While in Hawaii recently, I initiated a huge change in my relationship to food by deciding that I would only put whole, living foods into my body. I gave up sugar, gluten, dairy, meat, and all soy products. I started juicing fruits and vegetables and incorporated raw food into my meals and ate more than I ever did throughout the day. Very quickly I noticed a shift in my energy level, as well as physical changes-my skin was more luminous, I lost 7 lbs. effortlessly, my state of mind was clearer and calmer. I was tasting food again, dedicating more care and creativity into making meals for myself and my family-any of you reading this who have tried to transition into raw food diets or healthier alternatives understand that this is a total art: to extract and appreciate a seed or a fruit or an herb for its taste and texture and how it pairs with others requires exploration, and a lot of play time in the kitchen. I was on an adventure: how do I make this food so delicious that eating it is orgasmic, and not just a mechanical exercise in "getting a meal" down?
This was an interesting journey for the old me, who only loved the taste of raw vegetables so long as there was a bowl of Hidden valley ranch right beside them. As I devoted myself each day to this singular intention to eat well and eat happy, I noticed I started to appreciate my body down to it's cellular level. I could feel the shift. I started communicating with my liver, my kidneys, my intestines... have you ever had a dialogue with your spleen? Interesting stuff! Things were going well and then week 3 hit and I became ill...out of nowhere, I had fevers, my body ached everywhere, I felt terrible. I was primarily in bed for 4 days straight. On day 5, I finally had the energy to go to the beach...my intuition was telling me, get to the ocean. By this time, I was feeling better, but was still experiencing discomfort through my lower belly, pelvis and hips. I figured my body was literally processing this radical change I had made. As I lay on the beach, a Hawaiian monk seal emerged from the water's edge and started to make her way, very clumsily, onto the beach. I couldn't believe it. I had visited this beach, Diamond Head, more than a thousand times over the last forty years, and never had I seen a monk seal at this particular location. In fact, I had seen monk seals only two other times in my entire childhood/audlthood in Hawaii. I watched the seal, very slowly, move from water to earth. It took her at least 5 minutes to settle into a spot. She closed her eyes, let out a big breath, that sounded more like a gurgly snort, and drifted into a slumber, where she remained in complete stillness over the next hour.
What medicine is this animal offering me? I asked myself. What is she trying to show me? While observing her, I realized that she was reflecting back to me my own transition...I realized that this "simple" diet change had launched me on a deep journey to not only letting go of unhealthy eating patterns, but also, along with it, had opened me up to a more loving, respectful and creative attitude toward myself in general. I was re-inventing myself from the inside out. I had emerged from the creative waters and a little awkwardly, like this seal making her way up onto earth, I was settling in for a bit of light, sun, and rest. Settling into the change.
Seals are highly symbolic of our feeling, sensual selves. The seal helps us to remember our connection to our deep inner rhythms, feelings, and knowing, as represented by the sea.
Changing my diet had forced me to literally re-wire the old ways I thought about food and in doing so had expanded my ability to SEE the old emotional and mental paradigms I was stuck in. This wave of change I had initiated 3 weeks ago, reached its peaked, then whoosh, it crested, took me with its barrel, smacked me around a bit, then finally spit me up on the beach, dissovling into the sea of consciousness once again.
Seals swim both below and above water, giving them the ability to experience both the inner and outer worlds. They teach us how to flow, how to hear, and how to discover the deeper mysteries of their true nature. We often fight giving in to these deep rhythms and are afraid of ‘losing’ what we consider to be ourselves. When we are afraid of drowning in these depths, Seal being a good swimmer and knowing how to flow with the ever changing current, reminds us how to swim with the current. When we do this the negative feelings we have created such as worry, fear and anxiety are released from our minds.
Water is a creative element and symbolizes the feminine imagination and intuition. If the seal appears in your life, pay close attention to your imagination and insight - in the waking state and in dreamtime. The Seal can show you how to develop and focus your imagination. Seals are keepers of wisdom. They reveal to us what is hidden deep within ourselves, and teach us how to integrate our imagination with the reasoning power of the intellect. This will give balance and harmony on all levels. Sleek and graceful in the water, Seal teaches us how to feel at home in our bodies, and to uncover our inner beauty.
Sat, August 13, 2011
by Kim Groark