Spring cleaning

Years ago, I was getting a massage (I was in my early 30’s and deep massage was very painful) and the massage therapist basically said to me, “Your body responds to touch as if you’ve been in a car accident.” I agreed with her. I couldn’t even sit for more than 30 minutes without getting very stiff, and even though I continued to run, my body was in a state of continual hyper-alert and pain.

I started to investigate possible reasons for my pain, and began periods of fasting, cut sugar, caffeine, and flour, out of my diet, drank extra water, and took “detox” herbs. And while all of these things did seem to make me feel better physically, I became even more rigid and afraid. I scanned food labels looking for any trace of an additive or preservative that might throw my system into chaos.

Food, for me, was no longer a way to enjoy and celebrate being alive in this body. It became more or less a regimented thing; an undertaking done for the purpose of “health”, and as a consequence it lost the element of joy. I didn’t realize, at that time in my life, that I was so much more than a body. I considered myself to be more like a “chemical system” (a lot the way that Western medicine views the body) than an energetic one. I didn’t see my body, my physical self, as being energy, and I didn’t realize that while diet did play some part in health, the much larger component of health; physical, mental, and emotional, was not determined by the chemical reactions in my body, or what food I put into it, but by my thoughts.

I was seeking to purify my “outer self” (my body) with the correct food, water, and exercise, but my mind was a mess. I was full of resentments, bitterness, judgements, and criticism, (and so much of this was about myself) so these began to show up in my body as stiffness, stomach aches, headaches, and hyper-sensitivity to pain. Of course I was feeling pain! I was thinking painful thoughts…but I didn’t see this connection at the time.

How wonderful these bodies of ours are. They shows us, with such precision, the predominant tone of our thought life. When my mind is in a joyful state, my body responds to that state. When I am worried and on alert (about anything, including food) my body responds to that state.

People will sometimes ask, “Are you saying that you can just eat junk-food all day and be healthy?”…well, I don’t know. If that was your only option for food, then who knows? But this isn’t our only option, and when I am living in a higher state mentally, I don’t want to eat a continual diet of low energy food. It just doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t have to discipline myself not to eat it, I don’t want it. When I find myself feeling like I really need to resist eating something (that I have determined is bad for me) then I just need to look at my thoughts and I will always find that I’m not in a very good place (mentally).

When we elevate our thought life, healthy choices (selections that are right for us) are clear to us. We could pray, meditate, and eat 100% organic food, day and night, and still be unhappy and unhealthy if we do not clean up our thought life. When we clean up our minds, our bodies follow.

Our relationship with food, I find, is a microcosm of how we view life, how fearful, how suspicious, how sad we may feel about getting it right, or how we believe we don’t have enough of something, or that there is too much of something else, or whether we can really trust the flow of in and out like the tides, whether we can live with the unknown mystery of All That Is”. Byron Katie

12 thoughts on “Spring cleaning

  1. Dear Mary, what a great reminder that our thoughts are the most powerful kind of “food” we can consume. I sometimes become so entrenched within my own mind that I forget to step back and remember to let go of those attitudes and conclusions that do not serve a higher purpose. Thank you for this!

  2. I was cleaning up my desk, just now, and found a card that a friend had sent me. The quote from this card says this, “When positive or joyous feelings and attitudes pass through each organ and circulate throughout our whole system, our physical and chemical energies are transformed and balanced.” Tarthang Tulku

  3. “When we elevate our thought life, healthy choices (selections that are right for us) are clear to us”

    Yes Mary, thank you for reminding us that our thoughts certainly can influence our health. What is important as you seem to be saying , is to be at ease with our minds so that we don’t necessarily need to adhere to a regimented way of eating, but to “trust the flow of in and out like the tides ” ( this thought I love) and as we are at ease with ourselves, the right balance will come.

  4. Could it be that simple? – being ‘at ease’ with ourselves, in all respects, keeps away the ‘dis-ease’ that threatens our health of mind, body and spirit. Food for thought, Mary!

  5. Hmmm…that’s exactly what I need to do today to make it a good day–clean up my thought life. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. I moved to the country twenty-six years ago for health reasons and while it was something I’d always wanted to do from the time I was a child, the reality of country living, the isolation of it, wasn’t something I had factored into the equation of country living. And so, with my husband traveling as an airline pilot and away over half the month, I knew I had to do something to get myself out of the house and meeting people. So I applied to work as a grocery clerk at our nearby health food store. As I am now environmentally sensitive due to a severe reaction to anaesthetics in 1985 and the reason I’m living in the country, I was beginning to learn to eat a ‘different’ way. Because systemic candidiasis is an issue for me, I have cut way back on my sugar intake (something that sent me into a week of the shakes when I first cut it out of my diet). Working in the health food store introduced me to many different foods and I can honestly say that it has changed my life entirely. There are healthy ‘treats’ in health food stores but even so, it is important to read labels, fructose/glucose can still send my glycemic index up pretty quickly. And, I’m the kind of person who found one piece of lemon meringue pie never enough…I’d have half the pie eaten before bedtime. I feel better, my digestive system feels better, my mind feels better when I eat more mindfully. And Thursday’s I’ve set aside for bi-monthly massages and one for Polarity Therapy, which happens to be today. It’s all part of nurturing a body that has carried me along in life for over seventy-years. When my digestive system is happy, I’m happy.
    SandyP in Southern Ontario, Canada

  7. Dear Mary, this is exactly where I am in my life. My eczema came back to my body after caring got a dying uncle. I have been glutten free for almost a year but still the eczema came back due to the stress. So still I am suffering after a couple months pass his death. As I was praying the other day with my best friend on the phone God showed me that he is the lifter of our heads daily and He gives us our breath each moment, so a course he has all our needs, fears, and doubts. So know I am in a state of constant prayer to free me of all of this because God wants us to live a worry free happy life and leave everything to Him. Thank you for confirming this with your message! Joan

Comments are closed.