“Through the earth, the creator brings us the food that will nurture us. When we do not receive the offering and gifts from the creator, we dishonor the divine source of all life, implying that we reject life.” – from Medicine for the Earth: How to Transform Personal and Environmental Toxins by Sandra Ingerman

Recently, I became very inexplicably sick. For six weeks I had a terrible, awful, wretched cough that no amount of herbs, homeopathics, or meditation seemed to be able to touch. I wrote a list of everything I tried in the course of six weeks and literally came in excess of 50 remedies. I continued to pray for healing, to invite the healing light of grace into my lungs, and to practice patience. My best friend yerba manza and beloved buddy osha root had no effect. My trusty standbys kali bichromium (potassium) and pulsatilla (pasque flower) couldn’t help move the illness out of my body. This is the gift of a wounded healer – the chance to know so many remedies and their actions -, but this wounded healer could not find relief. I was shaken awake at 3am gasping for breath, the cough choked me so badly that I was brought to the point of vomiting, and my voice trembled like I would break into tears at any moment. It was embarrassing and humbling. I was at a complete loss.

Then came the shift. A doctor muscle tested me and found numerous food allergies as well as a candida overgrowth in my gut. I was furious. Really? A life sentence of distrusting my food, refusing meals, and just waiting for the next spasm of my gut? I was NOT going to do it, no way, no how. But, what was my way out? As I drove the hour home, I started transmuting my rage into activism. Here is the central question that changed absolutely everything for me:

How can I be separate from that which is grown, prepared and blessed with love … that which nourishes me?

I knew this, beyond everything else, to be true, and I focused my entire next 60 minutes of contemplation, prayer and driving around this one sacred truth. Here is what I learned:

The muscle testing was true for that singular point in time. The projection of that momentary message from my body into the future was the distortion. Even the assumption that my body was saying “no more” of these foods was false. My body was just communicating what it knew to be true, that it was having a hard time digesting life. I was not able to receive the gift of nourishment from the creator. With this understanding I started to watch how I was eating, and allowing my body the opportunity to talk about how it felt. I wanted to hear her messages directly. This is how it should have always been, but I needed the gross perversion of the doctor’s projections to make this apparent. Sometimes our messengers are not the purest, sweetest souls, but if we’re willing to pay attention so much can change.

Here are the steps I took to find healing:

  1. The very first step I took was to start sitting with, holding, and blessing the food. “I bless you in the name of the Mother. I bless you in the name of the Father. I bless you in the name of the Spirit who moves through all things.” Other lovely blessings included “I am one with this nourishment. I am one with the divine. I am one with the Spirit that moves through all that is, was and ever will be.” I sent prayers of gratitude to the land that sheltered the food, the air, water and wind that nourished it, and the humans that raised and harvested the food. I channeled love and light into the food.
  2. Second, I stopped doing anything else but being with my food. I stopped working in front of the computer. I stopped watching TV and reading books. I stopped talking if I could help it. At the very least, I stopped heated and hurried discussions over my meals. I eliminated anything that came between me and my food. Instead of polarize away from it, I moved in and entered into an intimate relationship with it.
  3. Third, I moved in even closer and I slowed way down. I paid attention to how the food interacted with my mouth, my tongue, my throat. I found that I was eating WAY too fast. I nearly choked on my food every meal. I chewed and chewed and surrendered to the beautiful nuances of flavor that extended past the first encounter of the meal in my mouth. I felt the way my mouth talked to the flavors and then I sensed how my stomach received the nourishment. One of my dear friends reminded me, “put down your fork in between bites.”
  4. I began to watch not only my digestive tract but my entire body. I saw that I was sitting cross-legged and hunched over as I ate. I was twisting and compacting my gut. I was contracting and retreating from the experience. Now I consciously put both feet flat on the floor and feel the circuit between me and the earth close. The energy flows freely and I feel flushed and rejuvenated. It is like being steadied by both of a friend’s hands on my shoulders after getting off a rocky boat.
  5. Last, I listened to my body for the entire meal, listening closely for contentment. I found I was blasting way past contentment, into “full” and then into gorged. There is a quiet, comforting communication from the body that says “thank you” and settles in to the nourishment. The first time I heard it I understood how I had missed it all along. There is no quieter or more still voice. It’s like the silence of the moon setting on the horizon.

The result of this ongoing practice is that I now eat 1/3rd the amount I had been. I’ve lost a lot of weight, but feel more content with food than ever. My cough and mucous in my lungs is gone. I am eating all foods in rotation. My body asks for a variety of foods so I am sure to not go into auto-pilot when choosing my meals. Most importantly, I feel more connected to that which nourishes me as well as that who needs nourishment, my body. Some pretty healthy side effects! I would love to hear about your relationship with food and how you practice blessing the food. Please share in the comments below.