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Most of us have foods that feel very comforting to us. Everyone has their own particular favorites – mostly they seem to be soft things like ice cream and mashed potatoes. Throughout our lives we find many sensual things to give us comfort when we’re stressed or just unhappy.
The thing is, while ice cream might feel comforting while we’re eating it, and it might put us into a sugar high or a stupor, it’s not actually comforting to us. If we feel the food is bringing the comfort then, in A Course in Miracles terms, it’s become a false idol to us. What about the Holy Comforter? Many people when they go to the comfort foods for comfort they ending up judging themselves and then feeling badly and more unhappy or stressed then before.
What happens next is a lot of us go into despair and hopelessness. We pile on a mountain of self-judgment and that’s unkind and self-destructive.
We’re loving ourselves free of judgment, pain and suffering and let’s do it with a new perspective on comfort food. Instead of repeating those same old cycles, let’s give all the cravings to the Higher Holy Self for healing!
I’ve learned that there’s a switch that I can flip in my mind that removes the association I’ve made of something with another thing. For instance, I used to LOVE LOVE LOVE kettle corn. I call it Kettle CRACK Corn because it was so addictive for me – like crack cocaine! (Not that I was ever addicted to crack cocaine.) If you don’t know what kettle corn is, it’s popcorn that’s cooked with both sugar and salt and so it’s got a little bit of a salty sweet glaze on it. I used to have a real thing for salty crunchy treats and I also had a life long love affair with caramel corn. Kettle corn seemed like the less “sinful” cousin to caramel corn, and it also had the salty. YUM!
For years, I would get a bag of kettle corn every Sunday on the way home from Agape because the guy who made it right there in front of you had a booth in the parking lot on Sundays. The smell of it was irresistible. I made it my Sunday supper and that was a wonderful self-indulgence. Especially on a Sunday when I was singing in the choir three services and I’d literally be at Agape from about 6am to 2pm. By the time I was heading home, I was ready to chillax with my kettle crack corn and watch a movie – disconnect and unwind.
Well, when I began to really deepen my spiritual practice and KEEP my commitment to live a non-judgmental life, something interesting began to happen. I would walk right by the kettle crack corn man. I didn’t even notice him. Seriously. I’d go on my way home and have something healthy for dinner. I was in a different frame of mind – all the time – because of my spiritual practice. You see, it’s really true:
Spiritual practice SAVES time that would otherwise be spent in suffering.
Invest in spiritual practice rather than in suffering.
Now, I’d like to be really clear here – I feel strongly that having delicious treats is a fun and wonderful part of life. My father loves to make pies and all kinds of yummy treats like cinnamon rolls and homemade ice cream. My dad makes the best cookies EVER. I’m ALL IN for that! There’s nothing wrong with having delicious treats. That’s a whole different thing from self-medication.
There are times when the perfect supper is an ice cream sundae and the perfect breakfast is pancakes with whipped cream. I’ve had pie for breakfast many a day and there’s nothing wrong with that. Food choices aren’t wrong. We learn to look at WHY we’re choosing it. Is it a false idol. Is it a poor substitute for God’s Love? Is it a drug? Our spiritual awakening requires our paying attention to our motivation and our beliefs.
Having treats is a different thing from comforting and medicating with food. Very different.
I feel it’s so important not to shame ourselves into a good habit. That’s not helpful because it’s not healing. We’re loving ourselves free. It really is the only way to go.
Remember, the cravings are in the mind and that’s where we’re doing our healing. We’re working with the body to detox our mind. I’ve fasted many times, and when I did my first fast the results were so dramatic – I really got it that there’s a profound body – mind – Spirit – emotional body connection. The more I detoxed, the more my mind dropped the negative thinking and the more I felt like my TRUE Self in all ways!
In our facebook group, people have shared about missing their comfort food – some folks can’t resist and some folks are finding their way to stick to the 40 days. Please share your experiences! One thing I’ve gotten clarity on is that the more intense the temptation, the more healing there when I don’t give in to it. Healing builds momentum. The temptation is an opportunity to turbo charge the healing! Take it that way and it’s a PLUS!
REMEMBER: When stress brings up the temptation to self-medicate choose self-nurturing and cultivating that willingness to look at the thought that causes the stress – rather than manage and cope with circumstances. Strengthen your alignment with Love and remember to choose transcendence – PRAY and Partner UP! Build the healthy habit!
Nothing tastes as good as Joy feels!
On the cleanse side of life: One of the important parts of this detox/cleanse is the liquid breakfast and liquid dinner. Once you get into the 21 days suggested in the book, really see if you can stick to that. Taking the 12 hours between dinner and breakfast is to let your digestive system rest. The liquid meals are low impact on the digestive system. It’s in the resting phase that the system has the opportunity to do the healing and repair work since it’s not having to work so hard at digesting and breaking the food down. That repair work is going to shift your serotonin levels. It’s worth it! Remember, people have healed their depression this way! It’s about Self-Love, baby!
If you’re finding what I’m sharing to be helpful won’t you please share at facebook and twitter to let others know? Thank you!
Come run away with me! Check out my Stop Playing Small Retreat this May in North Carolina! ALSO I’m offering my Spiritual Counseling Intensive Training again – check it out, also in May in North Carolina!