By Nancy Smorch, Foodie Bitch
The other day I was listening to a talk between Cynthia Pasquella and Nick Polizzi from the Transformational Nutrition Summit. I had read some of Nick’s stuff before, and had actually watched his movie, “Sacred Science.” I love and am intrigued by his work, so I was excited to see that Cynthia would be interviewing him – I knew it was going to be interesting!
In the movie “Sacred Science,” Nick and a team of scientists, shamans, and experts in the healing plants of the Amazon, took a group of individuals who had various illnesses into the Amazon jungle for 30 days. During this 30 days they went through various healing sessions and cleanses, and worked with the medicine men and shamans to help their bodies heal themselves. They were exposed to various healing plants, tinctures, or teas, and were basically secluded for the 30 days.
It was a fascinating movie! When Cynthia and Nick were talking in their interview, Nick summed up the movie in a nutshell: Your body knows what it needs, we just need to slow down enough to tune into it, and listen.
He said the plants and shamans and the jungle were all wonderful, but the most important thing for those people, was to “unplug” from the noise and distractions and to get quiet with themselves – to face their fears, to make peace with their past and to just listen to and communicate with their body.
This really struck a cord with me. Now, I know it’s important to slow down, to quiet your mind, to be present, and so on… but to actually do it is another story. But, it’s a story I’m working on re-writing.
It seems that sometimes the things that are most important for us to do, and that actually really aren’t that difficult, turn out to be the ones we just can’t bring ourselves to do. I’m talking about meditating, exercising, eating well, spending time with loved ones, nurturing ourselves, etc.
Have you ever tried to meditate? For most, it’s much easier to distract themselves with the Internet, social media, TV, and other noise, than it is to sit still and quiet their mind. And, for many, it is much easier to get in their car, drive to a restaurant, and eat their meal out, than it is to create a healthy, lovingly prepared meal at home.
And, I know all too many people are familiar with how much easier it is to watch TV or sit on their computer with a cup of coffee, than it is to physically move their body with a walk, or yoga, or some other form of physical activity.
And, I know we all know many people who would rather have their eyes, again, on the computer or their iPhone, than they would engage and be present in a conversation with a friend or loved one.
Why is it that we run away from ourselves and everything that would possibly bring us the most joy? That’s an entirely different blog post…
Nick commented to Cynthia that these people probably didn’t need to go to the jungle for 30 days, but would they have been able to unplug as much as they needed had they not made the trek? Good question!
There are many times I think it would be great to rent a cabin in the woods for a week and unplug, myself. Or, better yet, I envision a secluded farmhouse in Tuscany or Umbria, where there isn’t any Internet service, where they have pure food grown on the farm, and where distractions are held to a minimum. Sounds wonderful, but do I really need do leave my home to do that? And, even if I did do that, after a couple of days I would slow down, certainly… but upon returning home, I would most likely jump right back on the merry-go-round.
So, I’m thinking, maybe what we need (or at least me, anyway), is a few little things each day that we can do to train ourselves to be more mindful, to slow down, to fully breathe, to listen to our bodies and our hearts, and then give them what they need.
That’s not asking too much, right? The rewards are certainly worth it: more focus and clarity, more connections with loved ones, less stress, better health, more peace.
I’ve actually started this process within the last couple of weeks, and am feeling more focused and nourished. It’s not a perfect system I’m putting in place, but I’m at least moving in the right direction.
I have started meditating again – I’m doing Deepak Chopra & Oprah’s 21 Day Meditation Challenge. And, I’m doing some form of exercise each morning – even if all I have is 20 minutes, I will do a 20 minute Yoga session from My Yoga Works. And, after I let the horses out of their stalls and into their pastures in the morning, I will take some deep breaths and tune into my body and heart and listen to what it has to say. Sometimes I feel that I need a certain essential oil. Sometimes I hear that I need a certain juice elixir. Sometimes I hear that I need to take some deep breaths into a certain part of my body that might be tense.
And, sometimes I hear that I need to make some banana bread with a side of bacon :)…
Then, and this is the key, I’ll honor that request. I’m telling you, when I do that, my day goes so much better and I feel so much more energized.
It’s definitely a balancing act for me – feeling the pull to accomplish a thousand things in one day vs. unplugging and tuning in to myself and those I come in contact with. But since I’m not interested in flying to the Amazon jungle for 30 days, I think I’ll make it work here.
For those of you who would like to try the same, or would love to have a “retreat at home,” check out the article and photos on Houz where they give you tips for using your current resources to create a peaceful, structured, nourishing retreat in your own home.
My challenge for you: today, take 2 minutes (just 2 minutes – you can do it), close your eyes, breath deeply and fully, notice where you are tense and breath into that area, relax, and listen…