Feeding your Inner Child

food cravings

Food cravings are often confounded in media towards sweet and fatty foods. When sitting down for a meal, are you mindful of what your body is craving?  Steak (low in iron), veggies (alkaline/acidic), ginger (antiinflammatory), or anything else.  Whether your body is acidic, alkaline or nutrient-deficient, the body language speaks in hints and whispers to tell us what we need. Often we seek the advice of health professionals, external resources once illness ensues, in order to get the answer we seek. But if our own bodies are posing the questions, should we not know the answers ourselves? We are all we need to be happy and healthy, and when we tune into our body’s requests, bringing mindful awareness into and around feeding, rest, and our fundamental needs, we will not reach the point of illness. And if we do, if we listen, often our own voices are enough to tell us how to heal and repair.

self-care_-bomb_Think of a pregnant woman, nurturing inside her a child. She will have these fluctuating and demanding food cravings. Some, seemingly bizarre. As a mother is carrying a child, we are also carrying inside us our inner child. We have food and specific flavour cravings, but unlike an expecting mother, we are often taught mixed signals about suppressing our needs in favour of work and other demands. A mother knows the critical importance of feeding her child, but we often sideline and back-burn our needs as adults. These whispers and pleas from our body build up, we get confused, and often end up reaching for a sugar hit when stress accumulates and we have forgone our needs for too long. Our inner child needs to be addressed; our awareness needs not be clouded. When we practice mindfulness around body signals and tuning into our body’s language, we learn intuitive eating, just as an expecting mother does when she craves certain things that the baby needs. However in society, an expecting mother is given the space to help the child grow. Her purpose is for giving the baby the best care it can in order to grow. Society doesn’t give space for adults alike to learn this, let along children. Our purposes lie in the roles society subliminally guides us to through social norms. Be that work, school, parenting, caring for others before ourselves. We cannot help others if we have not yet helped ourselves. So, we must relearn to listen. In this way, we can learn to give our bodies what they need instead of suppressing requirements in favour of what society deems priority.

It seems that the idea behind self-love by treating your inner child with love and proper nourishment is thought to be insignificant and selfish versus necessary and self-interested. So our busyness leads us to a block with our awareness channel of our minds to our bodies, and we get sick, overweight and unhappy. We cannot change other people’s stigmas on the need for our health as a priority, but we can change our own belief systems. We can start by understanding the need to nourish our inner child. After all, we are the beings that were so cared for in the womb. We owe it to ourselves to attend to ourselves with as much care and intention. It is time for us to treat ourselves as our little child versions, as did our caregivers and mothers.

Start with mindfulness around your needs. Before eating, take a brief second or a walk around the block if you can spare it, and inquire to your body what it is craving. This takes time and a healthy dose of self-interest (not selfishness) to devote yourself to your own health. Remember, without this space for yourself, your body’s voice will be muffled or silenced, resulting in a buildup of cravings, eventually a crash.  Beginning with a mindful practice around eating opens opportunity to truly nourish your body instead of ending up confused, deprived, famished and ill.

 

I chose me

I chose me.

Yesterday I started work at a new job, I’d been very excited to begin being of service, meeting people, and making some cash. We had a 15-minute lunch break, and when I asked what time, one of the baristas said that the previous day, they started at 6:30AM and didn’t get a spare moment until 3PM to eat. This girl was forking in mouthfuls of the order I mucked up in the kitchen in between serving customers, and I asked if she liked that dish, and she said, “food is food I guess, it’s not my favourite but when I can eat, I do.”

So although I started at 10AM, and my own routinized unserving habits (that I’m mindfully chipping away at to shed) meant that I hadn’t eaten since 6AM before my bike training ride, and while I will ideally learn to be able to plan ahead for these scheduling and work plans, I was damn hungry by 11:30AM, and had no idea what to expect on my first day. I worked till noon, when a big order of people was to come in, but my swa-dharma necessitated that I nourish my body. I come from a place of over thinking with food, and coping through monotonously detailed control over my own fueling. This is my purpose in New Zealand, to let go of that, to blossom, to learn and grow, and to give back what my gift to the world is.

I back-burned my self-shoulding, and expressed my need to eat. So I hurried off on my paid 15 minute break to “eat as fast as I could” in the female change room inside the pool.

What is that?

I unpacked my lunch, knowing fully well that I wouldn’t be able to finish in 15. I let the chief know, and then said, “Fuck it”, I gotta eat, man. Eating is not a privilege, it is a need. I know deprivation, and I am learning to overcome the self-inflicted deprivation and restriction of needs; food, pleasure, self-care. I have struggled enough with my own self-inflicted restrictions, I had a strong sense of awareness in that I would not allow outside forces to inflict this on me. So, I took 30 mins, still rushing and being mindful to respect my time constraints, but fucking chewing now just swallowing (that’s what she said?). Guilt ensued on my face as I walked out of the pool deck back into work; they were “in the weeds”. Boss told me I took 45 and should pack up and leave, expressing my disrespect. So I did, and it was alright.

Does respect come from self-disrespect? I think there is a need for both. But fuck, I’m getting a car today, and am strapped financially. Financial independence is so important, and I’m so ready to work, but not at the expense of my self-healing. I have much to let go of with my restrictions, but I believe that it is OK for this to take place in a “safe” environment. This doesn’t mean by force. Mind you, coming out of my comfort zone will be necessary, and a little discomfort will accompany this. But, my self-love isn’t something I’ll sideline in favour of serving café customers and starving myself. What happens then? I’d be fucked, my body would reject it, and I’d crash. This I know was the gunshot that used to initiate my coping though purging and binging. I’ve since learned from it, and refuse to put myself though it. I don’t look back, as I’m not traveling in that direction.

So now, it begins.

I am waiting for my car to arrive at 10:30AM. I’m blessed. I’m seeing a therapist later this afternoon, namaste, and in the meantime, I’m going to calmly eat my lunch, look at jobs, and ponder what to do. I am now a student, and am craving work. I am not unfamiliar with dedication and hard earned fruit. I am attracting abundance and expressing service.

I am really looking to connect with Cliff Harvey at Holistic Performance Nutrition because I feel safe in his space, and I feel that my gift lies somewhere intertwined within the paradigm of holistic nutrition, mindful health, and guiltlessly bountiful and unconditional self-love. Love, just love, uplifts all. Thanks Yoko, and all the barefooted beauties that believe in breathing the mantra of tremendous energetic self-empowerment, and the collectivity of thriving in a community that permeates love like an exploding star.

Happiness only real when shared.

Don’t you dare give up.