There have been many times along my raw food journey where I have had to consciously take stock and ask the question: "Who am I?"
Or rather more, and perhaps more accurately oftentimes:
"Who do I believe myself to be?"
Through coaching others and journaling my own experiences I have discovered that one of the most tumultuous aspects of the raw food journey for many can be the identity shifts that typically occur. Why? Because when we start changing physically we set off a chain reaction that affects our emotional, mental and spiritual bodies and quite often we are left wondering "Who on earth am I REALLY?"
For some this step into a "new Self" seems to be fairly straightforward, and they take to it like the proverbial duck to water, but for me (and many I have coached) it has often been a major struggle.
For my own part over the years as my raw food journey has progressed I have switched identities many times. And not intentionally I might add. The more I evolved as both adult and raw foodie, and the more layers that fell away, the more I realised that I could indeed do, be or have anything I wanted; the problem was "Who do I want to be? What do I want to do? And what do I want to have? - and WHY?"
Each time I answered this question a new reality would quickly ensue. Then I would find myself asking the question again. (The journey of our unfolding and evolving never ends)
Rather interestingly this sense of Self has changed for me many times over, and has spanned many different extremes in different areas of my life (e.g. one year I wanted to live with barely any possessions, another I wanted to know how it felt to be financially abundant). In fact now it happens on a near monthly basis which can be quite disconcerting to say the least, and so it's no surprise to me and to clients that sometimes we are left feeling bewildered as we desperately try to cling on to some sense of identity and yet...
I would like to invite you now to ask yourself:
"Who am I when I eat raw food and who am I when I don't?"
As you answer this question you may very well find yourself replying that in many ways you are the same person for sure, and in many other ways, if you're anything like me, then when eating high raw or all raw you are definitely very different also. Curious...
So who do you want to be???
For today I want to leave this particular line of exploration here (and I'm sure already you have a fair bit to ponder on!), but it does very much tie in with the theme of this week's article: how do we define what "success" looks like on raw food?
To me, like a lot of "stuff" about raw food, this is very subjective. I have always maintained (and this is a personal philosophy) that the concept of "Successfully Raw" is essentially about each individual feeling happy and healthy about where they are at with themselves and their raw food intake for THEM. Others see it as being about "100% or nothing" and staying there, but again, this is a personal perspective to them. Knowing people the way I have come to, getting to that place that I see as being "Successfully Raw" is effectively stage one and vital for everyone to find some place of equilibrium if only for a few weeks or months. After all, if we are not happy and healthy and stable within ourselves first, what on earth are we building on?
For this reason much of my early days coaching with people has revolved around helping people just to get into awareness, comfort and stability with themselves and their food before moving on to higher raw, and I have found this works very well for myself and others. In effect - let ANYTHING be OK. And that means ANYTHING. Whether you are munching on French fries 24/7 when you're trying to go raw, or running to the cookie jar every time your emotions get the better of you, do know that the chances are that you will struggle to go high raw or beyond until you make peace first with where you're at. So: "Let ANYTHING be OK".
Even just these words sometimes are enough for a client to shed a tear or two, especially if they were trying SO HARD to be 100% raw and it just wasn't happening.
When you let anything be OK you become your own best friend rather than your worst enemy, and it is so much easier to move forward easily then, rather than to remain constantly locked in a Jekyll and Hyde type situation around food.
In fact I have to constantly remind people that the first leg of my journey took FIVE years. Most people these days are trying to go raw within 5 weeks or 5 months... which is fine for some (some people even do it overnight) but for most is simply not the case. And anyway - How raw is raw? That again is very subjective. I say YOU decide. Unless you do I don't believe you will find that peace and happiness that is so needed for you to evolve peacefully and gracefully on your journey.
So for this week...
If "Successfully Raw" meant being 100% happy and healthy with yourself and your raw food intake, how do you rate yourself for this right now, today?
Just write down the first figure out of 100 that springs to mind.
If you scored less than 100 and are ready for more, now dig a little deeper with this and ask yourself:
"What needs to happen to bring me and my food to where I want them to be?"
And see what answers you get.
What you hear may be as simple as a mind or belief shift, or some practical steps being taken in your home, kitchen or other environment or re-connecting to your passion for raw living, or maybe upgrading or tweaking other areas of your life so that you can find that place of peace within yourself. It really can be anything.
Just know that, as far as I'm concerned, as long as you're genuinely happy and healthy with where you're at in Self and raw food terms then in my eyes you're Successfully Raw plus some :)
© 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.