One of the things I see all too often in health seekers, including my past self, is the (negative) focus on what hasn't been done or achieved with body/health/weight as opposed to what has.
It is so easy to forget as we focus on moving forward how far we have already come, how many strides we have already made and how extra-ordinary we really are... (in a good way!). And it is also all too easy to become self-critical and even self-destructive as we measure ourselves against what we perceive we "should" have achieved, who we think we "should" be or compare ourselves to others, real or imaginary, in any way shape or form.
Remember, wherever you are at right now, it's all good, in fact it's "perfect" and it's where you're supposed to be - even if it doesn't look or feel the way you want it to right now. It is what it is, and all of us need to learn to accept what is before we can move mindfully and successfully into the realm of conscious creation. So be at peace with where you're at because right now, it's where you are - and when you know where you are, and when you know where you want to be then and only then can you chart your map in a way that is far more likely to get you there, and we'll be talking more about this later.
For right now, today I'd like to set you a coaching challenge that will really make you consider how amazing you are.
Sure, typically my work and all coaching-type activities are usually all about goal setting, stepping up, growing and reaching new goals, and yet in every journey, inner or outer, there is and ideally always should be a time for pausing, reflecting, assessing and congratulating before moving on. And sometimes, just sometimes, it just might alter the course of where you decide to go next...
There are two options I'd like to invite you to choose from today. The first is the longer, more in-depth challenge, the second a mini feel-good challenge. Have a read and decide which one is right for you.
1) The Whole Life Review
a) Using either pen and paper or fingers and keyboard, describe your dietary journey from the day you were born until the present day. (It doesn't have to be in minute detail! We are simply looking at your food journey here.)
b) As you go, highlight the positive changes that you have made along the way, whether you consider them to be large or small - everything counts. Take into account the obvious milestones such as leaving any "negative influence" foods and drinks (and even substances) behind such as tea, coffee, sugar, refined salt, commercially processed wheat, meat, fish, cheese etc. [Note that it's not my definition of negative influence foods that counts but your own here. The above are just some examples to get you going.] As you reflect on each one, recognise that you can and DO have the power to change your mind and your life at any moment - as you already have done!
c) Next, think more broadly and take into account any learning you have acquired through your own endeavours - the books you have read, the events you have attended, the further training/s you have acquired, the people you have connected with, the recipes you have invented, the changes you have made in your home, the people whose lives you have touched, the maladies, illnesses or even diseases you have healed and so on... all these things and more are HUGE. Do not underestimate how far you have come and the impact your choices and actions have had on yourself and those around you.
d) When you have finished writing your story and arrive at TODAY take at least 10 minutes to really look back now and take in fully just how far you have travelled. Congratulate yourself, give yourself a huge hug or pat on the back! Consider buying yourself a gift or reward for all your great work (have you ever done that before? If not, why not? Trust me, you're worth it).
If you feel ready to take this exercise one step further so you can take some learning from what you wrote, then I'd like you to:
e) Take a look at what was going in your life each time you made a shift. What had happened or was happening in your life externally and/or what was going on in your heart and mind internally? What patterns can you see?
f) As a result of what you unearthed in the exercise above, what have you learned about yourself and what works for you? What is your ideal environment for making changes? What needs to be true for you to make changes? Are there certain things that make it easier for you to change? Are there things that really hold you back from making changes? What was true on all the occasions where you made the most radical changes or took the biggest leaps?
By taking a close look at all of these things, you have masses that you can take forward with you on the next stage of your journey. For this reason of course I highly recommend you choose the above exercise rather than the one that follows (the more you put in, the more you get out!) but if you're not up for doing the work that is Challenge Option 1 then here's the lighter version which will still give you something to be getting on with...
2) The Feel-Good Review
This challenge will take about 10-15 minutes and is for you if you're not in the mood for great changes right now but would at least like to see how far you've come and give yourself some love and appreciation!
I'd like you to think back to the time you first made a shift to more raw foods.
If you have not already made this shift to a point that you consider "noteworthy" then work with another dietary shift you have made that you felt really good about.
a) Down the left hand side of your page list out all the things that were true for you before you made the shift, including health issues, emotional issues, and any other things that didn't feel good about your body, self or life pre the change. (Make this list as long as you can - it's worth spending time here.)
b) Next, detail the changes that you made specifically. To save time you might like to just list them out as bullet points such as:
* Gave up red meat
* Gave up all dairy
* Started eating salads with every meal
* Introduced green smoothies on a regular basis
* Bought a juicer
* Cleaned out my kitchen etc.
c) Next, down the right hand side of the page list out how you felt after the shift, compared to each "before" that you wrote on your paper. So, for example, if you wrote "Emotional yo-yoing" in the left hand column, you may find yourself writing "Emotionally stable 99% of the time" in the right. Really see the difference!
d) Congratulate yourself on how far you have come! Look at what changes you have made and how they have benefited you. Let it sink in at what you have gained so far from making this big change.
e) Having really taken in the magnitude of what has transpired, decide what might be next for you on your health seeking journey and jot down some ideas, thoughts and feelings about those ideas.
Whichever challenge you choose to take on, I know you are going to be blown away by how far you have come. All of us are guilty of often forgetting how much we have grown.
Yes, there is always further along the path to walk, but for today I want you to stand fully upright tall and strong in RIGHT NOW, take a long compassionate look over your shoulder and give yourself a long loving hug and that recommended reward or treat for all you have done for yourself (and humanity, in fact) as you have made positive changes in your life.
Have you impressed yourself? I'm sure you have! Congratulations!
© 2012 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.