The Great Paradox (for Success in Transforming Your Eating)

Tons of books tell us how important it is to have a clear vision of anything we want to create in our lives—like a clean way of eating. But here’s the paradox: Yes, you need to have a clear vision of what you want; but you also have to be merrily un-attached to that vision.

Sports psychologists get paid big bucks teaching athletes not to take winning too seriously. The ancient Samurai warriors trained themselves to be indifferent to winning or losing. Recovering alcoholics are cautioned against “white knuckling it.” Why for?

Because if we’re too attached to a goal that means that, on some level, we’re actually scared of NOT getting it. And fear magnetically pulls us in the direction of the very thing we’re afraid of (okay, that MAY be a paraphrase from Master Po, one of Kwai Chang Kane’s wise old teachers in the 70’s show, Kung Fu. Master Po wore scary white contact lenses!).

So, oddly enough, if we’re too invested in eating healthy, we’re almost guaranteeing our failure. The art, then, is to balance laser-like intention with a playful humor about the whole thing. Both must be there. To transition to a super healthy way of eating, you need a clear vision of exactly what you want (in terms of vibrant health) but you also must know that nothing ultimate depends on it. Your essential wholeness, okayness or lovableness is not at stake. That is innate and untouchable. There are many cool ways to get in touch with this "knowing." Meditation is one of the best. As the old saying goes, “If you’re not whole without it, you’re not whole with it.”

This exquisite balance makes you adaptable, resilient and tenacious as you learn to eat cleaner and cleaner. So transition to a radiantly healthy eating lifestyle, but always wear your transition as a loose gown.


Carolyn Crane said...

What an interesting post. This sounds like such excellent advice!

sherrose said...

Mark, I love this post! I couldn't agree more about visualizing end result but not white knuckling it. Really hit home for me!