this phrase is like my new MO. kind of like that whole "he's just not that into you" craze. we spend lots of time making things into something they're not. we over analyze what it means if a guy hugs us rather than kiss us, we ponder endlessly about why our co-worker was called into our boss' office instead of us after a huge presentation, we try desperately to make diet food taste just like the chips and cookies we're used to... we tend to resist accepting things for what they are.
this concept came to me (read: hit me so hard it almost knocked me unconscious) when, for the 100th time, i found myself explaining that i haven't lost my mind just because i find myself wandering over into the raw food lifestyle.
over the past couple of years i've spent my life experimenting with food. at first it was weight related... diet this and diet that, non-fat everything. then it was because i became committed to animal rights activism and quit eating meat. then i ventured into a soy-craze. finally i finished off my experimentation by reading about metabolic typing, ayurveda and raw foodism. i tried it all and what left me feeling the absolute best was raw food. so it seemed to be completely logical to continue to learn about this new food lifestyle and how to best incorporate it into my life.
on thanksgiving i became so bold as to bring a raw pecan pie to my aunt's house. my family conveniently looked away from it, grabbing at the usual dessert staples - apple pie and cheesecake - but a few brave souls braced themselves and tried it. it was met with pretty positive reviews, although directly followed with "but i still prefer regular pecan pie." ugh.
so as i sat there talking about raw food and my health i was met with a familiar question - "but does it taste like regular food?"
this is when i found myself hit in the face with my realization. yes. raw food does taste like regular food. regular for raw. just as french fries taste regular and normal for fried food and milk tastes normal and regular for dairy. everyone gets so hung up on whether or not this raw food i'm eating tastes exactly like its cooked counterpart that they lose the entire concept of the diet. its not about whether jicama mimics the exact taste of a cooked french fry, its how the jicama makes me feel compared to the cooked french fry.
i began to scour over my raw recipe books and realized that all of the food had names like "unfried french fries" or "rawvioli." now these names help me understand what food i'm making and the cooked food it resembles, but i'm sure to find that the raw food doesn't ever taste exactly like the cooked food. and if i really just forgo that concept, i often find that some of the raw stuff i make actually tastes better! i happen to totally prefer my raw pies to any cooked.
and i started to see that its not just food we do this to. we expect people to look a certain way, act a certain way and behave in a certain way. if we see someone picking up garbage along the street the first word that may come to mind is "gross" because its out of the ordinary and "not normal" but maybe that person is deeply committed to the earth and environmentalism. Maybe a friend tells us something less than stellar about ourselves and we get offended because its not the regular niceties this person usually exchanges with us. forget about the fake kindness and take the words as those of advice and caring. i have caught a lot of flack for enjoying practicing my yoga to rock music and encouraging students to have fun on the mat. but that's not me disrespecting yoga, its my interpretation of a practice that has transformed my life.
so today i whipped up a raw spinach quiche, flax crackers (currently dehydrating) and cacao sunflower balls... and i'm not going to cut into that quiche expecting it to taste like a cooked quiche and i'm not going to bite into those cacao sunflower balls and expect them to taste like sweet chocolate fudge... i'm going to look forward to enjoying them for what they are and decide if i like them based on nothing more than their individual taste. forget what they're "supposed" to be or "supposed" to taste like. and tomorrow AM i'm hoping to take my first hot yoga class. i am not going to lie, i've formed some preconceived notions about this style of yoga, but i've based it on my own personal thoughts and opinions. i've never tried it. so i'm going to take a class and experience it for what it is, not constantly judge it or anticipate how i'll feel after compared to a "regular" yoga class. that word regular is dangerous. its a slippery slope for me and leads me into endless amounts of dissatisfaction and comparisons of nearly everything.
so i'm going to try to encounter things and appreciate them all for what they are. stop the comparisons. stop trying to replicate what already is. stop making something into what it's not.
i love you, you're perfect, now change.
i love you, you're not perfect, forget change.