Health and Happiness–Taking Charge
Since I am in the business of health and happiness, I usually do not raise my voice at clients. And … I did not quite yell at one lovely young lady with type one diabetes, as she reached for her thermos of sugary coffee, the instant I completed her colonic. However, I spoke to her in the sharpest and most serious voice I could muster.
I stared intently into her eyes and said, “You are going to drink that, now? You have to know better. You are long overdue for taking charge of your health. That rebellious, angry kid inside you wants to eat junk and sabatoge you. This is destroying your health and happiness; and someday, it could cost you your life.”
You see, I had spent a long time carefully detailing her health history, which included diabetes, migraines, severe constipation, fibromyalgia, and neuropathy. This long list also included three operations for the neuropathy. I listened intently to the accounts of her husband, adoring ten-year-old son, and frustrated mother–who daily plead with her to take care of herself. Yet she skips breakfast and often, lunch, and refuses to exercise. Mind you, this young woman is bright, educated, and beautiful. She has her whole life ahead of her–one that could be brimming with health and happiness.
Why Do We Crave Junk Food?
Why does she sabotage herself daily? Why do we do things that are not good for us? As the flight attendant’s instruction warns us in emergency to put on our oxygen masks first, we may not feel it natural to care for ourselves with such ferocity. Understanding how the brain works and why we struggle with self-love is important, so we can rescue ourselves when we fall into sabotage’s grip–and forgive ourselves when we blow it, yet again.
With the stubborn force like a toddler’s tantrum, conditioning moves us to the familiar, and away from the unknown. My struggling client’s most familiar state is self-loathing. Yes, she is angry and resentful about the restrictions her illness imposes, but beneath that, is anger at herself. She sees herself as broken and unlovable. While those closest to her may take it personally, she is not choosing coffee over smoothies to hurt them. She makes these choices because she feels she does not deserve health and happiness. Can you relate to that? I can.
With every food you choose, ask yourself: Am I practicing self-love right now?
If the answer is “No,” count to ten slowly, with deep, long breaths, before you take that bite. Then ask the question again. Some days you will eat that junk food anyway. But, more often, you will not. Know that you are worth it, and because you have a life purpose that requires your presence, mental strength and courage, you can make new choices. You have a unique gift, and eating junk and feeling horrible blocks the sharing of that gift.
Building Health and Happiness with Self-Love
You may be conditioned, as was both myself and client, to see yourself as small and inconsequential. Change that belief system right now! No one can do it for you. Self-love is a verb, not a noun, and requires work and patience on the road to health and happiness. Remember, it is easy to practice self-love when you succeed. However, self-love can be tough to continue when you “fail,” but that is the most critical time to be gentle. Practicing self-love involves re-wiring your brain to stop judging your intention to become whole. Giving your brain new thinking patterns is big job, but I promise, you can do it.
The best way to practice self-love, and learn new tools to optimize your health and happiness is with others who are fighting to do the same! Join us in April for the Spring Happy-Gut Makeover!