As a coach, I was trained to ask empowering questions. Questions that made my clients pause and go deeper; identifying some awareness or understanding that lies just underneath the radar. Whether asked sweetly and with care or sharply, with laser-like precision, empowering questions get to the heart of the matter.
One of the most powerful questions I’ve heard – the one that consistently brings me to the heart of the matter – is one posed by Adyashanti in his book The End of Your World. It’s a simple yet revealing question; cutting in a kind way. When I ask it of myself, Truth is always revealed. The question?
“What do you know that you wish you didn’t know?”
What do you know deep down in your bones about this issue that if you acknowledge to yourself, with rock your world? What do you know to be true that will, eventually, require you to take action that could change everything? What do you know that you wish you didn’t know, because now that you acknowledge you know it, you can’t go back to not knowing. You can’t pretend anymore.
Pause. Breath. Take that in. Notice what awareness arises in you just hearing these questions. As you breath, recognize what you can now acknowledge, that you couldn’t a minute ago.
When I asked myself this question in January, I knew I had to change my diet. I knew I needed to get serious, long term, about cutting out grains, sugar, preservatives, dairy, and processed foods. I knew it would be hard. I knew I wouldn’t like it. I’ve done it before for a few months at a time, and it’s been hard. My ego/personality, the part of me that loves food and the pleasure derived from taste, rebelled at the thought.
But my gut needs to heal. I wish I didn’t know this, but I do. I can’t put it off any longer.
So here I am 2 months into taking the action I knew I needed to take in January. I’ve been off grains since May 1st, off dairy and following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) since June 1st. As I ramp it up for another month to get a candida outbreak under control, I am also cutting out peanuts, vinegar, mushrooms, tamari – all things fungusy or commercially fermented.
The further I get into this, the more my ego/personality reminds me just how deprived I am. How much it sucks that I can’t eat out with friends, that I can’t enjoy cheese, that I have to cook most all of my meals, that I have to (gasp) take care of myself! The further I get into this, the more frustrated I get with the effects of detoxing – outbreaks all over my body, exhaustion, pockets of buried emotions rising to the surface demanding to be felt, laser-like clarity interspersed between bouts of utter confusion, physical pain that has no physical origin, erratic sleep patterns.
The further I get into this, the more I can feel my body breathing a sigh of relief. It’s throwing off yet another layer of physical and emotional toxins that have been trapped in it for years. The further I get into this, the more glimpses I get of the clarity, ease, and joy that will be available to me as my gut heals.
I know physical and emotional ease is just around the corner; sometimes I can even feel it in the moment. A part of me knows this is not deprivation; this is healing. But right now, I still wish I didn’t know.