This picture was taken last June at Matt and Angela Monarch's wedding by the lovely and most adored by many (especially me), Jeff Skeirik, the Rawtographer. I look back at this picture, and I can remember how happy I was that day. I met Angie, Tiffany, Cindy, Rawbin, Heidi, Rainbeau, Camille, Kevin & Annmarie, David Wolfe, and so many other amazing people that have been part of my raw food experience.
This was a very happy, but bittersweet time in my life. I had been laid off from my job of 7 years, and was trying to create a job by pulling together a raw food magazine with a handful of people, and with my pitiful savings. I grossly underestimated the cost of printing, and production, folded the magazine after two awesome issues. I lost a couple thousand dollars, still owe people money which I have been chipping away at paying back, and fully intend to pay back every cent when I attract money into my life again. Some people may have seen this venture as a flop. I saw it as a life accomplishment, and a very cool learning experience. That's how we can choose to view our world- as a flop, or as a unique experience to learn and grow. Or as a unique experience to learn, and stumble a few steps back, only to reground your footing and get back on your way.
So often I see people who are eager to start their raw food lifestyle, lose a ton of weight, completely transform their life, and be a bright shiny new person. Everything starts out with a bang, and then old habits creep in, a friend invites you out for Mexican, or you wind up hitting a drive in after an exhausting day of work, kids, errands, and you know, having a life. Suddenly you may be feeling the same happy but bittersweet experience of my life last summer. You're learning new things, you're starting to feel better and lose a pound or two, and you're glad you chose to take a RawFu Challenge. But maybe you grossly underestimated how much different your new lifestyle would be on your social life. Maybe it's more expensive than your old way of eating. Maybe you start thinking that every single thing you do that isn't in the Raw Food Handbook (of which there are SO MANY) is just turning your happy raw food experience into a flop.
But look at what you've learned, even if you've only been at this for a week, or a month, or six months. You have probably learned that if you soak nuts they are easier to digest. You've most likely shoved spinach into a blender, and made a smoothie that was packed with minerals and vitamins. You've stopped, and at least thought about the food you were about to eat, even if it wasn't the best choice. That's three unique experiences that you've got under your belt.
My happy raw food experience has taught me incredible things about myself, even with the stumbles backwards, the days that I just threw my hands up and gave up, and the many times I brushed myself off, and got back on track. I've learned that I'm very sensitive to the effects of sugar, and that I need to tread lightly on the glycemic index. I've learned that I'm still a valuable part of a community, even though I'm not perfect. I've learned that not everybody is going to like what I do, say, or how I feel, but that I can still love them unconditionally. I've learned that I can be obsessive about food if other parts of my life are out of balance. I've learned that being able to laugh at myself, and not take everything so seriously is one of my best qualities.
Tomorrow is May 1st, and I'm starting my happy raw food experience over again. Every single day is a chance to lighten up, and love what your life is made of, even if it's a day of stumbles, and belly flops. Just laugh it off, and welcome yourself to the human race!
Send in the Clowns!