Originally posted by Bryan at http://www.rawfoodsupport.com/read.php?2,110319,page=1
Many raw foodists, when they see they are starting to have problems with their health, almost instantly assume that there is something wrong with their diet. Perhaps this is because when they first went raw, that changing over to raw foods healed a plethora of health problems. Certainly a major aspect of being healthy is a healthful diet. However, having a healthy diet does not guarantee being healthy.
So why is this? Simply put, there is more to health than just diet. There is a whole set of healthful lifestyle habits and practices one needs to become and remain healthy. Many of these you will know – being fit, exercising, getting fresh clean air and sunshine, getting plenty of rest and sleep, engaging in healthy relationships.
A person might have a healthy diet, and even practice these healthful lifestyle practices and still be unhealthy. So what other things can influence one’s health?
An often ignored aspect of health has to do with mental/emotional/spiritual balance and poise. As we become more sensitive, this poise determines how we will fare when challenged by the world in our new raw bodies.
One of the more difficult challenges of going from SAD to raw is that as the body becomes lighter and less dense, the fat and density that used to insulate us from energies coming from the outside are no longer there. In some sense the SAD diet gave us some shields to help keep those unpleasant energies from affecting us, and the foods served to numb us, so we could easily deal with the prevalent pain that is all over our society. As we become more sensitive on the lighter diet, we get to feel more intensely the pain that others are experiencing and we get more in touch with our own pain. How we deal with feeling this pain and our reaction to this pain is largely driven by our pre-existing mental/emotional/spiritual balance. And many of us don’t have the tools necessary to navigate the modern industrial world without our shields on or without our desensitizing foods.
The place where we really feel our pain is around our attachments, specifically our preferences, desires, judgments, and criticisms. To see if you have some attachments, ask yourself the following questions:
Are you OK with the current state of the world? If not, what is it that is bothering you?
Are you OK with the way people are treating you? If not, what is it that is bothering you?
Are you OK with they way people with whom you interact behave and live their lives? If not, what is bothering you?
If your answers to these questions is “yes, I am OK with this” and you are a happy person, then this aspect of balance and poise is not your issue. If you said yes and you still feel unhappy, then it could be that you need to get a bit quieter and go inside and see if your answers really reflect how you feel.
But for most people, there will be a list of things that are bothering them. This list is a gift, as it points to places inside you where you resist your world and reality, and bringing this to consciousness provides you with a beginning place to start your exploration of getting free of pain of these issues.
Another place I see where raw foodists create pain in their lives is how they exert control over themselves. For many, controlling how one lives their day to day life is a means of avoiding pain and not feeling bad. And when we first engaged in some of these control tactics, they seemed to work well and kept us from our pain. But often these control tactics become abusive to ourselves and they create more pain than they prevent. Certainly controlling what one eats (especially when there is high desire to eat things that aren’t on one’s officially approved list of good foods) is a form of abuse or violence.
Freeing oneself of one’s self control is not as easy as it may seem. First one has to get in touch with the feelings that put the control there in the first place, and then bring these feelings to consciousness and find it within ourselves to let this stuff go.
I had this control issue come up with going to a low fat diet. At first I exerted control to keep my fat very low. But the desire was there, and it wasn’t going away. So I let go of my control, allowed myself to eat more fat, and over time (about 2 years) the desire for fat disappeared all by itself.
There was a point early in my raw foods process where the desire for cooked foods simply disappeared. It happened after I went to eating high fruit and a lot of mono eating. But I often meet raw foodists who don’t ever get to this point, the desire for cooked food is always there. What I recommend to them is to let go of the control, and allow themselves to eat the cooked foods. At some point the body will either tell you that this doesn’t work, at which point the desire will go away, or if it does work, then why change it?
These issues described here – dealing with new found sensitivity, feeling more strongly the pains of attachment, and use of control to achieve one’s goals, are problems I see time and time again in the raw community. And these issues, if not brought to consciousness and resolved, will create a painful life that will hamper or even cease one’s healing that came with the raw diet, to a point where the raw diet no longer works. For many people, this will mean needing supplementation to cope, or needing to eat heavier foods including cooked grains and animal products.