From Issue 57 of Successfully Raw:
If you're familiar with my web site you'll know that within its many pages you can find two raw coaching "models" - that is, frameworks that lay out simple step-by-steps or stages that we all have to go through to get from A to B in our raw food journey. The first model I created was "The 7 Steps To Going and Staying Raw" and the second "The 5 Stages of Raw Transformation". While the former deals predominantly with the external journey and the latter the internal, there are three other models that I have since discovered that have yet to make their way onto my site and that I have to date only very briefly made reference to.
Today it's time to start at the very beginning. I want to introduce to you what I consider to be Model #1: The Successfully Raw Pyramid. It is here that all the other models spring from, and, as far as I'm concerned is at the very heart of whether we go raw and stay raw, depending on how much we embody and understand the importance of each aspect of the Pyramid.
So that we can dive right in and get started with today's teach-in, please refer to the graphic above which depicts the Pyramid model.
As you can see, there are three aspects:
1) Delicious Food
2) Ongoing Support
3) Inspiring Vision
Although most people will likely agree that great food and support are absolutely vital in going/staying raw, the third triangle may seem to some people like a "nice to have" rather than a "must have", but I beg to differ..!
Let's take a look at each one in turn so that you can get a better idea of the what and why...
1) Delicious Food
Completely obvious, but if you don't love the food you are eating in terms of taste then you will find it very challenging to eat raw for very long. Our taste buds are the first port of call for our food (well, second to our hands but that's for another article) and so it's vital that the food we eat tastes great from the first moment we bite into it.
You will find as you move along your raw journey that your taste buds change anyway, but that doesn't mean that you won't still be wanting delicious food! You'll very likely just find that your idea of delicious may change and evolve as your taste buds do.
Top Tips For Raw Success:
* Make sure that everything you eat you love
* Invest time in experimenting with all sorts of different ingredients and recipes as often as you can; find what works for you, be it a certain texture, flavour, consistency or whatever.
* Learn how to use the various bits of kitchen equipment that will make your food more interesting and/or diverse. Investing in a blender, juicer and food processor is pretty much a pre-requisite to tick a lot of the "diversity" boxes, but a dehydrator will pave the way even further, giving you access to those crunchy, crispy, dry and often more savoury foods that we all tend to want from time to time.
* Aim to make one new recipe every week. Whether it's the one from my eZine or one you select from a web site, blog or raw recipe book, commit to making one new recipe per week and you will always feel inspired and energised by your "unusual" food choices.
2) Ongoing Support
You know the saying, "No man (or woman) is an island" and this is especially true for most, if not all, raw fooders. When we start to eat differently to our friends family and colleagues there will inevitably become a strong desire to find likeminded people and different forms of support as it's so important for us not to feel alone and alienated when we try to live healthier lives. It pays to recognise early on that you do likely need some kind of external support, which will usually come in the form of other people (although for many it's enough to have good reading material, internet access and a well stocked kitchen for at least the first while) and make sure that you invest some time and attention into connecting with others on the same path. Even if you don't feel this is such a burning need for you the journey is all the sweeter for the companionship, and there's so much you can learn from others following the same path too. The support is something you'll want to work on maintaining as well as creating though, as the desire to feel understood and connected is as essential to most human beings as the need for air. Hence why we talk about ONGOING support and not one raw food potluck and that's you done!
Top Tips For Raw Success:
* Take advantage of the myriad of ways you can obtain support for yourself, whether that be through people, places, educational resources or even inner work, such as on your belief systems or emotional poise.
* Examples of free or low-cost interpersonal support you can create for yourself: Online chatgroups, raw potlucks and gatherings, raw personal sites (for friends or partners), teleclasses, raw food prep classes, evening lectures, group coaching programs.
* Examples of other ways you can support yourself: Great reading material that's raw-related or raw- supportive (books, magazines, web sites, blogs), setting up your kitchen, home and lifestyle to support your goals, attending an even longer event such as festival, retreat or raw food holiday, journaling in order to process feelings as they come up, any form of personal development work.
3) Inspiring Vision
Ordinarily when we first set out on the journey to rawdom we usually tend to have some idea of a better place to go, a reason why we choose to set sail in the first place. For many it is simply a case of weight loss, detox, or the desire for increased energy or overall wellbeing - all worthy goals and definitely attainable, but as we move further along we can find that quite quickly we can outgrow our goals as we get closer to them or reach them, which begs the question: What next?
What next really is a very personal decision, but what I can say from experience both personally and as a coach, is that as the raw energy starts to course through your veins it becomes virtually impossible not to be changed in ways that you never could have conceived before when you stood at the starting gate.
The raw journey really is something of an unfurling story that starts with a fair few bumps and hurdles (not unlike an alternative soap opera) but, if we keep pressing on and keeping the faith in our journey, has the potential to end up looking rather more like a magical fairytale - if we allow it. This is perhaps the hardest part of all, letting the raw magic permeate every aspect of our cells, our hearts and our lives - especially when we have been used to living a "normal" life. And yet there really is nothing more compelling than spending each day awakening further to your own potential and magnificence and stepping into that. It's almost as if every raw meal builds on the back of all that has gone before and the rewards get larger, come faster and create more momentum the further and longer you go.
THIS is what keeps us raw more than perhaps any other factor once we are past a certain stage. When the food is more or less a given, the environment has been correctly set up and the emotional support is in place, then the scene is well and truly set for the amazing transformational aspect of raw food that will take you higher and higher into what's possible for yourself and your life as a whole. When you look at it, it's no wonder that this third aspect is positioned very aptly at the summit of the Pyramid, is it?!
Top Tips For Raw Success:
* At every stage of your raw journey know two things: Your Why and Your What. That is, why you are doing this and what you are aiming for. With those two in place the How will figure itself out as you go.
* Remember that you can outgrow both Your Why and Your What at any given time. The speed at which you move along the raw path picks up pace the longer you've been travelling, so learning how to handle the energy and the synchronicities and magic of it all can take some getting used to (this is another major reason why people fall off the path frequently in the early months/years - they just aren't used to life getting so good!).
* Create a Vision Board - a montage of pictures cut out and pasted onto a large sheet of card or paper depicting all of your own personal hopes and dreams for your life. Keep this somewhere where you will see it every day. This will remind you that you have somewhere else to go with your journey, which means the momentum will continue and you won't wonder why or what, as you'll already know!
As you can see, this is really just the beginning of what I could share about the Successfully Raw Pyramid with you but hopefully you'll have gained enough from this brief introduction to get a feel for a) how important it is to cover these three bases and b) have some ideas for steps you can take right now to ensure that you are doing all you can to keep yourself where you want to be... cruising along the raw freeway at your own perfect speed and loving every minute of it!
For the record, "The 7 Steps To Going and Staying Raw" model is a direct offshoot from the "Delicious Food" aspect - i.e. it gives more detailed steps for making sure that you love the food you eat. The direct offshoot from the "Ongoing Support" aspect is "The 7 Circles of Raw Support" model which I have touched upon in a previous eZine, but more information will be published in the next few months. And finally, the direct offshoot from the Inspiring Vision aspect is of course "The 5 Stages of Raw Transformation" because this is the journey we walk as soon as we recognise that there is growth in the path we are taking - and we can take this growth as far as our own imagination, passion and courage will allow us!
The fifth and final model I have created is "The Wheel of Radiance" which is already available as a beautiful A3 poster and which comprises of the 12 different elements that we all need to embody inside and out in order to stay in alignment with ourselves and radiate all the way out from our deepest essence - a truly critical part of staying raw as we become more awakened to our own unique brand of Raw Authenticity.
Next year I'll be running a wide range of workshops, retreats and teleclasses which will focus on each of these models in varying amounts of detail, plus there'll be a lot more information in a written format too so you can work through at your own pace. So wherever you feel you need some assistance, I can assure you that more personal, detailed and fascinating help will soon be at hand and I can't wait to share it with you!
To your Success!
© 2007 Karen Knowler
WOULD YOU LIKE TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR ON YOUR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Karen Knowler, The Raw Food Coach publishes "Successfully Raw" - a free weekly eZine for raw food lovers everywhere. If you're ready to look good, feel great and create a raw life you love get your FREE tips, tools and recipes now at www.TheRawFoodCoach.com.