January 15, 2014

What We Can Learn from What We Crave. ~ Kate Bartolotta & Bryonie Wise

  Want to catch up on the full moon juice feast? Start here, followed by here, next.

Kate Says:

The funny thing about this particular juice feast is that it isn’t that different from how I eat most days anyway. The biggest difference is intention. As Bry mentioned, we sometimes have those mental (and physical) tantrums when we decide to take something away or that we “can’t” have it. But when it’s something we don’t want—when we truly internalize that we don’t like how it makes us feel—it’s no big deal.

Sometimes when people hear I have Celiac, the reaction is poor you…don’t you miss bread/pasta/beer? Do you wish there was a cure? And honestly, no. I don’t ever feel like that. I feel so much better not having constant physical pain that wanting bread, etc. isn’t even on my mental radar. I sometimes will eat gluten free versions of that kind of food, but at some point I internalized that fact that my life feels better physically and mentally without it.

Sometimes this happens with substances, sometimes it happens with people and situations, but often before it happens, we need to learn to really take a close look at what we crave and what it actually means.

Do we really want caffeine, or do we actually want more rest? Both things are helpful, but sometimes it takes pausing and looking a little deeper to know what you actually want and need. Do we really want a cookie? Or do we actually want more genuine sweetness in life—a hug, a listening ear, some asana practice, beautiful music, or—again—rest?

Sometimes, we actually do want the cookie/coffee/glass of wine/brie and celebrating life with food that nourishes something in our spirits rather than just our bodies isn’t a bad thing. But taking the time to pause and examine what we truly want is necessary if we are ever going to be filled.

When I was actively practicing stress management, one exercise I gave clients was to make a list of the things they wanted to “have” and break each down to the level of what they hoped to “feel” if they attained it. Many people start January looking to lose x number of pounds, or even more vague—to get in shape, be healthier. Whether or not they need to do that is secondary; what they are actually seeking is to feel better about themselves. Sometimes when life gets out of balance we either put on extra weight or end up not taking in enough and becoming depleted. Sometimes we take on too much or aren’t receiving enough heart nourishment. Whatever we are craving, taking a moment to breathe and ask what it is we truly want will help us feel more at home in our bodies and our hearts.

Today, I tried to pack more into the day than I should have, and I realized it pretty early on. It happens…that whole ego writing checks our bodies can’t cash thing. I gulped down my beet, carrot and romaine juice in the car, wishing it would magically be coffee instead.

(It wasn’t.)

So when I finally had a break in the day that I had planned to fill with more busyness, instead I took some time to lay on my bed and ask myself what I was craving.

In the midst of all the doing, and going, and making and connecting…I wanted a few minutes to make something that was just for me.

And so I turned off all of the things that plug in, beep and buzz, made a cup of tea, and wrote a story in my journal, pulling from the amazing dream I had last night, which so rudely interrupted by my pre-dawn alarm.

That small gap of time fed something in me that was lacking.

In ordinary time, if I had decided to press on and ignore how I felt, or try to dampen that sense of craving with coffee/sugar/etc. it wouldn’t have really fixed anything. It would not have addressed what I truly desired.

Whether you are joining us in our juice feast this week, or just reading along, may you find a moment to listen to what your heart and body are craving. And then instead of pushing it aside, may you nourish yourself with exactly what you need.


Bryonie Says:

And so today, amongst the busy of my day, in the two jars of juice my body soaked up, fueled by countless cups of ginger tea, I’ve learned this:

I crave settling into a cabin in the woods.

I crave a roaring fire, a mug of tea, sleeping fur babes and a good book.

I crave waking with the sun and sleeping with the moon.

I crave big breakfasts full of good food and big cups of delicious coffee, followed by slow days in which the hidden parts of me start to unfold.

I crave a quiet mind, laughter that starts in my belly, conscious movement and a breath so deep my lungs are freed of their grief.

I crave afternoons spent writing pages and pages of words that find their way from my heart to my finger tips.

I crave moments that settle me into this moment, this, here, now.

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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: elephant archives

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