Ask yourself, how often do you eat, just because it's 'lunchtime' or 'dinnertime', or because you're at a social event where it's 'impolite' not to eat.
Like Pavlov's dogs, perhaps your hunger has more to do with a default, programmed response, than really listening to what your body needs in each moment?
Have you noticed how much you appreciate a pure glass of refreshing water if the weather is scorching hot, and you've become sharply aware of your dehydration?
If your lips, mouth and throat are parched, just a few drops of cool, crystal clear water on them can feel like utter bliss!
Have you noticed how much you appreciate a good night's sleep when you've pushed yourself to the point of exhaustion? Your head hits the pillow and you simply melt.
Whilst these extremes can teach us to appreciate life, they are not necessary to cultivate that inner sense of aliveness again.
When students (from all walks of life) come along to learn about their life force, and 'energy body', during a Reiki or SRT course for example, their physical bodies start to become much more 'fine tuned' as a result of the energy balancing that happens.
Depending on the student, there may be a detoxification of the entire system, which can be rather uncomfortable. Much like having a cold or flu, the body releases the toxins that have built up in the intercellular and extracellular matrix.
As students continue down the path of 'self-healing', there is much less of a need for addictive foods and drinks, including stimulants and sedatives, for example, caffeine, soft drinks and the number one 'sense deadener' alcohol.
They begin to listen to their bodies, rather than forcing the body to comply with the artificial tastes that they have become used to.
They become more aware of patterns that aren't serving them, especially addictive foods and drinks.
You can notice for yourself by cultivating the daily practice of observing yourself... your thoughts, your emotions, and your actions.
Notice just how yummy ice cream, biscuits, and sugary foods "taste" when you feel emotionally grumpy or out-of-balance. When life doesn't taste so good, we try to fill it with 'sweet things'. As human beings, we are very creative at avoiding our pain.
Notice how alcohol is toxic for the body, especially the brain cells. Notice how your brain and body feel numb when you drink -- alcohol is dehydrating, regardless of whether it's wine, beer or spirits -- and how you feel disconnected and out of balance in the morning (hangover). You've poisoned yourself for a 'good time', and you may even look forward to creating this feeling of deadness inside of you as your energy system struggles to wake up - coffee to kick-start the system, anyone?
Notice how sugary drinks give you a temporary lift, and then crash your system. If you drink Diet Coke, or Pepsi Max, or Coca-Cola Zero, that is probably even worse. Artificial sweeteners in these drinks are often toxic -- Coca Cola puts aspartame and acesulfame potassium in their diet drinks -- and adversely affect a person's appetite control, meaning they are less able to gauge energy consumption. These products also create a fake sense of 'thirst', leading consumers to drink more of these energy-deadening products.
Of all the energy drinks currently on the market, Red Bull is probably one of the most misleading, if not the most damaging... that's why their clever advertising tells you that it will 'give you wings'. Notice, rather, how it actually cuts the wings off you! Worryingly, it has been linked to cardiac arrests and kidney failure... but many people still go on drinking it.
The jury is out on whether Red Bull is safe or not, but when a product is this 'successful', making billions of dollars for its producers, are we really that naive to think they would alert us to the possibility of harm if they could get away with not alerting us?
I'm not saying to become an absolute purist, and avoid everything you like eating and drinking. It most likely wouldn't happen straight away in any case, even if you decided to give up everything 'bad' right now, because it takes time, patience and persistence to break ingrained patterns. The grooves of the mind run deep... some are like the grand canyon!!
Choose to practise more discernment in your life, in your everyday choices. Are your choices really 'life affirming', or are they 'life denying'?
The body is self-regulating and self-balancing... it is geared towards LIFE!
This is why the body will take a great deal of 'punishment' before giving up. A lot of damage happens insidiously, so when we experience 'illness' or 'disease', this is not actually a sudden event. It is rather a tipping of the scale, which then creates an opportunity to become aware of faulty choices. We should be grateful it has come to our attention!
To become more conscious, and thus more 'alive', practice watching yourself, that is the first thing. Become the witness... the observer. The second is to spend more time in meditation. Just a few minutes a day... if you like, try an energy-based course, or class, that appeals to you... Reiki, SRT, Yoga, T'ai Chi and many others... these can all be used as forms of meditation.
Meditation causes a 'quickening' of the non-physical life-stream inside of you. With time, everything will seem brighter, more intense, more luminous. You will enjoy 'tasting life' again.
Western society tends to live at the surface... many of us live at the surface of our being, rather than at the centre. When was the last time you were still enough to feel your own heart beating, or to notice the quality of your own breath? These subtleties cannot be known, unless you choose to go beyond the periphery.
If you feel lost, or stuck, trying having a few energy healing sessions with an experienced practitioner. If you can, get a good recommendation from a friend! These sessions can help release inner blocks that are preventing you from experiencing the greater awareness you seek. As old patterns fall away, it becomes easier to embrace the new.
Of course there is a downside to all this: you won't fit in! You won't fit in with your friends, with society, with those who have a vested interest in keeping you just as you are. If you have courage, you will see the reactions of others and judge for yourself.
Are you ready for change?
Are you ready to change?
If so, have courage, and move forward in greater awareness.
Founder and Director of Energy Therapy