We all know we need to breathe clean air, drink clean water and eat good food in order to be healthy and perform at our best. I am originally from South Carolina and in the South, the order is more like breathe while you eat and add water to your sweet tea. Culturally, food plays a major role in growing up in the South and probably most other cultures as well. You eat when you are happy, you eat when you are sad, you eat at birthdays and funerals and every moment inbetween.
When I surrendered my life to a life of service in the fields of energetic healing and yoga instruction, I had no idea how much of a role food would play in that surrender. My job is to be clear, in body and mind, so that healing energy and information can come through me and be passed on to the recipient. I have learned that the most immediate and effective way to do this is with food. Just like an elite athlete, I need to be able to perform at the highest level possible for an extended period of time, without a crash and burn, so that I can get up and do it all again tomorrow at the same peak level of excellence.
My body actually began rejecting unhealthy foods after I surrendered to my life’s work. As you can imagine, this has been an extremely challenging thing for a girl from the South who is a food addict and an emotional eater. And, as if this wasn’t challenging enough, there was a flip side to this. By doing the things required of me, I began to feel good! Who knew that this would present a whole new set of challenges. I never imagined that I would have to learn to “cope” with feeling good. And yet, here I am. Battling the same vices, habits and addictions that I always have because feeling good, being excited about my life and my life’s work is such a foreign experience for me. It makes me extremely uncomfortable. I’m not used to having such an excess of energy and when I have had an excess of energy in the past, it was always anxious energy. This new energy is the same, but without the anxiety. Which, ironically, creates anxiety. The question that now arises out of all of this for me is…. “How to “cope” with feeling good?!!”.
My immediate answer is “To do more of the same.”. To keep going. The uncomfortableness, like any emotion, will pass or at least change to something else. For me personally, it is attached to Fear, which is something I am very familiar with. “More of the same” for me is breathwork, meditation, asana practice, hiking in nature, working hard and resting harder. As for food, and my reliance on it as a coping mechanism, I just try to be conscious that I am eating emotionally and try to make healthier choices of the food that I am eating when in that state. Just like the emotion will pass, so will the craving. Some of the recipes that get me through are from Brendan Brazier’s THRIVE books. My favorites are the Coconut-Cashew-Date Energy Boost if I want something sweet, Creamy Crimini Mushroom and Miso Soup for something creamy and hearty and Artichoke Tapenade to make little snacks that seem like bar food. I have also found that surrounding myself with people, like Brenden Brazier and others, who have been where I am wanting to go has been invaluable. They don’t have to physically be with you in order to help you along. They have made themselves available to you through their work: social media, websites, videos, publications and also by creating groups that you can join and participate in with like-minded people.
No matter what role you play in life, taking on the task of constantly striving to do better, be better, perform better is equally as difficult on the mind and emotions as it is taxing on the body. There is always an act of surrender that is required on your part in order to reach the next level. You may be asked to give up alcohol and certain types of food. You may have to start going to bed earlier and miss quality time with a loved one, or miss out on time with friends and family in general. You may even pick up your whole life and move across the country or move to another country entirely! The gift that is wrapped up in the surrender is the energy to keep going, an improved body and mind, more focus, and the feeling that you are a part of something that is greater than yourself. You begin to feel good. And that is a “problem” I hope we can all learn to “cope” with.