Nourish Your Life

Posted by on Apr 17, 2013 in Featured, Health, Quotes & Thoughts, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Nourish Your Life

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I’ve recently been reading a fascinating and enlightening book entitled “Healing Wise” by renowned herbalist Susun Weed. In it, she contrasts the Heroic and Scientific traditions with what she calls the “Wise Woman” tradition. The Wise Woman tradition heals by nourishing, and therefore its medicines are living foods (meaning unprocessed, whole, and wild). In the midst of our community Refresh at Source Centre, I am reflecting on the phenomenon of detoxing, and the greater paradigm in which such a practice is situated.

Often, we approach detoxing, cleansing or dieting as a process of subtraction. We “cut” things out, usually things which we consider pleasurable (although guilt-inducing). We forbid ourselves the indulgence of these guilty pleasures–the complex carbs, the sugary treats, the fried or fatty foods–all of which give us pleasure through taste. I call this a deprivation model. There is a penitent element which constricts or even punishes desire, to achieve the higher purpose of purity. This is why, in my view, people find detoxing painful, difficult, and pleasure-less. This is why people “fail” at diets, or cannot sustain the shift in their physicality brought on by dieting or cleansing.

This approach breeds resistance, rigidity and disempowerment. In other words, the deprivation model which holds subtraction as its primary action does not, and cannot, feed the individual in a meaningful and sustainable way. Of course, the foods these diets promote are often greatly nutritious and beneficial to the body. It is all in the paradigm and perspective one inhabits that determines the experience of such a commitment. We can impose change upon our external habits, but sustained transformation arises from within, from a paradigm of empowerment, abundance and resolve. (see last week’s Resolve blog).

Ross Bridgeford, alkaline diet coach, recently touched upon this in a video posted on his website. In shifting ones diet towards alkalinity (meaning foods that are the opposite of acidic, and therefore promoting long term wellbeing) Ross advises that, rather than remove acidic foods from the diet, we instead simply add alkaline foods. By adding alkaline foods, such as organic greens, fresh fruits and vegetables, and alkaline water, the body increases its intake of essential nutrients without rules and restrictions. The yet more enlightening result, according to Ross, is that this process of adding nutrition provides the subconscious with the chance to “catch up” with the conscious mind, and become aligned with what really nourishes. The bodymind then gradually and voluntarily adopts alkalinity; the cravings for acidic foods are relinquished, and the hunger for nutritious, living foods enhanced.

This result suggests that nourishment empowers, and deprivation weakens. A healthy diet however goes far beyond what we physically ingest. We can and do nourish (or deprive) ourselves with our thoughts, beliefs and actions . We are nourished by possibilities: of doing things differently, taking risks, experimenting, even “failing.” When we take a risk, we actually call something new into existence. When we nourish, we empower ourselves to be the answer to our own prayers.

In the words of poet Galway Kinnel, “everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing”.  I hope that today and for all the days to come, you live this possibility.

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