—Neale Donald Walsch
I recently dropped out of a 30-day program, called Whole 30.
It’s like the caveman diet on steroids.
I made it 9 days. Nine days of no dairy, sugar, alcohol or white carbs, plus about a million other things that were on the naughty list (including hummus and legumes……WTH?)
So, by day 8 I was cranky. No, I was bitchy.
It wasn’t a big deal to eliminate a few of those things, namely sugar, alcohol and dairy. But no quinoa, hummus or brown rice?
No thanks, food police.
It started out feeling like a good way to reset after an enjoyably indulgent holiday season— but slowly morphed into feeling like a walk down deprivation lane.
There is a BIG difference between a feeling of deprivation versus a healthy choice to self regulate something in your life (except for the super bad things, but I will assume if you are here, reading this, you are already healthy enough to know you can’t regulate a healthy amount of crack, cigs or mountain dew ; )
In the world of psychology, self-regulation refers to the ability to self manage potentially disruptive emotions and behaviors.
Ideally, we all learn to self regulate (consciously choose) things in our life—food, time, people, our own energy and our overall life choices.
This is where most people end up (hopefully).
We know what we love, know when to say no and when to say yes. It’s common sense for most us, unless we are dealing with addictions and more serious problems than an occasional sugar binge.
We are grown ups about our choices (most days anyway).
And that doesn’t mean we don’t slip. Of course we do.
But it probably doesn’t mean we go as far as drinking a couple bottles of wine on our own, or eating a whole cake in one sitting.
And even then, if we do—we get right back in there and fix it if we are on the path to being conscious.
We own the mistake and aim to not go down that road again.
We get back in the game and choose things that FEED our alignment in life (feeling good, healthy, connected, loved, happy).
Whereas self-regulation is a conscious choice to create a healthy boundary or limit with something (with the main focus on gaining something positive from that)—deprivation has an energy of feeling forced, like we must—or else. It feels restrictive, lacks freedom and doesn’t feel like the main focus is on a gain, but on a loss.
Deprivation isn’t an energy of allowing (and we want to be in an energy of allowing in order to manifest what we want).
Also—when you venture into the “I feel deprived” zone—it can trigger the desire to go the OTHER way, and overindulge in the very thing you are depriving yourself of.
I noticed this with Whole 30. It didn’t feel like a healthy self- regulating—it felt like deprivation and I actually felt unusually hungry all the time, even though I was eating plenty.
Maybe some would say I wasn’t strong enough, didn’t push through the discomfort. That maybe I needed to tough it out.
No thanks. I don’t play in that world. I play in the world where I stay aligned with my truth, feel what feels right and follow that.
I’ve pushed enough.
I’ve paddled my canoe upstream enough.
I like the downstream flow better.
It’s easier, more peaceful and way more scenic.
Trusting our inner guidance is where it’s at.
Otherwise, we are living a lie—and we know right where that leads us—to 2 bottles of wine and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s : )
There is no point in denying yourself pleasurable things…just because someone else says it’s the new best thing!
The new, best thing changes all the time, doesn’t it?
So I have a better idea—do your best thing.
Self regulate where you need to. You know where that is.
If you don’t, then get help from someone who can show you how to find your healthy, conscious boundaries and limits.
But if you’re really committed to living a life that’s more of a flame than a flicker—don’t dim that fire by disallowing things that you know make you happy and bring pleasure.
The real kind. Not the transitory, quick fix pleasure. Or addictions that masquerade as healthy pleasures.
As always, this is about you getting very clear about YOU—your desires, your dreams, your challenges and your truth in life.
This isn’t about some silly diet, following what everyone else does, or a rigid way of being in the world.
It’s simply about being you. And listening what feels right for you.
It matters because you’re robbing yourself of your truth if you adhere to things that don’t truly align with who you are.
It’s super dorky, but it’s true—you gotta be true to you.
Choose you. Choose to say YES to what feeds you (in more ways than just food).
And be ok with saying NO to what doesn’t nourish your soul.
Now I am off to have some cheese : )
p.s I am not anti-Whole 30. It just didn’t work for me. But I have seen it work for many people who need a reset, from a dietary perspective. I know in some situations, it really is a great program. I have been athletic and super healthy all my life, so I didn’t need to lose weight, nor do I have bad eating habits. So for me, this just wasn’t my thang. I also am a recovered bulimic and this started kicking in negative ideas about some foods being “bad.” From an energetic standpoint, it wasn’t in my best interest to force myself to continue. But I do think the program has value for certain people.
Yesterday I spent the entire day writing—yet ended up deleting it all. It sucked.
It felt off. It wasn’t clear and I was tip toeing around what I really wanted to say.
And I am not a good tiptoer. I like to dive right in to the meat of the matter. That’s my energy.
But yesterday I was tiptoeing, rather than being in my truth.
I wasn’t getting to the heart of the matter, saying what needed to be said and moving on.
And what happens when we do that?
We get bitchy, confused, foggy.
We complain, eat too much, drink too much and come up with all sort of excuses and justifications as to why we aren’t in our truth.
We spend way too much time on Instagram or FB wasting time looking at other peoples lives. We hide.
And the cost, aside from that feeling of being “off” is that it’s soul sucking.
Yep, it’s soul sucking to be disconnected from our truth in life.
Ultimately, if we stay in that space for too long—it robs us of our joy, connection, passion and health.
And being in our truth isn’t always an easy road, as well. Because sometimes that means you may offend people, they may not like what you have to say and they may judge you. They may be threatened by you standing in your power. It may make them feel a whole slew of things, that in the end—aren’t your responsibility.
People may not like you.
So what if they judge you. Move ahead anyway.
So what if they make fun of you and talk behind your back. Speak your truth anyway.
So what if they don’t want to be your friend anymore, or stop contacting you. They aren’t a friend anyway. Friends love you—the real you. Not the “you” that conforms to who they think you should be, what you should say, or not say. If they are really supposed to be in your energy vortex—they will be there.
Otherwise . . . next.
Just be you.
It’s more than enough.
Sometimes life just gets messy (as in red-hot mess, messy)
- Why are we even here if it’s such a struggle?
- Why do we get on such a great life high— only to have shitty things happen?
- Why cant it just be easier?
- Why are people so insensitive (or worse)?
- Why can’t we all just be born with lasting heath, endless supplies of money and unquestionable values, morals and common sense?
- You can see every problem a gift. You can see perceived problems as beautiful opportunities for an even deeper sense of acceptance, love and faith. You can see your health issues, your money issue, and your relationship issues—as a great big chance to get super honest and real about what you are truly feeling and thinking in life. It’s a chance to be 100% accountable for your energy.
- Or there’s always choice two. Choice two is to stay stuck, give into the problem, believe it and go down the rabbit hole of despair, disease, distrust and fear. Choice two is the one that perpetuates the lie that we are powerless. Choice two, if we don’t learn from it and turn it from foe to friend—is the one that can wreak havoc on your otherwise incredible life. This choice moves you further away from the life you want. It’s simply the choice to survive (or nose dive) get by, exist and feel more as a victim in life.
“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
So I’m not really going to write about the art of being a whiner, in the sense that I really think it’s an art—and to be appreciated or revered like the Mona Lisa.
Rather, I want to whine about the whiners.
And if you don’t know what the official definition of a whiner is, see below and thank you to the almighty Merriam Webster—
- a person who makes frequent complaints usually about little things
I think we could expand that definition to include big things as well. There are plenty of people who make a habit out of whining about the big things—taxes, politics, environmental and social issues, etc.
But the MAJOR difference I see between whining and constructively bringing awareness to “big” topics —is that whining generally doesn’t involve any sort of solution and it tends to be a repetitive pattern–sort of like a broken record.
I mean, most of us don’t LOVE taxes, but is whining about it 24/7 really doing anything? No it isn’t.
Yes, we can bring awareness to important topics, but in order to fix a perceived problem—we have to quickly switch our predominant focus (vibration) to solution based thinking.
The truth is—we’ve become a society of chronic whiners. And why is that? We have more “stuff,” more supposed freedom and more choices than ever before—yet we whine, we whine and we whine a little more.
We complain about little things like our iPhone reception, the horrible wifi connection, the traffic, how much we don’t like our ______our_______and our________. And we complain about the larger, much more pressing issues—but it seems few actually get out in the trenches and do something about it.
We like to complain A LOT for a society that supposedly has A LOT. So . . . .maybe it’s not the stuff that makes us happy (big hint).
Or maybe it’s that the complaining is actually a pretty big clue that our lives are—
- out of balance
- not appreciated enough
- or a big combination of both
The point is—if you care anything about living a life that is energetically awesome, joy filled and full of things you love—whining won’t be instrumental in getting (or keeping) you there.
Whining ruins things. Whining makes you feel icky. It is an insidious little jerk that winds up sucking the sparkle and light from your soul.
So, what this article is really about isn’t the art of whining—it’s about the art of appreciating.
Because appreciating is really the opposite energy of whining. And appreciation is what gets you happy, healthy, abundant and just basically like a puppy frolicking in a spring meadow full of flowers (I know, it’s dorky, but isn’t it a cute visual?)
Here are 4 simple tips to turn a bad case of the whines into a better case of appreciation and gratitude (because this is what gets you the goods)—
- Pay attention. Most people are super detached from who they really are and how they are showing up in life. Choose to pay attention to the overall vibes you are putting out into the universe. Committing to becoming more aware of what you are offering is critical.
- Notice patterns and major “themes” that you tend to repeat. Do you manage to feel a great deal of gratitude in certain situation or at certain times? And in other situations, notice it heads south into the deep, dark abyss of whiner-land? Note those times that you feel deep gratitude and appreciation and—DO THAT MORE. And note those times you head towards the dark side and—DO THAT LESS.
- Appreciation journal. Create an appreciation journal and before you go to bed every night and write down what you appreciate in your life. If you’re too tired or lazy to do this—go back to step one and start over. The more you find to appreciate, the more to appreciate will find you.
- Practice, commit and repeat. Turn these simple few steps into a new habit. It only takes about 30 days to change a behavior and the same amount of time to create a better habit.
You can’t fix a problem by putting the majority of your energy and focus on what’s wrong. You fix a problem, big or small (world hunger or a hangnail)—by focusing on the solution and then bringing action and appreciation into the mix.
Is it idealistic (or nearly impossible) to try to find something to appreciate in the face of something painful or horrible? Yes, it can be. But it’s the key to being able to change it. Plus, it just feels way better than staying stuck in feeling bad, powerless, frustrated, angry or resentful.
Let’s choose to create habits and ways of being that support living beautiful lives—lives that we find more to appreciate and be grateful for than we do to complain about.
Lives that our dear grandmas would be proud of.
Here’s to you! I know you will choose wisely.
1. Squirm —and make you run away and never come back (either because you are already fully awakened, you think it’s nonsensical woo-woo, or you are choosing to stay stuck in your comfort zone) There may also be some eye rolling and you may say to yourself “these PEOPLE and all their talk about spiritual crap, the light, the crystals, the patchouli (yuk!) the warm and fuzzy—ENOUGH ( I still heart you, I loathe patchouli, am not particularly warm and fuzzy, I swear, eat meat and don’t compost…..and yes, I am highly spiritual)
2. Perk up—and dive right in with me (because you get excited just hearing the words “spiritual awakening,” are mildly annoyed, but curious or just like diving in!)
First off, what is a spiritual awakening?
A spiritual awakening is a very personal opening and awareness of your intrinsic connection to a higher power which you may call God, the Divine, your spiritual Guides, the almighty, universal energy (or whatever word you associate with your creator)
And if you don’t believe in a higher power, then your spiritual awakening can be that thing that makes you feel more alive, connected and authentically YOU.
You without the mask, the layers, the wounds, the baggage and the stories that you carry with you that hold you back from being, having and doing all the amazing things you are here to do in this life. Maybe it’s being in nature that makes you feel spiritually awake. Maybe it’s playing with your dog, being with your loved ones, traveling, working out, yoga. There is something out there that just makes you feel more alive.
That thing that makes you feel more you, more alive, more LOVE—is the very thing that will help you have a spiritual awakening.
This “waking up” can make us feel all sorts of different things such as—
- fear + apprehension
- tiredness and wanting to sleep more
- restlessness–a desire to move, shift, change . . . GO!
- increase in dreams, intuition + synchronicity
- physical changes in your body like more sensitive to light, sounds, energy
- a deep desire to spend more time in nature
- more meaningful and stronger relationships with certain people and a complete disconnect from others
- a sudden increase in ideas, thoughts and creative energy
- increased (healthy and conscious) sex drive
- a call and sincere desire to be of service in the world
What are the signs that could mean you are ready for a spiritual awakening?
Really any of the above listed items, with the addition of boredom, grouchiness, extreme disconnection, depression . . . any extreme change in behavior or feelings can indicate that we are disconnected from our soul and those extreme feelings are a great (although they may not feel that way) indicator of our need to wake up and connect with our souls calling.
But it doesn’t have to be a big bummer or negative that leads us to that path.
We can be super happy, feel alive and aware, but just feel a need to go DEEPER.
Listening and discerning are the keys to being able to have a spiritual awakening. I think most of us know when our lives are out of balance and we feel shitty. I think most of us know when we are on track and feeling connected.
Discern, listen and pay attention to what your soul/sprit is trying to say to you. You always have support. You are always connected to the divine. It’s just a matter of choosing to see the truth in that and then also choosing to say YES to that calling.
Choose the awake version of your life. It is far, far, far more satisfying and magical than the mundane, blah version.
I won’t close with “in love and light” because that may be FAR too warm and fuzzy, but I will tell you I care, I believe in you and I know that mounds of miracles are possible for you.