I recently participated in a 30-day raw food challenge with some friends. Halfway through the month, some folks had a hard time “sticking with it,” and wanted to find ways to make a mental shift so it would seem easier.
Here are a few ideas that seem to help me when I’m dealing with emotions.
1) Noticing them, as an outsider. As in, I’m feeling sad, and a little lonely, because my gang is drinking margaritas and margaritas are not raw vegan, and I’m eating Raw Vegan until the end of this month.
2) I read somewhere that *emotions* only last about 90 seconds. So I take a few deep breaths, and wait for it to pass.
3) *Thoughts* on the other hand, get stuck on loop in our minds and make us bonkers! I found this hard to hear, but eventually helpful to know that deprived (or for me, it’s abused, taken for granted, abandoned) isn’t an emotion, it’s a perception. And the power in that is it can be reframed.
4) Once you recognize the emotion, you can identify an associated need (I need to feel included, abundant, fun loving…) and find another way to fill it.
5) *DISCLAIMER: I personally am on a deschooling journey right now, and am always on the lookout for soul food (in the ethereal sense! Not collard greens) and therefore am anti-strict rules for myself. But I keep asking myself, WHY am I doing this challenge? What do I want to get from it? My answer is, a healthier, peaceful relationship with food (for me, not the raw vegan label, not weight loss – they are side benefits but not my objective). For me to get that relationship that I want, I need to feel abundance and not power struggle or control, which are functions of scarcity and trigger fight-or-flight symptoms. So, I ask myself, what is it I want? Then, I consider it, and decide *in that moment*. Sometimes, that means I choose soup for dinner instead of smoothie. But I find that when I honor myself rather than manipulate through self control, I am happy to be in and stay on this challenge. I see myself sometimes choosing something “against the rules” but in way smaller quantities than I would if I grumbled and dreamed about it for two more weeks and then overindulged to heal my deprivation, as I have in the past.
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