This blog totally downloaded to me this morning as I was doing my daily gratitude practice, inspirational reading and journaling, on the heels of spending the weekend in Napa with friends. The theme of love kept coming up in everything I was reading, and it made me reflect on all the choices in my life that came from fear, not love. In addition, the times I have chosen love over fear has ultimately put me on the course of finding my life’s purpose, abundance, and finally embracing the feeling of contentment. Of course, it did not hurt that I spent the weekend with inspiring people enjoying amazing food, nature, generosity, and inspirational conversation to get me into this mindset.
For me, the fear motivation was very present the first 40 years of my life around food and the fear of gaining weight. I would skip dessert, eat kale chips and chastise myself for having an extra glass of wine, instead of completely enjoying 5 bites of a dessert, eating the homemade kettle chips fried in peanut oil, or laughing with a friend over an extra glass of pinot noir. Ironically during that time, my weight always fluctuated, and I struggled. However, the worst part was that I rarely truly enjoyed the dessert or extra glass of wine because of the nagging voice in my head that told me I was being “bad”. I also did not enjoy the kale chips and probably ended up overeating something else because I was still hungry and unsatisfied.
Reflecting, I did not really stabilize my weight until I let go of the fear, guilt and shame and started eating things I enjoyed, rather then muscling though another diet or depriving myself completely of sugar and alcohol trying to get control over myself. This weekend I ate amazing food, drank too much good wine, hiked in the Napa foothills and was gifted an entirely new wardrobe in a size I never could sustain while living from fear.
However, food and weight were not the only area I found myself making decisions from fear, it was school, relationships, not traveling, and a 20-year hospital dietitian career that no longer served me are areas where this showed up. I started college as a business major to counter the financial instability and chaos while growing up, so I would never have to worry about money. Three years in, I hated my classes and took a class in nutrition that spoke to my soul because of my dysfunctional relationship with food. This led to my career as a hospital dietitian which I loved until I became disillusioned with Western medicine, so I stayed 5 additional years because I thought I could not support myself without that job. Fast forward 5 years, I am making more money then I ever could have at the hospital, not punching a clock, and living my life’s purpose of being a teacher and looking outside the box of our current Dis Ease management system to empower people to be truly healthy.
Currently I am at a crossroads in my life about where to live and what to do with my life. The fear decision is to stay in my house and continue to live in California, where I have lived almost my whole life, and no longer feeds my soul. However, what is speaking to my soul right now is to sell my place, buy a sprinter van, add my soulutions for food logo, and travel the country blogging on restaurants that serve amazing food and inspiring people to live healthier lives, before settling in Washington state. I am not going to lie, giving up my piece of California realestate has kept me up at night, but what amazing experiences would I be missing that could change my life, career or my ability to live my life’s purpose and mission. Stay tuned…. You all know where this is going!
My parting words to you are to really get into your body and feel what really speaks to your heart, not what your head says you should or should not do. If eating the dessert, having the extra glass of wine, traveling to Europe, or taking the job will feed your soul and give you joy, then do it!!