As this challenge goes on I am uncovering more and more things that I need to abstain from. Somehow by letting go of wheat, I have come to realize that I also need to cut down on/cut out sugar and corn.
Just typing that makes me feel a little bit hopeless. I want to whine at The Universe, "Haven't I given up enough?!" But the answer, clearly, is "No."
Not even for any spiritual reasons. (I didn't give up wheat for spiritual reasons, although I believe the process of abstaining from anything can be spiritual practice.) Somehow by abstaining from wheat I have been able to notice more clearly how my body reacts to sugar and corn - and the results are not good.
Although the reaction is not as strong as my reaction to the Pop Tarts I ate before I began the challenge, I do feel unwell after eating sugar and corn. Do I like this? No! Not one bit. But I have to accept that as my body ages, and as I become more conscious and aware of my body through meditation and spiritual practice, I can no longer ignore these unwell feelings. Rather I have to listen to them and make choices accordingly. Which brings me to PASSION.
As I see it I have two choices: 1) resist the truth that is being revealed and whine about it or 2) accept the reality of my body as it is in this moment and get passionate about eating well for that body. Not the body I used to have or the body I wish I had, but the body I actually have right now.
And I believe that this is a choice. Not an easy one perhaps, but a choice nonetheless. I can choose to hate and resist this process (and probably not make as much progress toward optimal health) OR I can get passionate about the foods that are good for me. And I have found that that is getting easier the longer I go without wheat.
I am enjoying carrots and spinach smoothies and apples so much more than I have in the past. In the past I would eat them because they were good for me, but I am beginning to get passionate about the crunch of an organic carrot, the life I can taste in a green smoothie and the juice in a really good apple. And it is this passion - the same passion I once had for croissants and salted rosemary bread - that can make abstinence a joy instead of a chore. A pursuit instead of a forced discipline.
What about you? What is your abstinence challenge revealing to you? What do you want to get PASSIONATE about?