We all accept the fact that the lighter the backpack, the easier and quicker the climb to the top of the mountain. We all understand that the lighter the load on an airplane, the higher and faster it can fly. We pay extra for high octane fuel so our car will operate more efficiently. Then why don't we apply the same wisdom to our bodies and our dreams?
The Need for Speed
We know that the cleaner the gasoline we feed our car, the faster, further and longer our car will run-and with less wear and tear. Gee, what would our Earth adventure be like if we tried this same approach with our personal lives?
Clean, Lean Energy Machine
When we feed our bodies and goals with clean, lean fuel, we have the strength and stamina to create our dreams with ease, speed and longevity-and look good doing it to boot!
Shamanize Your Life
A shaman eats to live, rather than living to eat. A shamaness uses food to fuel her dream, rather than to be her dream. A shaman knows that the true purpose of food is to give us the energy to express our unique spirit fully and gracefully.
Food is Not Only Physical
I'm not talking only about the eating of physical food. Everything we take into our energy field is food-for our body and for our soul. Every thought, conversation and activity either gives us energy, or takes energy away from us.
Self-loving people only eat-take in-those interactions and pursuits that nourish them and increase their level of aliveness. When a relationship, job or belief leaves you drained, tired or confused, that fuel is not nurturing. But when you have a friend who inspires, encourages and validates you, you prosper by hanging out with that person. When you go to a livelihood each day that allows you to fully express your true spirit, you're enriched by that calling. When you have a conviction that bears beauty and bounty in your life, you're served well by that point of view.
Eat What is Most Digestible
Take in those foods, people and endeavors that you most easily digest, assimilate and integrate. The less energy it takes to absorb a certain fare, personality or enterprise, the more energy you are ultimately going to get out of it. This is the good judgment of choosing "low maintenance" lovers and friends versus the "high maintenance" of demanding, discontented partners.
Eat Only What's Necessary
Take in only the amount of worldly nourishment, resources and social exchange that is ideal for peak performance. When Jesus advises us to "fast from the world," he's not suggesting we refrain from eating altogether, or cease interacting with the world totally. The savvy sage uses the word "fast" to mean "fast from excess." Eat only the amount of physical fuel you need for optimal efficiency of your body. Interact with the turbulence of social affairs only to the degree necessary to accomplish your goals. Lean and clean.
This is the strategy shamans refer to as "touching the world lightly." Be involved with cultural conventions only to the degree necessary to function socially. Overeating physical food can cause sluggishness, nausea and constipation. Over-absorption with the limitations and contradictions of cultural mores can cause you to get confused, drained, overwhelmed, emotionally backed up-and, consequently, very ineffective and unhappy. Be in the world, but not "of it."
Go to Bed Empty
Go to sleep with an empty stomach, clear mind, and peaceful heart, so that your body and being have the greatest opportunity to rest and recharge. When the body has to spend the night digesting a stomach full of food, then it doesn't have the time or energy to heal and balance. When we go to bed with a troubled mind or heart, we have a shallow, unrestful sleep with many fitful dreams or nightmares. And our spirit has no time to connect with its highest self and intuit creative solutions to our worldly challenges.
Eat Only from True Hunger
Our physical body has biological needs that food can satisfy. Our emotional and spiritual bodies have emotional and spiritual needs that food can never gratify. When choosing what to eat, it's helpful to be able to distinguish the difference between true hunger (physical need) and "false" hunger (emotional and spiritual need).
When you learn to discern emotional and spiritual hunger (emptiness) from physical hunger, you can then adopt the attitude and actions to attract the right people and activities that will truly fill the hole of soul emptiness.
Chew Life Well before Swallowing
An astute Eastern adage suggests: "Chew your liquid and drink your food." The guidance is to chew your beverages so that your liquids mix well with saliva and, therefore, are predigested by digestive enzymes in your saliva before you swallow. In the same manner, chew your solid food until it breaks down into a consistency that it can be drunk as a liquid. This chewing mixes your food with the same helpful saliva pre-digestive juices-and saves your stomach the chore of breaking down chunks of food.
Chewing your liquid and food well leads to good digestion by making your body's job easier. The less energy the body needs to expend to digest, absorb and utilize your food and liquids, the more energy you have available to create, play and enjoy life!
In the same manner, the recommendation is to chew or contemplate well any experience or information before you swallow or believe it-that is, take it in as part of you. With this approach you're intuitively prescreening ideas, interactions and events before you allow them to become part of your belief system-and, therefore, part of your personal reality!
Yummy in Your Tummy
Only eat foods and hang with people and pursuits that excite you!
The insightful Japanese observe, "Digestion begins with the eyes." When a meal is attractively presented in a way that makes us excited to eat it, the energy activated by the excitement will actually help the body to digest the meal more efficiently. In the same respect, when you choose the kinds of foods that excite you, you'll digest and absorb these foods more easily. Yummy looking and tasting meals yield a net increase of energy for you.
The same principle applies to your choice of people, career and life ventures. The more exhilarating your friends and endeavors, the more flowing and full-filling your relationships and pursuits will be. Joy in, joy out!
It's Your Party!
You may not be experiencing life as a party. Perhaps because you're not living your own life in your own way, according to your unique nature and spirit.
Whether you're aware of this truth or not, life is your show. It's your body and your dream-to do with as you choose. You have a right to manage who, what, where and how your energy field is entered and affected. Steer clear of any person or philosophy that does not honor that right. You'll be the healthier and happier for it.
If you don't steward your energy well, what will you have available to share with others?
Drink in the nourishment of each moment! It's your party!
By Keith Varnum author, seminar leader
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