By Lyndsey Hafer-Willams
A few weeks ago, I was in Hawaii.
On the roof of Molly and Luanne’s Maui home.
Gazing up at a full moon and a night sky full of twinkling stars.
Basking in friendship and the sounds of laughter.
I distinctly remember thinking that life couldn’t get any sweeter, peaceful, or more perfect.
A few days later, I was in a hoard of anxious, masked travelers.
In the ornate Hall of Flags at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
Standing in a long line, on weary legs, with a pounding headache.
Waiting to have my temperature taken. For the third time.
I remember thinking that life couldn’t get any crazier, darker, or more out of control.
WTF? Seriously. What in the actual fuck had happened, was happening, would happen?
How did I go from one of the most beautiful, powerful, stunningly vivid adventures of my entire life – in which I felt nothing but searing joy – to flying home amid the chaos of a worldwide pandemic crisis like we’ve never known in our lifetime?
What fresh hell was this, and how in the world was I supposed to navigate through all this noise, fear, and desperation?
By the time I returned home to the arms of my wife, the kisses of my furbabies, and the sanctuary of my home, I was bombarded with feelings. All the feels and nothing but the feels!
So confused, yet full of clarity.
So upset, but also excited.
So scared, yet eerily calm.
So worried, but strangely at peace.
So filled with the creeping edges of depression, yet happiness bubbled inside.
After 36 hours of travel, 5 airplanes, and as many airports, I wasn’t even sure of my own name, much less my emotions or what to do with it all.
So, I went to bed.
And slept for a day and a half.
When I woke up, I wanted comfort.
I wanted cookies and chips and pie and onion rings and chocolate.
I wanted a milkshake and soda and candy and ice cream.
I wanted caramel popcorn and pizza and Chinese takeout.
But then I remembered Who I Am.
Let me explain…
I’m not the person I used to be. I was a lifelong yo-yo dieter, binge-eater, and user of food – not unlike one who uses drugs or alcohol – to dull, to numb, to zone out…
I’m not the person I used to be. I no longer eat highly processed foods or drink sugary sodas to push down hard or scary feelings. I no longer smooth out those rough edges of hurt, fear, shame, guilt, or embarrassment with food.
Who am I?
I am an ordinary woman who has extraordinarily learned to love and listen to her perfectly imperfect body. Through CFDG, specifically, the Plant Fueled Meal Plans and Lighten Up, I have become the vibrant woman that you know in person or online.
It’s not an act. What you see is the direct result of being unafraid to feel all the feels, fuel my miraculous body with whole plant foods, and move on my mat. I refuse to be a victim to anyone, including myself.
Simply put? I can feel it all: the light and the dark, the negative and the positive, the yin and the yang of this crazy world, and still choose to be okay. We humans have the amazing ability and capacity to hold all of that, make space for every bit of it, sift through it, and then move forward. If we choose to do so.
I can be scared of the future and still dive headfirst into whatever opportunities or adventures await.
I can deeply grieve the death of a friend gone too soon and still laugh like mad at my hilarious wife.
I can feel terrified of the long-lasting effects of this horrendous pandemic and still find a ray of sunshine in every single day.
And I know that you can, too…
Who are you? Do you know?
Everything that you feel right now is ok. Feel that shit. Acknowledge it. Observe it. Invite it in for a chat. Then let it go and choose you. Choose to batch all the plants and eat them with gusto all week long! Choose to go for a walk or play with your kids or snuggle with your partner.
I know how stressful and frightening our world is right now. I know that we are all trying to sail through uncharted territory in a torrential downpour of mass hysteria, out-of-control social media, and the very real panic of “what if?”
It’s ok to be scared, emotional, and worried in these uncertain times. I’m scared, too.
But don’t forget that you have a choice in how you move, act, and react in this world. I gently urge you to choose love over fear, action over inaction, kindness over hatred, patience over irritation, an open mind over narrow judgment, and to care for yourself as you would for those you love most.
Because, my dear friend, you are worth it!
How are you responding to the recent weight of the world? We would love to know in the comments below.
Lemon Blueberry Smoothie
Lemon Blueberry Smoothie
- 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups packed kale (60 g)
- 1 1/2 cups packed banana (260 g)
- 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries (210 g)
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
Place all ingredients into your blender and blend until super creamy and smooth.
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with feeling all the feels.