Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Loving all of yourself

Recipe: Chocolate 'Ice Cubes'

Remember our exploration of how to approach change effectively? I began this here, writing about taking some time to allow the habits we want to change to just be present for a time, in our loving attention; and continued it here with a way of viewing these challenging habits, by inquiring into 'who' in our psyche carries the habit, which part of our personality enacts the behavior, that we've deemed needs to change.

Having done this investigative work, we now have a felt sense of 'who' needs to eat that second piece of sugar laden pie, 'who' is reaching for the third or fourth glass of wine on the fourth or fifth day in a row. Perhaps it feels like a frightened child, or an angry teenager.

Now, what do we do about it? Weren't we talking about making change?

These inner 'personalities' have reasons for doing what they do, and wanting what they want. I'm not talking about the story from your childhood; how your mother spoke to you (or didn't), or how your father hit you, or left you without warning. The story is important. But it's not the crux of the matter.

We need to acknowledge the story, certainly. We carry these wounds with us like an oyster carries an intrusion of sand. And, like the pearl the oyster develops to protect itself, we develop kernels of personality, ways of being and acting in the world that protect that memory of pain, of lack and need that wasn't fulfilled.

I'll make a leap here. The crux of the matter is often about survival.

That may sound overly dramatic. But remember, we're not talking about rational parts of our minds. We're talking about primal, vulnerable parts of our psyche. If they were rational, they wouldn't do things that hurt our health!

The personality that feels it has to drink to be in a social situation usually feels it will fail, perhaps not know what to say, or make a fool of itself, without a little 'social lubrication'. If there's a child at the root of that, or a teenager, succeeding socially is vitally important. Being ostracized or laughed at certainly feels like a kind of death to a vulnerable youth.

At the root of difficulty exercising may be not wanting to feel the body too intimately. Often during or after exercise, we experience our bodies more fully, we feel our life force, our own personal power. For many of us that was dangerous territory. How many of us have been accused of being 'too much' - too strong, too loud, even too loving when we were feeling our bodies fully? And if this message came as a child, with a feeling that a parent will withdraw love - again, our very survival can feel at risk. A child without a parent's love is a very frightened child. Or if we were sexually abused as children, experiencing the body at all can bring up very difficult feelings. Better to just let it lie mostly unused, a vehicle for our head to get where it wants to go. Often a sexual experience to a child carries a strong feeling of being annihilated. That's another word for death.

For those of us with even more extreme examples of outright abuse, that fear can be even easier to identify. And many of our self destructive behaviors developed to numb, or at least cushion, that fear that we were indeed, going to die. Or that we wished we would. If we numb that feeling - then we feel like we'll live.

We need to honor those tender parts of our psyche. We need to honor the strong reactive personalities that we developed to protect the tender frightened parts, too. They had a job to do, and in a very real way they helped us get through times we were afraid we wouldn't survive.

So, how do we change? We need to find ways to help these parts of ourselves know that they are no longer responsible for our survival. That there is an adult in charge now that really has our best interests at heart. That they did a hard job, and they did it well, the proof being that we survived! Now, they get to rest.

Next post I'll explore some ways we can take radical responsibility for our actions, and allow these wounded parts of our personalities to relax.

And, as we're contemplating these challenging aspects of change, a little chocolate that we can feel good about eating can soften the harder edges.

Chocolate 'Ice Cubes'

Gluten and dairy-free, and low carb. Appropriate for candida, diabetes and GAPS diet protocols.

3/4 cup nuts of choice - hazelnuts or pecans are my favorites, preferably soaked and dehydrated
3/4 cup coconut butter
1/4 cup raw cacoa powder if possible, or unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup cocoa butter, gently melted
30 drops alcohol-free stevia extract, or to taste
1/2 tsp of alcohol-free vanilla extract
a pinch of good quality sea salt

Grind the nuts in a food processor until fairly fine, but not until they're nut butter.

Add all the other ingredients and pulse the food processor until well incorporated.

Spread the mixture into ice cube trays, and place into the freezer until solid. Pop out and enjoy!

These should stay solid at room temperature, unless the weather is warm. Keep refrigerated on hot summer days.


Joanna said...

Are these the thingies I tried at Michaelmas? I can't wait to make them! YUM.

Durga Fuller said...

Hi Joanna, I just found this comment awaiting moderation! Blogspot never sent it to me. Go figure.

Yes, that was the chocolate ice cubes you tasted. Have you tried them?