Does this title sound redundant to you? Well I'm really talking about two different kinds of fat: dietary fat/EFAs, fats that are essential to a healthy body, and fat that we see as weight on our bodies. Same name, two different things.
Essential fatty acids (EFAs), like the terms says, are essential. They're essential for growth and functioning and since the body doesn't make EFAs, it depends on us to supply them.
Nowadays, we associate fat in our food with fat on our body, but in reality the two don't have much to do with each other. Unfortunately over the years dietary fat/EFAs have gotten a bad rap. This is for a number of reasons, none of which really have much, if anything, to do with facts. In her book The Big Fat Surprise, Nina Teicholz outlines and talks in-depth about how fat went from a natural component of our diet to taboo. It's a book worth reading.
Generally speaking, we all need much more fat in our diet than we are currently eating. If your skin and or hair is dry, if you experience brain fog, lack of energy, experience constipation or weight gain, these can be some of the outward indicators of a lack of dietary fat.
High quality olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, cheeses and butter made from grass-fed cow's milk, wild-caught salmon are all good choices when adding EFAs to your diet. Dr. Axe in his article Essential Fatty Acids: What Makes These Healthy Fats So Essential, discusses in more detail the benefits of fat in the diet and the foods that provide these benefits.
When I first learned that dietary fat was actually good for me, it took a while for that information to sink in. But because my body responded favorably - most noticeable for me was the lift of brain fog that had been with me for many years, healthier skin, reduced cravings and feeling satisfied after a meal - I became a convert.
Dietary fat is essential to the body's proper functioning. If you're someone who restricts fat intake, and especially if you restrict fat for the sake of being thin, I urge you to reconsider this important component of a healthy diet - your body deserves it.
In love and light,
Who am I? I love this question and I think it's a good one to ask periodically.
"Who am I?"
What response do you get when you ask yourself this question? To find out, take a moment and sit quietly with a pen and paper. At the top of the page write out Who Am I? Breathe into your heart for 5 or 6 nice long deep breaths and then think of something that makes you smile. This will help you get centered.
Ask yourself, "Who am I?" and keep repeating it. As ideas come, write them down. Don't filter what shows up - just keep writing.
I recommend setting a timer for 10 minutes. If you can allow yourself to keep writing for the full 10 minutes (longer is even better), you'll find that you'll start to let go of the mundane.
The first few minutes will likely start off with, "I'm short", "I'm fat", "I'm a mother, sister, brother, husband", etc. You get the idea. All the ideas of who you think you are. But after a while - and I think it's because the ego gets bored and/or tired - some interesting things start to show up.
"Who am I?"
When you feel the exercise is complete, express gratitude for all that you have been given. Take a moment to reflect over what you have written and sit with the experience. How did it feel to do this exercise? Were there any surprises? Did you find it easier than you were expecting? Did you experience resistance? If so, were you able to move through it and if not, why not? It would be great to take a moment and sit with the resistance to see what it wants you to know.
There are, of course, no right or wrong answers. This is an opportunity to get to know yourself better. We're always growing and evolving and this exercise can help you to see how you've changed over time.
In love and light,
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
I love this quote because it so instantly reminds me of the truth of the human experience. Without our body, there is no place for spirit to reside, no opportunity for growth or for evolution of the soul.
And yet, so often we hate on our bodies. We want them to be different, something other than what they are. And why? What ever gave us the notion that a body should be anything other than what it is. We think we're too fat, too thin, too much of this, too little of that. There's a constant barrage of negative self-talk that only serves to diminish the sacredness of our bodies.
We weren't born hating our body. When we were babies, we loved our bodies always playing with them, being inquisitive, exploring, and then...
This dissatisfaction of our bodies is a learned behavior. In our exposure to movies, magazines, the media and yes, even weight loss commercials, the ego starts to identify with the visual and verbal cues. Then when it sees you don't match what it's been told is the ideal body/look/type, it starts comparing, judging and yelling "what's wrong with you!"
How can we learn to love our bodies again? I believe the answer lies in awareness. You cannot change something if you're not aware that it exists. When we become aware of our thoughts, we can start to hear the negative self-talk that pulls us away from loving our body.
I've found the simple meditation of sitting and breathing into my heart is a way to create awareness and explore just how rampant negative self-talk can be. By breathing with the intention of feeling the love in your heart, you will start to notice thoughts of every kind slowly taking you away from your focus. But, by simply observing the thoughts and not being attached to them, you can easily reconnect with your intention. Soon, usually very soon, the thoughts return because the ego thinks it's being ignored. The thoughts can be incessant. Relax and return to the heart breathing.
Through this gentle practice you can create an awareness of your thoughts. Over time, if you do this meditation daily, the thoughts can start to calm down. More importantly, and the reason I like this practice is, it helps create an awareness of the ongoing, day in and day out judging and comparing that goes on in your head. With awareness, you can see these thoughts for what they are and how they pull you away from loving yourself and your body. Without awareness, these thoughts often lead you to the conclusion that your body is the enemy.
Your body is not your enemy. Your body is beautiful, sacred, and a home for spirit - no matter what it looks like. Cultivate an awareness of your thoughts, see how they inform your relationship with your body. Through awareness, behaviors can be unlearned and changed. It is completely possible to fall in love with your body again.
In love and light,