Monday, January 3, 2011

Diet is a four letter word

*show of dualism on Ganga-ji’s ghats*

Last night as I wasted some time on facebook between freelance projects, I was amazed at the number of people talking about starting their diets, and discussing what they were gorging on at the moment before D-Day. Day of Diet Restrictions for the Brand New Year! I know, I shouldn't be amazed, its all part and parcel of the new year celebrations.

I don't resolve to change. I pledge to act like a clown, eat when my body is hungry, indulge when appropriate, restrict with moderation and in general treat my body like the divine vehicle it is!

When you set yourself up to live a certain way for a limited amount of time you aren't truly honoring your potential. Why not pay more attention to the rhythms of your body? There are definite rhythyms that influence the human physical body, considering it is composed of 70% water... if you have seen a tide move in and out, you can see the power the moon's gravity projects on a massive scale.
There is something between us and Truth, the Absolute Reality, and that is called the mind. Training the mind is the starting point for Patanjali, in the Yoga Sutras. For example, one of the first things he talks about is observing which of our thoughts are useful or not useful, positive or negative. Then he directs us to learn to make choices in life on the basis of what is positive and helpful in our growth, choosing to do that which we know leads towards a stable, inner state of tranquility. Such self-observation, self-examination, and self-training are necessary in preparation for the deeper practices. 
The Dualism of the Yoga Sutra gives us detailed instructions on how to clear away the clutter so we can find the door. Non-Dualistic Vedanta philosophy gives us a sound contemplative base for deeper understanding of the nature of the door and that which is beyond. Tantra shows us how to open the door, as well as how and where to knock.

I try to be very clear in my vocabulary when I pledge something. If I feel like my digestion is sluggish, I do a mono-food cleanse. If I am agitated, dehydrated and sleepless in the winter, I cook a hearty stew and cozy up by the fire and some warm bodies.

Making the rhythms of life a natural part of your routine will outlast any diet, resolution, or quick fix. This is your body for life, and it needs to know you love and cherish it, just like an old friend who is always there for you.

*image found here


  1. i love this, and really needed it today...thinking about "resolutions" ...i don't really have anything i really believe needs to be done other than treating myself, my body, my mind, good. remembering that it's ok to fail and that it's ok to just be me :) happy new year alice!

  2. I love this post...and I agree diets are lame!

  3. I love this a lot! Couldn't agree more :)