when time stands still and you can see everything, all of life so clearly. In that moment I could see perfectly how all of the choices of consequence that I make do either one of two things: They feed inertia, stagnation, and the status quo, or they fuel creation, movement, and the evolution of consciousness itself.

Confusion be gone!

That’s right; it boiled down to black and white. All of the grey, the confusion and distrust vanished. It was as clear as a cloudless day. I could see the hierarchy of my choices: Certain actions created more inertia, some less, some choices created more positive momentum than others. But again, the choices fed either/or; black and white.

Sane and simple

Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, “Do you want to be sane and simple or crazy and complex?” I was faced with answering this. There was nowhere to hide. The illusion was blown wide open and I could no longer pretend.

The choice

too-many-optionsAs the sum of my choices arose before my inner eye, I experienced a judgment day of sorts. It was not negative, if fact it was the opposite; it was profoundly liberating! There was this inherent freedom in seeing through the smoke screen and facing into the fact there is only one choice if I claim to value integrity: The choice that fuels evolutionary momentum and affirmation of the profoundly positive nature of life.  This is the perspective that liberates!

I am not talking about mundane choices like “which shoes should I wear?” But I am talking about choices that many of us “think” are relatively mundane, such as “what should I eat?” I could see in that timeless moment how certain habits that I have cultivated over the years were just no longer serving a purpose, and in fact they were creating inertia, or drag.

Is it really “sweet?”

I saw in that timeless moment how dysfunctional my relationship with concentrated sugar is. It is clearly an addictive pattern that has been grooved out well over the years, and I have a million and one ways that I justify its “use.” But it was incredibly clear how I used this substance to avoid, separate (internally) and create inertia or stagnation.  There was no internal struggle, no attempt to hide from what I Knew to be true, and I made a decision in that instant to give up concentrated sugar and free up more “space” for positive momentum. As soon as I made the decision I experienced increasing liberation, and exhilaration at aligning myself with what was good and true.

3 ½ weeks went by with no problem, no cravings, no looking back. I enjoyed fruit and all foods even more than I ever have. My mind was clearer, my sleep quality greatly improved, my energy increased and skin glowed. There was no doubt about this being a positive direction. Did you catch that past tense above? Remember that because it will be applicable in a moment…

The fall

One week back into my “normal” life, I found myself staring googley eyed at the organic, raw, agave, sweetened chocolate in the health food store rationalizing why this choice would be an ok one, a well deserved one even. I could feel this shape shifting structure inside: The slithering around as I avoided facing head on into the commitment that I had made. I bought the chocolate and started eating it even before I paid for it! As if I was going to some how hide it from myself by arriving at the register with just an empty package ;).

This may not seem like that big of deal in the grand scheme of life, and from one perspective, I think that is true. But what is a big deal is the mechanisms and motivations at play here; because as I like to say, “how you anything is how you do everything.” What becomes clear is that integrity is integrity, commitment is commitment, and discipline is discipline. Our cultural conditioning (at least for the majority of us at the postmodern level of development) is such that we feel we would rather die (ok I might be exaggerating just a little… but not much) than commit wholeheartedly to something… even if we know that something is totally positive!

There were two clear outcomes of that one “little” choice:

1.    It eroded confidence and trust in myself… this created “spiritual” inertia.

2.    On a physiological level it triggered the all too familiar addictive sugar pattern and cravings ensued, I ate sugar every day thereafter… this created physical and emotional inertia.

Straight ahead!

OK, so I can feel the fierce resistance to just dropping all of “the fall,” standing up and starting again! I was procrastinating writing this post as I knew when I did I would need to get on with it and align with what I know is right. 🙂

So here it is, and here I am, facing into myself as the “Chooser.” And the liberation that is experienced, right now… it’s beautiful. Boy it is amazing how simple life can become when we get honest and real! Is it easy, not necessarily, but simple, yes.

Passion to create what is next

I’ve looked hard at this experience; the mechanics and implications of it. I can see that its not really about the sugar, its about the motivations behind how I “use” it (see #1 and #2 above). And although abstinence is certainly one way avoid the craziness, I think this form of insanity would just pop up in another area of life… I know this from personal experience. I realize now more than ever that our culture does not support clarity, responsibility, or integrity. I am a product of culture and can see, at least to some degree, these “structures” within me. The importance of creating a supportive environment for people to make and sustain life-affirming changes, especially as they pertain to what we choose to eat,  is all the more seriously real and imperative. How do we create this…?

We’re doing it right now! For one, every time I, you, make a commitment to what we know is right we are building confidence and we are creating new structures that stand on higher values such as integrity, discipline, commitment. Secondly, our Eating For Evolution community site is dedicated to this very campaign! And my focus right now is on creating a  network and program to help support people as cultivate a more wholesome relationship with sugar. Check out the site http://community.eatingforevolution.com and stay tuned for the first installment of the Conscious Bites Program: “Your Sweeter Life.”



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