Hi friend! Today I want to share something with you that is incredibly close to my heart, but that isn’t often discussed in the holistic health world: Healing is pretty damn hard! It’s not just a case of drink this green juice and eat that big salad and all your cares and worries will melt away. There is so much more that goes into real healing and I would argue it happens mostly on an emotional, and possibly spiritual level, as opposed to a merely physical one.
As you well know I have been working through my healing journey for the last 4 years ever since I went gluten free when I moved to Toronto to live with my sister. And yes I saw INCREDIBLE health benefits from eliminating gluten, going sugar-free, and eating more veggies. That change in diet had profound impacts on my body, which led to shifts in my perspective and neurological function. You can read more about the details here. However, after continuing to learn and grow and heal since that fateful change, I’ve realized that while healing journeys begin with food and it can be a great motivator, they are supported and continued with emotional work.
What do I mean by digging into the emotional work? Well I’ve written a four part series on Stopping Self-Sabotage, which you can read here, here, here, and here. It goes into a lot of detail about the emotional connections we have to food and our potential for self-sabotage. And it is in this information that most of the difficulty in healing lies. Working with my clients, SO many of them know exactly what they need to do to heal, diet-wise, and they often share it with me in our appointments. But something overwhelmingly and heartbreakingly common that I see in my clients is that when I dig a little deeper I find that they don’t actually think they deserve to feel healthy, happy, safe, loved, and full of energy and vigour.
When these kinds of emotions come up it’s tempting to silence them with a bag of chips, a bowl of ice cream, or a plate of cookies because it is uncomfortable and hard and scary to face these feelings head on. And often in order to release them you actually have to acknowledge that they exist, and this is where the healing journey gets hard. You have to plunge into your deepest and darkest self, look yourself in the eye and in the heart and figure out what is actually holding you back from achieving your goals.
I know from personal experience that this work can take years. And it is messy. And it is tear-filled. And some days you will feel so broken and scared and sad and down that reaching for a bag of chips may be the only balm that will make you feel better in that moment. You know what? That is ok. The important part is that you pick yourself up and try again tomorrow and the next day and the day after that.
You may tend to punish yourself for these slip-ups and get overwhelmed by guilt and shame, which just starts the cycle all over again. I’m here to change the dialogue. I’m here to implore you to be gentle with yourself. To realize that the work you’re doing to change your body, your life, your mind, well, it’s going to be hard. And sometimes it’s going to be overwhelming and you might need to step back for a little bit. But you also need to realize that doing so is ok. There is no “race” to the finish line. This is your healing journey and it needs to be done at exactly the right pace for your life and your body.
This information isn’t designed to give you permission to ignore the hard stuff and keep on sabotaging your efforts. You’re reading this blog so I know you have at least some interest in living a healthier, more nutritious life. What this information is designed to do is to let you know that behind the Instagram posts about the gorgeous salads or the retreats or delicious smoothies, there is often a lot of hard work and healing going on. The food is a great place to start, but it is not the only place and changing your diet will not magically change the way you feel about yourself overnight. But it helps and it can be the catalyst you need to take these changes upon yourself.
Everybody struggles with their healing in a different way and for different reasons and lengths of time. Don’t be discouraged if it gets hard. Don’t be afraid, if a craving or a tendency to sabotage starts to rear its head. Instead be kind to your body. Ask yourself: what am I really craving? Do I need a hug? Do I need some companionship or help with my work? Dig down deep and find the pain and hurt that hides in the nooks and crannies of your body and don’t be afraid to explore it and to sit with it. And ultimately, to find a way that works for you to release it. For some it might be journaling. For others it may be a ritual ceremony where you write down what you want to release and set that baby on fire. And it may possibly be through meditation. Or yoga. Or running. Or painting. Or cooking.
Connecting with your body, feeding your soul, and ultimately being gentle, compassionate, and loving towards yourself, much in the way you would support a friend or child going through a similar situation, may be one of the most important parts of your healing journey. Build a relationship with yourself based on love.
Get to know your body, perceived faults and all, and learn to love her. By facing these dark feelings head on and with love, I’ve finally felt them leave my cells and everyday I feel lighter, happier, and more certain that I am continuing to walk the right path for my healing journey. Because the thing about journeys is that they never end, they simply evolve.
And remember: Healing is hard, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it!
Thanks for joining me today friends. If you know someone who may benefit from reading this post make sure you share it below or send it to them with love. And if you need a little extra guidance on your healing journey, sign up for my Reset Yourself Nutrition Challenge. We go into lots of info about the best foods for healing, but also the best mindset and self-care practices. The fun starts September 12th. Click here to check out the details!
In love and happiness,