Being raw means so much more to me than just the food I eat physically. Being raw also affects me mentally and emotionally as well.
Every time I eat a diet consisting fully of light, water rich, high-energy, raw foods, I start to uncover and unleash some thoughts and emotions that might have been ignored or buried for a long time. This is not always comfortable and in fact, it’s often painful. I find self-esteem issues come up which leave me feeling unloved, unlovable, sensitive, regretful and defensive. None of these emotions feel good and some days feel like a big struggle.
The positive aspect of this is that without cooked foods, alcohol or junk food to numb and distract me I have the opportunity to work on myself on deeper levels.
It’s not that the challenges go away easier, its that the path to work on them is much clearer than normal. Every step seems to get me closer to my goal rather than the familiar, one step forward, two steps back approach when I’m numbing and distracting myself.
After a talk at the UK fruit festival on Self-Love by Elyse from Raw Alignment I realized that all of the issues I struggle with inside myself stem from a lack of self-love. It’s not that I never practice self-love because I do. I consistently focus on getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, eating whole, plant-based foods, exercising regularly, making gratitude lists and positive affirmations. Still, I believe our habits and emotions exist in layers and one of the best things about the raw food diet is how effectively it peels the layers back.
Some things I have been doing each morning to work on self love are:
- Saying, “I love myself unconditionally just as I am. I am worthy of love from myself and from others. I am worthy of abundance. I forgive myself. I am gentle with myself”.
- 10 minutes of mindful meditation where I sit and listen to my breath. When my mind wanders I gently bring it back to my breath. I sometimes think the word; “love” when I inhale and the word, “peace” when I exhale.
- Making a list of what I’m grateful for
- Making a list of my ideal day
When the negative emotions come up I try to breath through them and notice where they physically exist in my body. I also ask myself if what Im thinking or feeling is 100% true and how I know it’s true. Then, I allow the feelings and emotions to be there and take some time for myself.
These negative feelings are stronger and more present are if I’m low on sugar, water or lacking sleep. So, I check in with myself first to see if one of those three things need to be attended to. Whether or not they do I know that all feelings and emotions are valuable and there to teach me on this beautiful journey through life.