In September 2013, I spent a weekend in a Washington farm town to undergo my Reiki training. The farm was beautifully decorated with flowers, fertile grass and an organic garden where we picked carrots and beets the size of my face. The owners claimed the power of Reiki and the energy they put into their garden produced voluptuous vegetables.
On Saturday, we obtained our first Reiki attunement. The experience was interesting but also enlightening. It was the next step into my spiritual development. As a yogi at heart, I believed in energy and the power of the planets, but failed to connect to the concepts regarding angels and spirit guides. I shunned at any belief that talked of concepts or “things” from the biblical notions.
During the day, we took a break and ate homemade meals and snacks. The food was fresh and made with love. We became energized through the power of food. We finished our afternoon sessions and off we went into town to spend the night in our hotel room. I drove to town and I floated on “Cloud Nine” with bountiful amounts of energy without one care in the world. I transformed into a whole new being and never felt this good before.
The small town atmosphere generally does not appeal to me. This particular town contained plenty of fast food chains and dingy restaurants that do not cater to a plant-based palate and lifestyle. I chose one of the golden king palaces to eat Chinese food. Surprisingly, I found only two vegetarian friendly meals. Without much choice, I ordered the veggie lo mein noodles.
The atmosphere felt depressing and stagnant. Everyone in the restaurant weighed over 300 pounds and scarfed the food as fast as they could. While in my particular “high” moment, I noticed the conversations the locals had about life and work. They clearly connected their complaints about their agonizing boss with their food. My meal came and to my disbelief the oversized portion would have fed a family of four.
I felt bad because these people were not exposed to anything else besides golden arches and the small town life. With the first bite of my food, I choked as I felt like a deer licking a salt block. Is this even food? It seemed like some poisonous palate control. I watched this family eat as they claimed the fried pigskin was the best thing they’ve ever eaten. All the food looked pale brown and stale with sadness.
After dinner, I felt high and low at the same time. I was not used to feeling this good and walked to the Dairy Queen across the street because sweet goes best with salty. I internally battled thoughts in my head. Deep down I did not want to eat the ice cream or anything sweet. My body rejected that thought and flavor. But, something was not right. In some sense the dessert was habitual especially during times of sadness. I ordered a flurry and went to my hotel room.
I put on the television and ate several bites of the flurry. I immediately felt a headache and my body slump into a pool of “blahness.” I felt overfull, stuffed, bloated and gross. Why did I eat this? Why did I ignore my gut feelings? Anyone who knows me knows I do not eat nor support fast food chains.
After moments of contemplation, I realized that I normally never feel this good. I was used to feeling stressed, tired, and like shit – a lot! Even my agonizing knee pain from teaching too many classes over the years miraculously disappeared that afternoon. From a stiff low back to a tired mind, I used the food to bring me down to my “normal state of feeling.” I normally did not feel good, lifted and vibrant.
I felt that my surroundings in the restaurant contributed as I subconsciously brought myself down to the same level of people. It was the first moment I realized that I ascended not only spiritually but also as a physical being. I noticed how energetics play a role in our life from food, atmosphere, peers and surroundings.
Is it okay to feel good? Do I deserve to feel this good? Yes, in fact everyone does. Feeling good felt different and somehow it subconsciously scared me. It was a very important lesson in humanity on how we label feeling like shit as the “norm.” We are programmed to feel this way because we are all “busy, tired and stressed.” And for most people, there is an underlining jealousy or insecurity to those who look, feel and breathe differently. But that is not normal.
The biggest gift you can give yourself is honesty. When I became honest about my situation it became the most liberating experience of my life (besides doing cool things while traveling).
So ask yourself, do you use food to bring you down?
To sign off I leave you with this,
“ We think fast food is equivalent to pornography, nutritionally speaking.” –Steve Elbert
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com