Moving Towards Healthier Habits
by Christelle Chopard - Founder of the DHARMI® Method
With life experiences, we notice that change is a constant factor and that there are different ways to move through the cycles of impermanence. Yet we are also aware that some behavioral patterns are very difficult to change.
How many times have you wished for making a change, in your diet for example, and realized that no matter how inspired you are to make that change, as clear as it may be, as simple as it may look, it will be very challenging to make the shift. The mind can understand the benefit of the transition. Yet the emotional body continues to scream for its comfort food and the familiar sensations that goes with it.
You may face choices that trigger a certain conflict between the voice of wisdom and reason and the hedonistic voice that feeds into unhealthy behaviors.
Any change of habit requires reflection and a dharmic process if you aim to pass through it with mindfulness and integrity. When the changes are made without consideration of the different voices within us, it can cause trauma and a sense of emptiness. Any transition requires compassion and acceptance of the inner callings. This will lead to a mindful transformation that will bring about a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.
Changing a habit in your diet is not only about a specific goal, like losing weight or becoming healthier and stronger, it is mainly about the intention and the learning experience and to discover new ways of living.
There is a subtle line between the comfort that we find in some behavioral patterns and core beliefs, and the comfort that we experience when we are true to ourselves.
When you listen to the voices that appear along the journey, you will be able to distinguish between the ones that inspire and nurture you, and the ones that distract you. To assist you in the process, you can create a support system around you with people who inspire you to access a space of harmony and wellbeing with a spark of lightness and wisdom.
Most of us have experienced those desires to move towards a healthier lifestyle, yet found ourselves falling back into old behaviors quite quickly.
The consideration of our senses can support us with addressing our inner voices and influences from past life experiences:
- We have thoughts that trigger certain feelings that we want to calm down with comfort food for example. We can approach this feeling by focusing the mind towards a clear positive intention that opens our mind to a new perspective. When we are more mindful we will be more alert and attentive in our choices and ways to eat.
- The sense of touch affects us in our nutrition as well. When we are in touch with the food we prepare for our body to receive, it will add a nurturing aspect than if we have no direct contact with the food before eating it. When you choose the fruits or vegetables you will eat, you observe their forms, their tenderness. We are attracted by certain feelings of touch more than others. Some people like what is crunchy, while others prefer what is soft and blends in the mouth. This also reflects if we like to chew in the process, or if we prefer to make it fast and easy. Touch and consistency are directly related to the earth element, to the foundation and the resources we invest in our wellbeing and nutrition.
- Taste is directly linked with emotional memories. Some people are attracted to sweet, others to fried food, others to healthy fresh fruits, some even to bitter tastes. Our emotional state has a strong effect on the type of food we will be attracted to. This works both ways, as the food we eat will directly affect our emotions and moods throughout the day. This sense is mainly related to the water element, which relates to our emotional state and the relationships we are attracted to.
- Sight triggers feelings and calls for action. When we look at a promotional video, the images and expression that we see influence us strongly in the choices we will make for the next few hours. As soon as they see a big M, some people feel the call for French fries and a hamburger. They may not even be hungry. When we see a picture of a healthy woman biting into a strawberry, with a bright spark in her eyes, reflecting vitality, most of us will feel like looking for healthy fresh fruit to bite into. Sight is linked with the fire element, which is directly connected with motivation and your inspiration.
- Smells have a strong power to trigger specific memories and influence your eating habits. Take grilled chicken and the memory of childhood barbecues for example. Smell is related to the air element, which is directly connected with your memories and core beliefs.
Our emotional responses and muscle memories have been programed for many years in certain patterns. It takes time, dedication and a high level of mindfulness to make an integrative shift. Sometimes the thought is there but we cannot find the way to lead it into action.
Sometimes the desire is there but the mindset is still responding to profound core beliefs. What would be a thought or affirmation that can inspire you to approach your diet from a different perspective?
For an integrative, holistic transition we take into consideration all those voices with equal attention and dedication.
Sometimes the mind is clear yet the emotional body is screaming out loud wanting to stay in its comfort zone, with fear of lack and attachments. Is there a way to find comfort without rushing to certain food?
Sometimes we let go of attachments, yet the body still has the need of that sugar rush or caffeine that it has been used to for so many years. You can then learn about alternatives to support the transition in a harmonious way for your body.
DHARMI® Method is a process that will support your transition following three main steps. First bringing awareness to the source of the pattern while taking into consideration any core beliefs, emotional memories and physical triggers related to it. That step is the recognition of where you are at this point in your life, the frequency you are at, and the conditioning that influences your decisions and lifestyle. It is by acknowledging and accepting your actual point of reference that you can release attachment and judgment, and move with compassion towards a new perspective.
One of the main steps to support a mindful transition comes from clarifying an intention that is meaningful to you. Without clear intention or inspiration, it will be more difficult to redirect your energy and focus.
Peace and Clarity,
The working society of the 21st century has changed drastically. Advancements in technology have made us always available to others and only add up to a heavy workload that makes it impossible to really zone out after a long day at work. We are constantly charged up and find it hard to bring balance and order into our lives. (...)
When you listen to falling rain, walk in a forest, turn your face to the sun, interact with the animal or plant kingdoms, you are connecting with the life-giving energy in the universe known as Nature. (...)
Practicing and realizing mindfulness in ourselves can have tremendous effects on us and our surroundings. Those who practice mindfulness regularly will not only notice that their ability to focus increases, and that they feel more anchored in their daily lives, but also that they remain more relaxed in stressful situations. (...)