How do I do it? How do I maintain a sugar-, dairy-, yeast-, soy-, gluten-free diet? How do I get enough rest and keep up with all of my projects—ThinkHouse Collective, Under the Gum Tree, TrueStory, teaching college writing, freelancing?
There’s no easy answer to those questions. But one thing that has helped me is to think about drastic life-change as an adventure. Here’s how that approach has helped me adjust and embrace the change.
Often change happens and we feel like it’s out of our control, right? We feel like now we have to do things that we don’t want to, and we don’t have a choice.
But looking at life-change as an adventure helped me to flip that perspective. Instead of having to change my diet, I get to try all these new fun foods. Instead of having to start exercising on a regular basis, now I get to make yoga a priority. I treat it like an adventure and I get to investigate options; I get to stock up on supplies and, yes, I even get excited.
Experiment means to try something out and see how it goes, and adventure is all about trying new things. We can treat life-change the same way.
I’ve been experimenting with new recipes like homemade crackers and new self-care practices like skin brushing. At first I didn’t think crackers were something I could make, and I didn’t know what this skin brushing was all about. But I gave them a try—along with a host of other odd stuff that I’ve never done before—with no expectation, just to see what would happen. And so far the results have been stellar.
We often resist change, don’t we? It causes our reflexive no to kick in. A sugar-free diet? I can’t do that! Regular MRIs? No! A GI test? No! Going to bed early? I’ll never be able to! Asking for a laundry list of exceptions with a restaurant order? I don’t want to be that person!
The problem with the reflexive no, the automatic resistance, is that it closes us off to adventure. Seeking adventure requires the ability to say yes (perspective) and to try new things (experiment). Once I had my perspective flipped and experiments prompted, I found myself becoming generally more open to new ideas, such as supplementing my health with essential oils—something I previously would have dismissed off hand with little to no consideration. (I write more about using essential oils in the ebook.)
Life-change isn’t easy and it definitely isn’t always fun. But treating it like an adventure can make the journey much more manageable and even enjoyable. We seek adventure and try things that we’ve never done before in hope of discovering something new about the world—about people or history or religion or culture. Life-change can do the same thing and, really, what we end up discovering is a new part of our self.