Soon after I started practicing holistic nutrition in 2016, I’d come to realize that assessing someone’s situation and providing nutritional and lifestyle recommendations is only a piece of the puzzle. Then my clients have to go home and find a way to incorporate these changes into their busy and often stressful lives. Anybody that’s tried to incorporate better habits knows it’s not easy. I felt like I was failing all of them.
For 2 years, I was relentless with my social media posting; trying to inspire my community by displaying simple ways to incorporate better foods. Meanwhile trying to stay on top of every new health fad/trend, using myself as a guinea pig, listening to endless podcasts, webinars and nutritional summits desperately hoping to discover that ONE THING I’d been missing that could really help my clients.
Something wasn’t working. I had been trying so hard to be perfect while watching myself become more and more ill. In the fall of 2018 I stopped taking in new clients, stopped posting on social media, and turned my attention inwards for what became an entire year of self reflection.
This is what I learned:
1- FORCING doesn’t work.
I had been pushing so hard to learn more, do better & be perfect and none of it was working. I had to slow WAY down. I came across this beautiful video on Facebook, and promptly took on the mantra “less doing more being”. Eckhart Tolle (one of my all-time favourite teachers), also reminds us that even with the best of intentions, if your actions aren’t coming from a place of presence/consciousness, your ego will surely get in the way.
2- Things take time.
NOBODY likes to accept this in our world today. I know I don’t, and I know my clients didn’t. But if you don’t allow for time, well, read #1 above. So I started prioritizing meditating. The one thing I’ve known for years could expand my potential while simultaneously avoiding it at all costs because life feels too busy for it. As soon as I sit on my cushion I notice a flood of thoughts about all the things I should be doing instead of sitting still and following my breath.
3- Focusing on the desired end result takes us out of the present moment.
When I get inspired about something, boy can I run with it. It can almost feel manic. Whenever it happens I can hear my mother in my head saying “Sounds like you’ve got a bee in your bonnet”. The other side of this inspiration mania looks something along the lines of adrenal fatigue and disappointment because (see #2).
4- Our undesirable habits (addictions) are coping mechanisms for unresolved stress, emotions or trauma
People who eat when they’re stressed, or can’t give up the things they’re allergic to, or the wine, beer, pot etc. every evening to unwind, or the junk food, are masking SOMETHING. Telling them “hey this isn’t good for you, try eating/doing this instead” is not addressing the reason they’re doing it, and willpower eventually runs dry. I had to face my own coping mechanisms before I could truly see and appreciate this. How did I do this? Eating properly, prioritizing sleep, movement, fresh air, journaling and lots and lots of meditation. And it wasn’t/isn’t a linear process, but each step forward builds a foundation for a different way of living and coping, despite set backs.
So, what now? I’ve decided to start a weekly group mediation (by donation) to share space & serve my community while strengthening my own practice, Tuesday evenings beginning October 1st, 2019. If it’s a big turnout, I’ll add a second evening in November. If you’re interested, send me a message for details.
I’m also seeing clients again 🙂