I hesitate to share this photo, yet somehow I feel compelled to put it out there. Avery took it a few weeks ago, back when our maple tree still had leaves. It's a little blurry, and a part of my body I normally keep covered is quite bare, but this picture has taken on a new meaning for me recently.
Whether hanging by my knees from a tree or practicing handstands (I actually googled a tutorial!), I have become fascinated with turning my body upside down. It occurred to me this morning that my body understood this metaphor before my brain did: I've turned my life upside down and now I feel right side up.
Everything I once believed about nutrition I've washed down the drain. My definition of food has been completely rewritten (along with most of my recipes). My refrigerator and pantry have been cleared, cleaned, and restocked. Our meals and snacks have been transformed 180 degrees. As a result, I got skinny, my husband stopped needing pain killers, my daughter's tummy troubles went away, and we're all much nicer and happier than we used to be. To paraphrase my son, our new diet has revealed our true selves.
Who knew that such profound changes could occur by simply changing what we put in our mouths? I firmly believe in the saying "you are what you eat", and I'm also convinced that the food we choose to eat feeds not just our body but also our spirit. Just think of the role food plays in religion: forbidden foods or food combinations, fasting for holy days, symbolic foods used in religious ceremonies. Food is so much more than the sum of it's calories.
Procuring and preparing food for my family is my sacred responsibility. Gathering around the table to eat as a family is a sacred occasion. Feeding others conveys a sacred message of love. Even washing the dishes, while not a sacred or beloved act, is a sacred time during which I meditate, letting my mind wander as my hands complete a task requiring little to no thought. My body is a sacred vessel, and caring for it with food and movement is my sacred duty.
Perhaps the picture above is me bearing my soul, expressing my beliefs. This morning I received an email from a friend who said the tone of my recent posts is that of a convert. I couldn't agree more. Would it be going too far to say I feel reborn? Perhaps, but that is exactly how I feel. After all, we enter this world head down and feet up - put your hands over your head and you've got a handstand.
I've reached a new level of clarity in my life and it has everything to do with what's on my plate (and yes, I mean that literally and figuratively). I don't take food lightly. Yet I fully appreciate that what's on my plate might not suit your taste. I don't want to sound like a preachy zealot about eating meat and vegetables and abstaining from sugar and grain. Just because it's worked for me doesn't mean it's the right way or the only way. I don't believe in a one size fits all diet. I believe in freedom of religion and nutrition.
My intention is to encourage and inspire you on your own path to health and well being, both physical and spiritual. Just as my body is compelled to hang on tree limbs and practice handstands, my fingers are compelled to type about diet and exercise. I can't help but share this new found passion of mine. I want you to feel good and be happy in your own skin, right side up or upside down. You can dish up or pass the plate, follow the recipe or adapt it to your taste. The most important ingredients are not in the grocery store or refrigerator, the garden or the pantry. They're inside of you: power, intention, love, faith. You've got a full cupboard in your soul. Open it up and get cooking.