Holy Shiitake: The Sacred-ness of Satiety

Eating food is something holy. Swiss cheese would understand. Sorry vegans. Bad joke.

Before I go into detail, it’s important to know I am not writing this with the hopes of you adopting some sort of new ritual around food. I don’t expect you to bow down to your collard greens before chewing 108 times prior to swallowing. There are enough extreme dogmas and dietary theories being practiced at the moment, and in my humble personal and professional opinion, these seemingly strict behaviors, although disguised as ‘health trends’ are further disconnecting us from the true healing power of food and ultimately our inherent self-healing capacity

Food has the power to heal and sustain us not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well. I trust this is not news to many of us. My guru believes that meditation is not possible until our food is correct. And by ‘food being correct’, he is referring to our relationship with food. Having survived and cured myself of Orthorexia, I have first hand experience of the mental delusion involved in glorified eating plans and how my excessive mental impact on diet took me further away from anything ‘healthy’. I was highly mechanical. I deluded myself into deprivation disguised as discipline. I was disciplined to follow a ‘plan’, not my truth. Not my instinct. Not my gut.

If I am not following my educated intuition around food then how is it possible for me to be aligned with my ultimate purpose as a human being? Perhaps a large claim to make, but let’s play with it for a bit…

First off, it’s important to define the term educated intuition. When I suggest that eating should be an instinctual natural act, many of my clients exclaim that if they were following their intuition, they’d happily devour a bag of Oreos. Habit is not intuition. Cravings are not intuition. In fact, the more we mindlessly stuff our bodies with unhealthy toxic food the further we stray from our center… from the proper functioning of our gut, which is the home of our deepest knowing. Educated intuition is a feeling based on moment-to-moment awareness and sensation as opposed to thinking, emotions and memory.

What we choose to feed our bodies with has a direct effect on the entire course of our lives. This is very important to grasp and consider. The process is a subtle process. When I chose to adopt a vegan diet at the age of 22, I suffered from severe anxiety and confusion as I literally felt completely different than I used to… both physically and mentally. I had different interests than I used to… and different thoughts than when I was unconsciously eating fast food and unhealthy food growing up. I would rather stay at home and read an inspirational book than go out to the bar and drink. I felt isolated. The transition was not smooth but eventually I found my tribe and realized I was not the only one. I chose to surround myself with like-minded people and have literally grown into a new person. I feel like I have lived more than one life in this body.

As sexual energy creates us in the first place, physical food is what sustains this temporary body we live in. The quality and amount of food we eat governs not only our bodily functions but also dictates our thoughts, feelings and emotions. We are only a small portion physical, and even the solid matter of ourselves is energy vibrating at a high frequency. Thoughts feelings sensations and emotions are also formations of energy that are effected by the food we eat, among other factors.

To overlook this miracle is to overlook our own healing potential. The answer to health cannot be found in a book or a system. All systems are of the mind. And the more we depend on the mind to guide our nutrition, the more the mind will be in charge of our worldly pursuits, whether it’s scrolling a dating app searching for love or subscribing to a job we dislike because we think we should. I’m not suggesting that any of the aforementioned pursuits are inherently ‘wrong’ in nature. Instead, I am attempting to paint a picture of how much more is available to us when we gently consider our magnitude beyond the thinking mind and physical body. We as human beings are complex mysterious biocomputers that depend on a deeply integrated sense of self in order to thrive.

When I was suffering with my eating disorder, I never felt full. Even during and after a binge, I  was not satisfied. I was always starving and incessantly thinking and fantasizing about food. There was no pleasure, no relaxation. It was unnatural. I have come to learn that this fullness we seek is something beyond food. Beyond mind. And beyond body. Through mindful eating, each of us has the opportunity to re-discover ourselves and live from a place of self-knowledge and true nourishment.

Tips To Stay Sacred:

  1. Eat fruits and vegetables (big surprise, I know… but do you know WHY?)

They come from the earth and are some of the most natural foods we can take in. The more natural foods we eat, the more we align ourselves with nature and the greater chance to tap in to our subtle body. Vegetables that from up from the earth such as leafy greens have a flexible strong center (like a spine) and are growing towards the light. Eating these vegetables on the regular will enhance creativity and inspiration. Similarly, ingesting grounding root veggies such as carrots, sweet potatoes and beets provide a feeling of stability and support.

2.  Breathe while eating

Put your fork down between bites and take a few breaths. It doesn’t have to be a big deal but instead a gentle inner acknowledgement that you are eating. Enjoy the flavors. Let it be a joyful meditation.  Notice your thoughts and feelings. Smile.

3.  Avoid eating in front of TV or computer

Try both. One day, eat your meal in front of the computer. The next day, eat the same meal with no distraction. Take note of the difference. Many people claim their digestion is better when they eat without external stimulation. Also, you will likely eat slower and have more of an opportunity to be present and grateful with your meal.

4.  Don’t eat too much

I’m not suggesting you start a three-hundred-day juice fast. I am simply pointing, once again, to the fact that we are a very small part physical and what feeds us comes in many forms. Too much food can cause blockages in our physical and energetic systems. If you think you’re hungry, try taking a walk in nature, getting a massage or being with someone you love. Love nourishes us. Think back to a time you were in love. Re-visit the scenario in your mind. When you were with your lover, did time not cease to exist? Were you concerned with your next meal? Or were you in the moment? Completely fulfilled…

Nutrition comes in many forms, and eating physical food is only one. The way we nourish ourselves is evident in our relationships, career and self-care practices. If you’re hungry for more, please join me on one of my upcoming soul getaways and feel free to contact me directly shayna@shaynahiller.com. I look forward to serving you…

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