So I’ve been doing this Whole30 cleanse/diet–I’m sure many of you have heard of it. Basically you cut out all grains, soy, legumes, sugar, alcohol, and dairy for 30days in order to allow your body to heal from any foods that might contribute to inflammation and then slowly and intentionally add foods back in to see how your body responds, so that you know which foods feel good in your body and which don’t. The idea is to increase body awareness, eat cleaner foods, have more energy, feel clearer, and just feel better overall.
Right now I’m on week #3, during which you’re supposed to have ‘tiger blood’ and here’s what they say about that: ‘You’ve hit the downhill slope of your Whole30 and life is beautiful. Your energy is through the roof, you’ve kicked the cravings, you’re experimenting with new, delicious food, and you’ve finally got the time to notice that your clothes fit better, your workouts are stronger, and you are generally more awesome’ So you can imagine how I might be feeling given that I’m not experiencing any of this at all!! Can you relate? Have you ever tried something anticipating certain outcomes based on what happens for others and then it doesn’t happen for you? It’s so frustrating!! Not only am I feeling low energy, I’m still clearing out a cold so my sinuses are congested and I just feel overall foggy….and so frustrated. I’ve been tempted to just throw in the towel and say ‘this doesn’t work for me’.
This morning I was reminded of a theme that’s been coming up for me around ‘acceptance’. So I began thinking about how I’m resisting what’s happening for me currently and how can I bring more acceptance in? Here’s what resistance looks like for me right now: ‘I should be feeling differently’ ‘This cleanse isn’t working for me’ ‘I should have never done this’ ‘I should have more energy.’ The result of these thoughts is that I become more frustrated, more contracted in my body, and I feel more like giving up. On the other hand, here’s what acceptance might look like: I think ‘It’s okay that I still have low energy’ ‘It’s okay that I’m feeling disappointed’ ‘It’s okay that I feel frustrated’. When I allowed my experience to be what it was this morning, I noticed a shift in my whole being, a softening, a deep breath, a settling, and some relief at being okay with ‘what is’. I notice I’m not feeling as frustrated or annoyed and I feel more deeply connected to myself. I’m still disappointed but it doesn’t feel as charged.
This has been a great opportunity to practice how shifting the way I’m thinking about something can dramatically shift my experience of it. Are there any things in your life right now that you’re resisting? How are you feeling as a result? ‘Shoulds’ are a great red flag for resistance and a great way to invite more acceptance is to say to yourself ‘It’s okay that __________.’ It’s not easy but it’s pretty simple. Just notice what you’re feeling in present moment and if you’re feeling any resistance, say ‘It’s okay that ____’. If it feels like you aren’t taking it in, try saying it several times or try saying ‘It’s okay that it’s hard to accept ______ ‘ and just notice. There’s not a right or a wrong way here. If you do this and don’t experience a shift, don’t do what I did with the Whole30 and think ‘I should be feeling something that I’m not!’, but instead just let that be too. ‘It’s okay that I’m not feeling any settling.’ ‘It’s okay that nothing is shifting.’
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences as you’re trying this out. Let me know if you have any questions.
Challenge: Notice any time ‘shoulds’ come up or you feel like you’re resisting something in your present experience. Pause and say to yourself ‘It’s okay that (whatever your present experience/feeling is)‘. Notice what shifts or stays the same. And then accept that, too 🙂
Affirmation: May you be at peace with all parts of your present experience.