There's a theme that runs through my coaching work and it's been (and still is) true for me, and I know, if you too
are a human being also, then it'll surely be true for you.
When you begin dabbling with raw food to any significant degree (say 50% +) chances are that you will start to think and feel differently to how you did before.
You will find yourself, automatically, asking bigger questions around a lot of things, but at the very least about the foods you have eaten previously, comparing their purity and integrity to the raw foods you're now eating...and finding yourself very much feeling the divide.
Over time this divide becomes increasingly apparent, and it's here that we face the hurdle:
Do we jump the fence into the field of 100% honesty and find what really works optimally for us or do we do a U-turn and stay in the twilight world where "bad" food is sometimes "good" and "good" food is always "good" (but that feels annoying!)?
Looking back to the start of my own journey, I recall many more times than I
care to remember, that I flat out refused to believe that raw food could make
so much difference to me.
I fought it. I denied it. I tested it. I closed my eyes to the results and talked myself out of it. And finally, as you would expect, I turned my back on it.
But of course, truth being as it is, it kept tugging at my conscience and so turning my back for a day, week, month or more was never, ever the end of it!
And so later, when I was going through a good patch, where life was good and the food was good too, eventually, after seeing things with open and honest eyes, I would admit it. Raw food DID make the world of difference. How annoying!! (This whole little routine happened many, many times over the first 5 years).
At that point, when I was 100% honest with myself and all was aligned, I would very happily jump that hurdle into raw food land and enjoy those fairer pastures, where I would run around joyfully for days, weeks or even months at a time with no desire whatsoever to jump back over the fence again and into that twilight zone.
And then there would be times, after a little while, when I'd look back over my shoulder and realise that 99.99% of the people I knew (and cared for) were in fact not even on the horizon, let alone approaching that jump out of the twilight zone or U-turning away from it.
And that felt bad. And wrong. And sad. And lonely.
And more often than not I would weigh everything up and say, "You know, I would rather be with people than raw and virtually alone."
And back I would go. Jumping back over into oven ready meals, tubs of ice-cream and bottles of vino, "celebrating" my return to "the real world" and greeting my friends and family with "I'm taking a more balanced approach; this is much more realistic." (And they would sigh with relief and welcome me back to the fold, and say "here, have a cheese sandwich and a glass of wine. Now you can enjoy life again!!")
And then I would crash.
Before not-very-long-at-all I'd feel awful physically, sad emotionally, confused mentally and disconnected spiritually.
And then I'd just feel even more confused because I wanted the best of both worlds, but as far as I could see that just wasn't going to happen.
So what to do?
Well, as I said, after many many times of doing this whole "hang out - jump - hang out - jump back" routine, I finally had to have a good chat with myself!
"Karen," I said, "Let's be honest here: How do you really feel when you're on raw?"
I could finally be honest with myself; I was being direct, I was asking the right question and I was waiting to hear my own answers. Big relief. And scary and exciting too...
And my list went something like this:
And the next question of course was:
"And how do you feel when you go back to cooked? Yes, even a little?"
And my list read...
You get the picture!
When we have evidence in front of our eyes like that we have a choice. We can either continue to go against what our own self tells us and try to go back or fit in or even try to walk the line between two worlds (not easy or fun), or we can commit to following what I affectionately term "the yellow brick road" and commit not to raw food per se (this is my truth and it may not be yours), but a life that is built on 100% honesty and commitment to our own truth however that shows up.
As it turned out, the moment I committed to my own truth my whole world changed. No exaggeration.
After years of yo-yoing and jumping back and forth trying to avoid the truth about raw foods and me for fear of what it meant, once I had matured enough to realise that "to thine own self be true" was the ultimate philosophy to live by (not just for me but for all of us I believe), I took my mixture of fear and excitement and turned it into action. There just wasn't anywhere left to go!
I committed to being raw (and now I had clarity it felt very joyful and easy now at this stage), I committed to finding my life purpose, I committed to finding a place to live that would support me and act as a "cocoon" while I metamorphosised into the more fully congruent me, and I committed to doing whatever else it took to stay on that yellow brick road, to walk it with a spring in my step and a song in my heart and not to look back.
It's been a few years now since that happened. It was the spring of 1998 and when I committed to me and to my truth, and not only did I go 100% raw, but I left London, went to work in a meditation centre, manifested a car, a flatshare and very soon after a wonderfully positioned and perfectly sized house (all for me!) overlooking Ely cathedral, and needless to say my whole life changed completely. I truly felt I was living my bliss.
Since then, it has changed way further still. To go into details would take another 5 articles and some I'm sure, and I'm still walking that yellow brick road today.
Can I honestly say I never turned back?
No, I can't. There was a time between late 2003 and late 2005 where I really did turn my back on the whole thing. Three very emotionally turbulent events all hit within the space of one month and they threw me so off beam that I really didn't care what road I was on, because I felt so much pain and loss and so many other painful emotions at that time that nothing else mattered apart from getting out of that place in one piece, re-aligned and feeling sane!
Eventually, after my two years in the wilderness where I was semi-raw I woke up from the half-life I had cocooned myself into and decided I was ready to get back on the road again. It was a fairly slow rise from my couch potato status to reach the end of that particular story, but once I had got my faith back in life and the perfection of it again (seeing that in spite of the pain and turbulence, everything had worked out for the best after all) I rejoined my path with a renewed sense of joy, purpose and understanding that I never had before.
And as I got back into raw foods again once more the magic began to kick in. Once more, as reliably predictable as the sun rising and the sun setting, the way I felt on raw foods returned and it was as if I had never been away.
Once more on purpose my life moved back into the "magic zone". Things flowed, I felt aligned and in the right place headed in the right direction. What a huge relief.
And with that faith once again renewed and knowing that live food would NEVER let me down and had a level of integrity, energy and purity that no other foods seemed to have, I once again gravitated towards my own truth and kept on walking.
Ever since that time I have found increasing delight in plunging the depths of honesty, integrity and even intimacy with myself (from my cells out physically and from my heart out emotionally), which really is a non-negotiable fundamental when it comes to living a truly fulfilling, heartfelt, soul-led life.
Today I find that naturally as part of my work I now very much attract clients who are at all stages of that journey. Some are in the twilight zone, fighting it like I did (not just the food but the whole kit and caboodle of what being truly honest means!), some have made the leap but are now wondering what they've let themselves in for, and others are happily and consciously walking the yellow brick road but need ongoing assistance and support and handholding from someone who has trodden that path before.
Whatever stage of the journey you are at, my main message for this time is to know that, although the journey to rawdom can appear very scary at times, it really is the safest territory on earth that we are walking when we start that journey towards our highest, most vibrant and fully alive version of truth.
What else is there, really?!
© 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.