September 5, 2020 by Molly Patrick

Recalibrating the life dial

When I used to drink and smoke, it took drinking and smoking for me to experience pleasure.
Anything less stimulating didn’t light me up.

A beautiful sunset? Yawn.
A wonderful piece of classical music? No thanks.
Going for a hike? Blah.
Sitting on the porch with a cup of tea in the morning? Blandorama.

It was the same with food. When I used to eat a lot of vegan junk food and eat out all the time, it took eating vegan junk food and eating out to find pleasure in food.
Anything less stimulating didn’t light me up.

A bowl of whole grains for breakfast? LOL.

A big green salad for lunch? Yeah, no.

Beans and rice with veggies for dinner? Only if it was wrapped in a tortilla and slathered with store-bought vegan cheese and vegan sour cream, baby!

An apple for a snack? Maybe if it was drenched in peanut butter first.

It’s like the dial of life had to be turned to high in order for things to register in my brain as being enjoyable.

Fast forward 5 years: I no longer drink. I no longer smoke. I rarely eat vegan junk food, and I hardly ever eat out. My life is high-octane exciting, I know, but let’s keep to the point here. Do you know what I find enjoyable now? What lights me up? What makes my soul smile?

Smelling a delicious bar of soap.

Reading in bed before I go to sleep.

Eating raw snap peas from the farmers market.

Touching the rosemary in my yard and then smelling my hands.

A bowl of cooked beans and greens.

Watching palm trees blow in the breeze.

Putting away clean dishes.

Eating a ripe piece of fruit.

Hanging up my clothes on the clothesline.

A glass of cold water on a hot day.

When we recalibrate our life dial, we are able to experience what is in front of us instead of constantly trying to run away from it. And when we can sit and stay with what’s in front of us, whether we’re a fan of it or not, it changes everything, and allows the dial to come down.

Some days you might experience a ripe peach (which can bring joy) and some days you might experience someone you love dying (which can bring suffering).

Whatever it is, don’t run. Stay with it, because the very act of being alive and observing the world in front of you is the ultimate experience.

Today’s chat over on the blog is a continuation of this theme. Anna Oplocki and I had a great talk about mental health and how changing her diet changed her mental health.

It was a fantastic talk and I know you will enjoy it. And THEN! Pick up today’s recipe for plant based curry laksa, one of my all time favorite dishes.

Molly

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