How much "raw support" have you got in your
environment? It's a good question, as one of the
main areas that people fall down in is the day-to-day
environment that they place themselves in.
To get the most out of this article and part two that follows next week I am going to ask that you open your mind to the possibility that you can create and/or secure any environment for yourself that you want. Now, I know for some this may seem more than a little tricky, if not impossible, but I am firm believer in "where there's a will there's a way" and in this arena I feel no exceptions - so bear with me as we begin our journey together...
But before we get to exploring that more fully, first of all I want and need to say that if you have been struggling to stay raw and it's NOT food related but circumstantial, emotional or environmental, then please (please) do not spend one more second beating yourself up for not staying on the wagon, because as you will see, if your environment - and that's inner and outer - is not set up to support you then really it is going to feel uphill all the way.
So let's first of all be clear on what environment is. As per the "7 Circles of Raw Support" coaching model that I use, I see environment as comprising of both inner and outer terrain, namely:
Body, Heart, Mind and Spirit and Kitchen, Home and "Your World" (i.e. your life as it currently shows up, according to what you have created).
Through this coaching model I have come to see clearly that for all of us when we're new in our raw food journey, our first considerations are to set our kitchen up for success (outer) and on an inner level to have our heart and body feeling excited and positive about our foray into raw and living nutrition.
With just these basic considerations, this first chapter of our journey is typically pretty easy. Once we've mastered a few good recipes and can see and feel some positive changes, we tend to be feeling good and pretty pleased with ourselves, because these first changes are MAJOR and pivotal indeed.
However, once through this phase we have new issues to address if we are to pursue "this raw thing" more seriously and longer term. For instance, what about all those in our lives who think we have gone "extreme" or a little OTT with the vegetables?! And what about eating out at friend's houses or restaurants? And then there's those at work who think we're on a diet or have some kind of eating disorder. Any of the above sound familiar? I think by now you know very well what I'm talking about, right?!
Well in these situations this is the time to have a whole lot of compassion. And that's compassion for yourself and compassion for those who do not understand what you're up to. In these kinds of environments it is "going upstream" to stay raw (and don't we know it), but it can be done.... if you want to. I'm pausing here as it really is up to you whether you stick with raw or "do as the Romans" in upstream situations like these. For my own part, mostly I chose to go downstream with the herd in my early days of raw just for a quiet life, but, I think you know as well as I do, my inner life was not too quiet about it: "You've compromised just to make others happy... but are you happy Karen?" and similar kinds of chatter in my head and heart ensued each and every time.
So what's the solution?
Well, it depends on where you are in your raw food journey, so let me ask you this:
"Have you been through the phase yet where you clear a ton of clutter from your home and find yourself feeling introverted, thoughtful and wanting to stay home more often?"
If your answer is yes, then you're either in the "raw cocoon" stage or have gone through it. All perfectly normal and all necessary to find the space and time to reflect on the important things in life - i.e. "Who am I?" and "What do I really really want?"
It does indeed take a brave soul to address these questions at the best of times, but when we are new to raw it feels harder still, as we are almost afraid to hear the answers; we wonder, "Is what I'm about to hear about myself and my life on par with the apparent radical-ness of going raw?" and quite frankly it scares the living daylights out of most of us! Does this sound familiar?
The raw cocoon stage is where we move around to the centre of the Support model, having already enrolled the support of our body, kitchen and heart; now we are creating a sacred space *externally* so we can explore in our mind's eye what's really real in our current outside reality and from a place of peace decide how moving forward we are going to consciously choose to show up out there.
Most importantly, please note the use of the word "consciously" here. Most people live life rather haphazardly to say the least. Not you, though, right? In that cocoon, should you choose to weave it, you come face-to-face with the realisation that you can, if you so choose, consciously create a different future for yourself, and, if you're ready willing and brave enough, that future could indeed be very bright, very live and very raw!
For deep and soulful transformation to occur, we need to be in an expansive, supportive and illuminated space - one that speaks to our potential and definitely not our past. Is your home that bright, encouraging, inspiring and supportive space yet? Does your cocoon support your transformation or simply confuse it?
I have learned the hard way that trying to live in limbo with raw is a challenging and pretty unfulfilling path to take. Neither "cooked" nor "live", in this space we walk a path that is as confusing to us as those around us, and our lack of conviction makes for a very tricky, somewhat grey and often solitary journey.
My coach's challenge to you is to recognise and then act on the information that radiant transformation is not only your highest destiny and birthright but also is open to you at any moment. Just say the word and you will be guided in ways both seen and unseen to make the changes necessary to live the life that you were destined to live in your most live and awake form. Lofty thoughts, I know, but please take my word for it; having tried every raw path and every way of walking it, it is the one thing I know for sure, and therefore creating or securing the perfect environment for yourself to transform is one of the most powerful gifts you can give yourself, to others and indeed to the planet.
The bottom line is this: the confusion that can reign when "trying" to go raw is usually, if not always, directly attributable to the degree to which you do or don't relax into your own unfolding.
For those who resist, the struggle continues as long as the resistance. Therefore, by not creating the right environment for yourself to transform and then thrive you are, by default, creating or upholding an environment where it will be difficult if not impossible to stay raw. It's really as simple as that. The important thing is to stand in your power whatever you choose and not to let lack of awareness be the unseen problem that is preventing you from moving forward. Now, while I see all this clearly and know it from experience, that doesn't necessarily make it any easier to do, I know! When radical transformation is calling and "it's not a good time", you have two choices: Stay raw anyway, or return to what "works" with your current life until you feel ready for whatever is calling you.
In the next issue I'll be addressing the second part of this fascinating "environmental" journey. For those of you who are afraid to weave your cocoon and hear what needs to be heard as well as those who are in it right now, part two will explain what happens next, how and why this happens, as well as what this means for you, your own "private" universe and ultimately the planet your story plays out upon. Who knows a few inspirational words and understandings may just make all the difference.
Until then, happy pondering!
© 2010 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.