Food: The Busiest Therapist.
Your Soul's Message
If one studies Alchemy they will discover that it is simply recognition of the soul. The original health practitioners utilized symbols, mysticism, and words to allow one to uncover their own soul for the purpose of healing. It is thought that if the soul is allowed to live its truth, the body has an opportunity to innately heal itself.
Presented is a different perspective on diet - with a soul's message.
Spiritual rituals since the start of millennia, across continents, and between faiths have associated food with such observances. Christianity suggests bread and wine fills the soul with the divine. Greeks long called omophagia, "Eating with the gods", to describe certain meals. Judaic food laws date back over 1,000 B.C. and are an integral part of Judaism; to include ritualistic fasting and not mixing of some foods. Muslims hold true that in moderation food is aligned with a form of worship. Hindus avoid a Karmic event that will cause them to be unbalanced. They prefer to not eat the flesh of a suffering being. Although Buddhism is not a religion, yet a lifestyle, they follow similar behaviors as Hindus with their relationship with food. Interestingly, Buddhist monks are not allowed to make their own meals. Nor request or deny certain foods. Therefore practicing satisfaction in what is provided. In the Book of Mormon it is understood that abstaining from alcohol is believed to foster freedom from cognitive disruption and connection with God. Native American's are known for honoring the hunted. Only eating sacred animals which were thought to carry spirits.
Thomas Moore, Ph.D., states, "Religions say, 'When you eat certain foods, God dwells in you'" (1). What rings true is that food has a history of being used to balance our relationship between earth and creator. In today's world, the thoughtfulness of connecting diet with spirit is a sparse tradition.
"When we turn food into a mere object, we tend to abuse it & ourselves." - Thomas Moore, Ph.D
However our deep connection with food has not been lost. When wanting to connect with friends, we never say, "Let's meet in a solitude place". When dating, it is often over some sort of food or drink. Family gatherings tend to be a celebration around meals, spirits, or desserts. Social gatherings, sporting spectatorships, birthdays, anniversaries, most every celebration revolves around food.
Remember Bridgette Jones's Diary? Our relationship with food is connected to despondency as well. How often does a bad day turn to alcohol, sugar, salt, overly fatty foods, etc? Even the death of loved ones, food tends to be offered.
How about all those "cheers" and tapping of glasses - in celebration or despondency is usually the case.
It can not be denied that our connection with food is meaningful. In modern society, food choices directly relate to how we feel or want to feel. It does not matter if it is to "feel" rewarded or to "feel" healthy. Food commercials can reinforce this thought by just observing the goal of the advertisers - Eat/Drink This - To Feel That!
We have not just lost our spirit connection with food. We have disconnected from our emotions with food. As stated above, we make choices "to feel" rewarded, or "to feel" healthy. We utilize food, like many other things in our lives, for outside happiness - something outside of ourselves to feel whole.
Thomas Moore states further, "Food serves memory, which deepens experience" (1). The heart of this article is to appreciate those words. Moore could be suggesting that what we eat is related to stored memories. If we recognize that food is a cornerstone in celebrations and misery, then it must be connected to a deep seeded need to feel differently. "Feel healthy"; "Feel rewarded". Instead of just being healthy or being rewarded.
Ayurvedic wisdom suggests that nutritional deficiencies (disease) are a loss of inner wisdom of our bodies. "As we start to attune ourselves to our soul's inner wisdom, we begin to know exactly what we need" (2). Many of us do no equate our eating habits and behaviors to how we respond to the world. Nor do we listen to how our diet is a response to the relationship with ourselves. We just want to feel, most often differently. Ayurveda understands that when one stays present and listens to their soul, food choices can unravel deep emotions; those feelings that we are looking to escape from.
In alchemy it is the discovery of the soul that allows for transition. In modern terms, it is the discovery of current feelings, while identifying suppressed emotions, which allows for behavioral change.
Food has long been our counselor, our therapist. Food can clearly identify your true feeling - similar to a therapy. Maybe food has been a seat of truths all along. Either our connection to divine or our connection with ourselves. It may be the only thing we do most often that can provide a reflection of ourself. Cyndie Dale illustrates when being mindful and still with your eating behaviors, what you are trying to feed yourself are your true feelings (2). Cravings provide clues into emotional needs, limiting beliefs, and negative self talk. Engaging in intuitive eating can allow that small voice, intuition, to remind you to listen and pay attention to what your soul's message is delivering. Intuitive eating is a behavior that requires stillness, slowing down, and recognizing that our eating habits will tell us where to heal emotionally and physically. Cyndie Dale details how investigating cravings can provide reflection on true feelings (2):
Crunchy Foods: Anger - a perceived healthy outlet to act our anger so not to face it.
salty foods: fear - A Perceived inability to take risk.
Gluten Foods: Comfort - A perceived need for safety; warm food never lets you down.
sugar: Excitement - A perceived lack of self love & receiving.
diary: LOVE - A perceived desire of unconditional love; mother's milk.
chocolate: Sexuality - A perceived lack of sensual acceptance.
alcohol: acceptance - A perceived view of being punished for your authentic self.
corn: success - perceived need for protection from insecurity and failure.
fatty foods: shame - a perceived view of protection from inner shame.
Carl Jung, father of analytical psychology, taught that emotional resistance causes our "shadow" (subconscious) to rule our "ego" (conscious), interfering with our soul's purpose, causing angst. Traditional Chinese Medicine explains that emotions are healthy and if suppressed will disrupt free flow of "qi"; "Chi", Life Force. Eastern philosophy encourages the recognition of emotions. The freedom to feel with balance. Buddhists have a great word, "equanimity" - not too much, not too little, just right. In our understanding, this is to not be too happy or not be too sad. Because happiness and sadness will eventually pass. In the West, we have a very difficult time enhancing our feelings; aside from frustration. The West likes to escape from feelings. Especially if they involve anger, worry, sadness, fear, or even joy. East believes that it is a healthy, physiological response to allow feelings. But they must be balanced and expressed in a healthy manner. Most importantly without attachment. Traditional Chinese Medicine correlates specific emotions to organ health; i.e., if one does not experience emotional balance, body systems suffer which leads to dis-ease.
Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests how specific imbalances in feelings, emotions, and consuming thoughts can affect different organs.
- Anger - liver & gallbladder
- Joy - heart & small intestine
- Thought - spleen & stomach
- Worry - lung & large intestine
- Fear - kidney & bladder
"How a person eats, reveals who they really are. A person when connected to soul cultivates rhythm, mindfulness, and lives in a ritual of making life richer" (2).
As emotional healing occurs and behaviors are revised, dietary habits can change. Although science has identified that stress and heart disease correlate, a greater appreciation is lacking on how suppressed emotions contribute to disease. Intuitive eating can provide us with what we are trying to avoid - Our True Emotions.
Suppressed emotions are unexpressed feelings which become the root cause for physical dis-ease. Look no further than your daily diet ritual to investigate that imbalance. It has long been said that answers lie within - within is your soul. Just listen. Intuitive eating can allow for that subtle voice. Identifying conflicting choices provides clues to where you believe you have been violated. Recognizing emotions allows a platform for psychological and physical healing. This...IS soul healing!
Alchemy de Nova encourages applying ritual mindfulness around food choices. Investigating food craving and other dietary habits opens doors to better health. One tool to consider is intuitive eating. Inviting the soul's message to come through. It is possible to eat moderately, with pleasure, instead of masking suppressed truths. Our food choices can be a clear indication of what we are suppressing, which physiological systems are dysfunctional, and how this can be a risk factor to our health status.
AdN recognizes there are voids in all health care models. One void is the dismissal of suppressed emotions and the effects on personal health. AdN welcomes such journey's and would be honored to be part of your journey. Schedule your free 20 minutes consultation to better understand Intentional Eating, testing to help regulate physical imbalances, and other referrals for emotional support. The road to health should be a soulful one.
"Food for the Soul". Resurgence & Ecologist; 251:November-December 2008. Thomas Moore, Ph.D.
The subtle body practice: A comprehensive Guide to Energy Healing. Aug 2013. Cyndie Dale
the wheel healing with ayurveda. 2015. Michelle S. Fondin