Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 38: Intuition

I will choose to find a positive perspective under even the most negative circumstances.
I will choose acceptance over resistance.
I will choose to focus on the things I value about my children, not the things that drive me nuts.
I will choose to extend the same grace, love and forgiveness to myself that I try to lavish on my husband and children each day.

Our Holistic Moms Network meeting last night was on "food as medicine." Having done loads of nutritional research, especially in the past few weeks, I didn't expect anything to rock my world, but I ended up walking away with something really significant. She talked about bioindividuality - the concept that no one diet works for every human body - and touched on allowing the body to guide you to what it needs. She went on to explain how that intuition isn't accessible when we're in a toxic state from eating processed foods, pesticides, hormones, and everything else that comes along with the Western Diet. I can identify with this so powerfully right now as the detox diet is slowly changing my dietary intuition.

I'm a person to which moderation does not come naturally or easily - in anything. When I'm in, I'm all in. This intensity brings so many positive things to my life. Most relevant to this project, it allows me to love my children so fiercely that I'm willing to fight through the ways that same intensity can damage them. Most relevant to the topic of nutrition, it means that food has been a battleground my whole life.

I believe so completely in the healing power of real food, and most days that knowledge is what guides my food choices. But when I fall prey to the enticing false promise of satisfaction from harmful food-like products, I go overboard. Way overboard. The only time I've felt my body's intuition guiding me toward healthful choices was during my pregnancy with Max, which also, not coincidentally, was a time I felt more energetic, healthy, and peaceful than ever before. 

Looking back, I now know that this is because this longstanding candida overgrowth coupled with the toxicity that results from overindulgence in moments of weakness has smothered that intuition for over a decade. As I detox, I feel it returning. Instead of feeling satisfied by "fake" foods, I feel physically sick when I make a poor choice. Instead of shoveling too much in with no signal to stop or repercussion when I don't, I feel full and even ill when I surpass full. It's only a matter of time before that intuition is fully restored to the point that non-foods are no longer appealing. What a welcome change that will be!

All of this got me thinking about emotional toxicity and mothering intuition. I think the parallel is strong. Emotional toxicity can come from unhealthy relationships, damage from early life experiences, insufficient coping skills, overbearing advice from family and friends, and any number of other sources. We all carry some toxicity, but when we become overloaded, it clouds out our intuition. The feelings - in both body and mind - that are intended to guide us through life and relationships are replaced with externally prescribed shoulds, and can'ts or simply confusion.

The danger is that shoulds and can'ts, like food-like products, can look appealing even though they're damaging. And the more we internalize them, the more they crowd out intuition. As we detox by refusing to engage in toxic relationships or listen to toxic advice, by finding ways to heal ourselves, our mothering intuition returns. Eventually the wrong choices will simply feel wrong, maybe even make us feel sick, and clarity will replace confusion.

So I've decided to engage in a full body and mind detox. As I get more in touch with my body's intuition, I'll work on connecting more fully with my mothering intuition. Together these things will bring me closer to the kind of energy, health and peace I want to experience and be for myself and my family.

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