FOOD FOR LIFE
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In today’s episode of “Healing From Within”, your host Sheryl Glick, author of The Living Spirit a tale of spiritual awakening, spiritual communication, healing energies and miracles, is delighted to welcome Joan Gregerson author of Tuning Into Inner Peace- How to Overcome Your Struggles with Food
Listeners of the show are well aware Sheryl and her guests through reflections, memories and intuitive thought explore the parallels between physical and spiritual life for the purpose of self-investigation and self mastery of emotions. This process allows us to move past challenges and to create and manifest a more positive, joyful, healthy life experience. In today’s episode of “Healing From Within” Joan, a holistic health coach and has an online course called “Food Freedom Naturally,” which helps one overcome struggles with food, make peace with food choices, and reclaim their ability to control weight shares her unique journey and discoveries for weight and life management.
Joan shows us what she means by focusing on “why we eat. The problem is billions of dollars are spent annually on weight loss programs, yet 2 out of 3 Americans are overweight and obese. Most weight programs focus on what to eat when trying to lose weight, but fail to address the critical component of why we eat and the emotional triggers that can sabotage our weight loss goals. Struggling with food issues is a mental/psychological issue not a physical one. If we don’t modify our behavior towards food and become aware of that issue, our weight loss will be a temporary one and that is the real problem.
Sheryl expresses to Joan that she has a granddaughter who is not much interested in most foods and when this child is with her makes every effort to eat as she knows it makes her grandmother happy. Sheryl was the same way as a child and so was her daughter. Recently her granddaughter said to Sheryl, “I know we need to eat so we can live.” Even a young child can learn the importance of taking care of their personal needs. Sheryl also mentions a study that has been done with children where all kinds of foods, healthy and unhealthy, are displayed on a table. For the first few days the children may eat lots of junk food, but soon enough the body seems to know it needs other input and the children begin to pick some supposedly healthy food. Over the years the concepts on what is valuable to eat for health is constantly changing, which further exacerbates the decisions parents make for themselves and their children. It is a fairly complicated business to choose the right foods for the right reasons.
Joan has been to at least 22 countries and shares some of her perspectives on each country and their cultural perspectives. In 2010, Joan was teaching English to adults in Korea. Most of the teachers and students rushed to arrive just before the 6:50am starting time. One month my classroom changed so as I ran to class, I’d pass the classroom of my friend and fellow teacher, Eun Ha. Joan tells us about her and shares an understanding of some of the attitudes of different countries.
“It appears that in the West, we act as if we are in charge of everything, so when something goes wrong, it’s someone’s fault, not mine and if something’s not working, it’s a problem that needs to be fixed, but perhaps people don’t take enough responsibility individually. But while in Ghana, Joan saw that so many people have so little. The foundational aspects of a western mindset, what we consider basic rights, are often completely missing in that culture; clean drinking water, free education, books and libraries, sewer systems, reliable electricity, clean public restrooms, homeless shelters, and on and on. So, an individual that works hard and is creative in Ghana, may still face problems that our grandparents faced, but we in more affluent countries have not. Joan learned from this apparent difference from her upbringing and said “In my mind, if anyone could justify worrying, it’s them, not me. But, my friends taught me how to enjoy the day, and how to have faith that all shall be well. To waste a day worrying is seen as being immature. We see children whining, and we say, Grow up! That’s the message I got when I worried. Grow up! Evolve! The elders in this community have taught the young that worrying (like whining) is immature and a habit that can be and should be outgrown.”
Joan mentions that bioindividuality is necessary for understanding that what works for one person may not work for another. That is why there seem to be so many weight loss programs. Actually most weight loss programs fail, as there must be sustainable life changes that are both practical, enjoyable, and meet the needs of your life schedule. It takes time, effort and patience to determine the foods that can be included to fit into your individualized healthy and practical pattern of meal planning.
Joan as mindful and appreciative of our energy and life force connections encourages people to link their eating to spirituality The only way to healthy living is by a mind body and spiritual awareness of life and addressing the needs to merge these aspects together to create the best version of Self. Mindful eating, choosing food based on how it is raised, and knowing how your choices affect the environment, is a way spiritually evolving souls begin to view life, their physical and spiritual energies which then helps them and others around them. Using ingenuity and looking to nature as a model to follow is both spiritually and emotionally rewarding. The awe and elegance of eating simply as people have done for thousands of years is a concept that is becoming more prevalent in family life once again as it was in the past.
There can be a connection in the way you eat and fulfill your life purpose. Sheryl suggests that like everything in your life, not appreciating this moment and accepting that everything in your past, even your eating habits, good or bad were initiated by doubts and concerns of what others expected of you created a sense of insecurity and imbalance, certainly affecting all aspects of your health. If you are fulfilling your true destiny, whether you know it or not, you are living more peacefully and food choices relationships, job choices, everything will be easier to flow with. Learning to allow, accept and surrender to all that happens on a daily basis and stopping the blame game that tells you the OUTSIDE world is corrupting your dreams and goals, leads you hopefully to develop an inward way of thinking. You realizel your thoughts and actions are the first step towards successful growth and self-realization.
Joan wrote….”Now is good enough for me. The feeling of waiting to make changes or begin a new routine is often based on deciding that “now” is somehow not good enough, and that some time in the future will be better. Waiting only happens when there is a lack of gratitude for the present. Every day is good enough. Every day is filled with challenges and frustrations, amazingly beautiful easy moments and confusing, difficult puzzles. That’s life! Don’t wait for it to change! Now is the Perfect Time If you’re ready to stop waiting, consider how can you transform these days into precious moments of Being of Being something special. Finish the sentence: “Now is the perfect time to…” She goes on to give examples, “If you are waiting for a child in your life, this is a good time to do no-kid things like work strange hours, travel and go out at night! If you’re waiting for a kid to grow up, this is a good time to do kid things. Think about it. You’re going to look creepy going to Kiddie Land, riding the little boats and ringing the bell if you’re alone! So enjoy it with your little kids. Instead of feeling like you’re waiting for something, remember that you are already here! You have already arrived! Do now, what you’d been waiting to do! Be now, what you’ve been waiting to Be….
People often think that addictions are just a curse you have to live with. The shame and the guilt of living a life of self sabotage is not something most people want to bring out into the open. However, most people have addictions either in regard to work, diet the gym, religious practices, shopping, habits that often turn into addictions taking the joy and spontaneity out of the event.
Joan says, ”I’d used to spend my time at work, and the common time management problems that compound the addiction: perfectionist tendencies that increased the scope of work beyond what I’d been asked to do, assuming I had to work longer to cover up how slow or inexperienced I actually was, wasting time during regular work hours so I’d be ‘forced’ to work late, thus appearing more diligent, difficulty making progress on projects because I was hesitant to ask for clarification, procrastinating making important phone calls due to fear or embarrassment for having to ‘bother” Like everything we have to awaken to the fears and self-doubt that hinder our progress and transformation to being the best version of ourselves and to being simply “free.”
Connecting with nature is another way to positively impact the ability to lose weight. Sheryl says , ‘Watching the natural flow of nature and growth, reacting to change in environmental repetitive cycles, beauty, quiet at times and openness to everything around us help us to restructure our thinking, our feelings for what is necessary for healthy growth.
Joan says…Rest and digest your food and life knowing that the parasympathetic system has two big jobs of resting and digesting, it makes sense to figure out how to improve the quality of these two functions. Just as you would think about and take proactive steps to help the rest and digestion for a small child, take the same steps for yourself.
Make mealtimes a nurturing, soothing time. If you have to discuss something contentious, choose a time other than mealtimes to hash it out. Consider the surroundings.
Arrange chairs, table and the setting to have a refreshing view. Choose healthy, colorful, beautiful food to make mealtimes a healing time. Other good Ideas include eliminating caffeine late in the day do some stretching, or listen to some sweet music during or after meals. Take a walk to aid in digestion. In other words eliminating stress and chaos in thinking and in action help to improve all aspects of daily living.
Sheryl liked Joan’s description of chaos which distracts so many people from taking responsibility for the improvement of their life choices. Chaos is a choice like most of what we perceive to be problems in our life, chaos is more often than not, a choice. Certainly, if you’re in the midst of a natural disaster or a war, chaos is not a choice. But most of us, on most days, are the chief architects of our daily life schedules. If every morning is chaotic, every lunchtime is hectic, and every hour after work is a mess, those result from your choices to live that way. If your desk is piled high with stuff, and you can never find that important piece of paper, it’s time to ask yourself, “Why?” Why do I choose to live like that? Chaos as part of our normal routine relies on deliberately ignoring reality. Giving up chaos is going to require you to say “No”, and that requires personal growth.
Community and family impact wellness. By overcoming isolation loneliness and experiencing love we discover belonging and purpose is as important as food in keeping people healthy.
In Sheryl’s book The Living Spirit she shares a story of a client who brought her young daughter to her for a Reiki energy healing session because the child wasn’t eating and Sheryl wrote… “Over the course of my energy-healing practice I have worked with children. Often, their parents are present when we go over the information I receive intuitively before a session so the parents might gather a clearer understanding of their child’s challenges or needs at the moment. Many parents have limited understanding of what’s is really going on with their children as children often are unable to recognize why they are not feeling well, or are afraid or unable to express themselves freely and adequately. I remember a child who was brought to me because she was not eating, was dehydrated and sad. During the session the seven year old was able to express to her mother that she didn’t like the food her grandmother and aunt gave her when taking care of her after school each day, and also said she wanted to spend more time with her mother who was working many hours. All children need to be secure and close to their family members, but also must find a way to express their personality and individual needs.”
Joan writes…”So, how can one succeed on the deeper levels of life, when external factors are continually changing and generating stressful situations? The answer is surprisingly simple. It involves a subtle, but deliberate shift of focus. Loosen your grip on your attachment to all the drama swirling around outside of you. Turn inward. Tune in to your current state of inner peace. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to monitor and work to maintain inner peace. Every moment, Every day, Always. This simple step will transform your life for the better. Breathe in a deep fulfilling taste of life. Breathe out, and smile.”
Joan Gregerson would like people concerned with weight or health issues or addictions of any kind to remember that eating, like everything else in life, is linked to thoughts and perceptions of who we are, who we wish to be and a clearer understanding of ourselves, our life plan or destiny. By changing our thoughts and releasing antiquated fears of dysfunction often from childhood patterning, and by attaining a more realistic view of life it becomes easier to be calm and live in a state of peace, accepting life on its own terms.
In summarizing today’s episode of “Healing From Within” while learning a great deal about food and how it affects our entire energetic acceptance of Self and our place in the world, either positively or fearfully, we begin to realize that our inner guidance system, our soul essence, either allows us to create a place of calm and well being or chaos and disruption. As we work on our state of being in alignment to a more positive view of life, we can improve many physical conditions that hinder our complete state of well-being. We can engage with people, new activities, learning better food choices and select what will ultimately sustain a healthy and vibrant body. Whether relating to your food choices, weight and health issues, you are always governed by the inner workings of your mind, heart and emotions and a combination of all. Awareness and mindfulness are the key to change.
Joan wrote, “When you begin an encounter, the first thing you usually try to assess is how the interaction will go. What most determines that is the mood of the person you’re talking to. Well, that, and your own mood. If the teacher is tired and wants to be elsewhere, the students know. Pretty much instantly. The tone of someone’s voice. The wrinkle of his brow. The expression on her face. The way she opens the door. The way he sets down his keys. The way she turns to answer your question. You can’t be sure, but you usually have a pretty good idea of how someone is doing, how they are feeling. You know if they are tired, frustrated, sad, or overwhelmed. Aha, so my state of Inner Peace (or lack of it) is instantly obvious to everyone around me. So, just because it’s called Inner Peace it doesn’t mean that your current state is hidden from others. You walk around thinking that you mask what you deeply feel, that you are a Mystery! No, a better term would be that each of us walks around like an Open Book.
When you first realize this, you may feel a little uneasy. You may feel exposed, like you’re walking around naked. Good! That will help you remain vigilant. It will make it harder for you to ignore this wonderfully important inner guidance system. Tomorrow, as you meet your family, friends, coworkers or strangers, gaze into each person’s eyes. Do you sense contentment and peace? or do you sense turmoil, frustration and self-doubt? Is it easy or difficult to sense a person’s level of inner peace?”
Joan and I would ask you to begin to observe first your own feelings and fears, how you react when you are with certain people, when you feel comfortable and safe, how you feel during your daily experiences at work and during leisure time, places that encourage you to move and react with steadfast direction and calm discernment, and also conditions that alter your sense of well being. Try to engage fully where it feels right, and disengage where it feels wrong; over time you will allow yourself to be in more continuous states of happiness, positivity to make choices that allow for peace and calm…your health, friendships and all experiences will benefit greatly.