What Are You Really Craving?

This post was originally published by me a year ago on Facebook, on 12 April 2017. Since it resonated with people so deeply, I’m reposting it here on my blog.

One of the markers you’re truly happy: you’re pulled only to food that’s great for you.

I’ve struggled with eating disorders since the age of 9. For much of that time I’d have irresistible food cravings, and I’d binge on sugar and dairy. For some of that time it was visible externally, but for much it wasn’t, because I’d cover it up with ridiculous amounts of exercise and fat burning supplements.

Now I’m a certified health coach, and for the last year (and for much of the last 4 years), I’ve eaten clean, fresh and often organic food most of the time. But for my first 3 months after returning to London from New York, I was struggling in silence with reverse culture shock, feeling isolated amidst the pressures of entrepreneurship and finding my feet again, and it happened again. Those insatiable urges. You’d think I’d never eaten before. And it finally really hit me.

Not just that positive emotions, relationships, purpose, balance, and time in nature are as much food as real food, but that very specifically, we’re pulled to sugar when we’re searching for emotional sweetness, and dairy for serenity – which is incredibly effective at alleviating anxiety.

Each time I’ve committed to finding ways to get more sweetness, more emotional connection and serenity in my life that don’t involve food, those food cravings have stopped. And as soon as I stop making my emotional needs a priority, they return.

If you’re craving bad food or even giving into it, whether for the first time or whether it’s so normal you barely even question it anymore, whatever you do don’t judge yourself. Look at yourself with the compassion you would show a friend and ask yourself what’s really going on. Go on an emotional treasure hunt. Ask yourself what’s really missing. Because it’s almost certainly not food.

And if it’s sugar, ask yourself how you can experience more sweetness. Ask yourself what you need to do to experience more connection, more love, more intimacy, and quality time with people who make you feel good. If it’s dairy, ask yourself how you can experience more serenity, more self care, bubble baths, candles, meditation, vacation/holiday time, whatever healthy forms of decompression make you feel most contented.

Are You Giving To Your Body, Or Simply Testing It?

Are You Giving To Your Body, Or Simply Testing It?“Yoga is something you give your body, not a test you give it or a hoop to make it jump through.”

On hearing these words from my yoga teacher yesterday at The Life Centre, I was reminded how much of the exercise I’ve done in my life has been to punish or to test my body.

To make it jump through hoops to prove itself.

What a way to relate to your forever home.

But for the last three years, it’s been different.

I’ve worked out because it feels good to.

Both mentally and physically.

I move because my body likes to move, to stretch, to feel unleashed and free.

I have come to genuinely love and adore my body.

It’s a continual commitment though, as opposed to a challenge surmounted once and never again.

Sometimes I notice myself talking sh*t to my body, or trying to make her do something she REALLY doesn’t want to do, and I have to catch myself and re-direct my intentions and actions.

Recently my body’s been saying no to a bunch of things, and I noticed myself getting frustrated.

Then I realised, is this helpful?

Is this honouring my body or encouraging her to play ball?

Is this inspiring a kind and mutually beneficial relationship?

If I spoke to a friend this way, would they feel loved and appreciated?

Turns out not. Definitely not to the degree that is in full alignment with the love and appreciation I truly have for my amazing body, my forever home.

So I choose love all over again.

I can’t promise I won’t slip up again, but I promise to notice and correct course quickly.

Not just for me, but for every body, because how we treat ourselves creates an energetic ripple effect in the world and sets the tone for everything else we do too.

So if you catch me saying anything impatient or unloving to my body, please throw tomatoes at me. You have my full permission.

What intention do you choose to set with your body?

Where Are You Putting Yourself In A Box?

One of the most important parts of my work is to constantly notice where my clients are putting themselves in boxes – and then to duly help them crack open those boxes, jump onto of those boxes, collapse those boxes, and then to pop them in the recycling, do a happy dance together and plan for even bigger goals.

So too, to continually notice where *I* am putting myself in any boxes, and to extract myself promptly.

Here are a few of the boxes I’ve put myself in over the years:

*The “employee” box. i.e. I can only be an employee.

* The “single” box. i.e. I can only be single during this time.

* The “unlovable” box i.e. I am only worthy of relationships where people like me, but don’t deeply adore me.

* The “marketing” box. i.e. I can only work in marketing.

* The “I can only work from X” box. i.e. I can only work/be productive from my desk.

* The “I can only eat paleo” box.

* The “I can only be happy in Manhattan” box.

* and so many more

Of course I’ve broken free of each of these self-imposed boxes now, but for the longest time I didn’t even realise they were self-imposed. Their restrictiveness felt so real, so inevitable. So unshake-off-able.

So just a reminder, you are NOT box shaped. You are an infinite human being with your own unique shape and capacity to create an imprint in the world totally individual to you.

Where have you been putting yourself in a box? Be kind to yourself when reflecting on this, we all do it, the key isn’t to never do it, it’s to notice and break free ASAP.


Embrace The Onion

Embrace The OnionThere have been many moments in my life where I have had an experience or insight that has lead me to feeling jolted awake, as though awakening for the very first time, and wondering how I ever thought I was anything other than asleep prior.

Each time, I smile to myself wryly and laugh at the infinite layers available in the onion of life. The more we grow, the more we realise just how much more room is still left to grow; infinite space in fact.

I’ve been experiencing these moments in particularly high concentration over the last eight weeks while embarking on a new program with Landmark Education, alongside various other experiences. Each more elucidating than the last, yet in such fast succession that I have wondered at times if I am dreaming.

In pursuit of accelerated impact, I have been seeking out uncomfortable situations and conversations. I have become aware of all the times and places my unspoken goal was the polar opposite; to remain comfortable and safe. And with practice, my habitual resistance to anything else is becoming less and less, and stark realisations keep appearing.

Realisations of all of the stories I’ve ever told myself about why I couldn’t do or say something, why I didn’t want to, why it wasn’t safe or ideal to, or what was going on with someone else. All the times I’ve played small, even the ones I’d pushed deep into my subconscious, right from my early years to the present.

Letting go of remaining concerns about being perfect or imperfect, and instead choosing love, compassion and contribution. Making decisions from there, and becoming more and more open to operating way beyond my comfort zone. Knowing comfort is not the goal, and my passion for mass contribution is far more significant than any residual fear. That the path I’ve chosen is not supposed to be one of comfort.

I feel my world expanding with each choice I make to acknowledge and address each and every remaining cobweb in the realm of my consciousness and existence, and that of humanity, rather than speeding past in ignorance. Each choice to consciously and powerfully forge ahead, rather than being at the effect of any inner voice doubting my readiness.

My message is this. The value in acknowledging these subtleties in consciousness and any and all things that haven’t worked in our past or are blocking our future is not to be underestimated. It’s not just ok to do so, I’ve come to realise it’s absolutely essential if you’re to shed everything you’re not and become an unleashed version of who you truly are.

We all have these things: niggly beliefs that were formed long ago, hidden under the surface and not yet corrected; actions we’ve taken in the past that haven’t aligned with our intentions; areas of life or people we’ve neglected without intending to nor realising.

Former blind spots that from a new vantage point we come to see so clearly and wish to and can make good on. The pursuit of expansion isn’t as simple as improving once and BOOM, never having to do any work on ourselves again. It’s a continuum. One of ever increasing awareness.

The goal isn’t never again having misalignments, not noticing them, or pretending they don’t exist. The goal is simply to *not* leave them untouched, gathering dust or snowballing, but instead to bring them into the light. To welcome them and to work with them. To transform them.

These moments of illumination and clarity are rarely comfortable, but they are truly extraordinary. Both inherently and in what they make available to us both as individuals and communities.

Here’s to choosing to turn the light on. Again, and again, and again.

I’d love to know about your reflections on continuous personal development in the comments. Book a consultation with me to find out how I can help you illuminate your blind spots to become even more brilliant.