Looking down from a height you see only clouds
yet you must jump
trusting – nay believing – knowing with every fiber of your being
that you will land
safely on the ground
– PD Allen, Quantum Meditations
The road to health is paved with good intentions.
If you recall in part I of this post, I talked about the rocky road getting to my vital self.
My journey remains a twisty, winding, interstellar portal.
None of the discoveries happened overnight or in a linear fashion even though it might read that way.
I received support from coaches, healers, mystics, shamans, friends, family and strangers too many to list
I do my best to share this story with humility, for both your sake as well as mine.
The overweight male has various ways to shift and hide extra weight:
1. Always wear an undershirt – bonus tip: Tuck undershirt into underwear to ensure it stays in place.
This serves as a girdle and keeps things as tightly wrapped as possible.
2. Always have awesome shoes, watches and other accessories – If you dress like a gangster people tend to avoid making fat jokes. Nobody owned this better that Notorious B.I.G.
3. Never appear shirtless in public – If no one ever sees how truly fat you, you aren’t actually that fat.
3a. If you must appear shirtless make sure that you’re not (repeat not) for any reason sitting down.
Earlier this week I was at a Korean bath house in North Toronto.
The co-ed saunas almost required a no-shirt situation.
It also required me to be sitting in the sauna shirtless.
Previously this scenario would haunt me.
I’d be twisting inside, churning away with anxiety.
As the other men (and some of the women) began to go topless I was faced with a choice.
Be comfortable and relaxed or dominated by insecurity.
After shedding much weight my body still doesn’t look quite like I want it to naked.
It’s like I’ve lost all this weight but the skin-bag that contained it all is still there.
Still I went for it and took and kept my shirt off.
It felt awesome to sit there not wondering how fat I looked and just enjoying being half-naked.
This is the shit all these skinny people have been enjoying.
Damn, I could get used to this!
There’s been many moments like this on my journey to a healthier body but this one felt like the crown jewel.
The most recent leg of the journey picks up early in 2015.
If you recall, early last year I took too many blows to my beautiful face.
The resulting time to connect with myself and focus on healing shifted my reality in ways I’d have mocked in the past.
It offered me to discover what benefits of mind and spirit are possible with a healthy body.
It was a journey inward like I’ve never taken on any drug.
Another major factor in my being ready was my ongoing personal development work.
I’ve taken many courses with awesome companies like Landmark and an awesome new brand, called Life Athletics.
For me this type of transformative education forces the ego to chill and gives the rest of the mind a say.
It helped strip away the cynicism that choked me for many years.
It cracked open my heart by teaching me how to love myself.
Like no shit, love myself.
It took me loving every cell in my body, connecting to it as part of me for me to shed all the weight that I have.
I had to embrace all 320 lbs of me in order to transform my body.
And this took me 75% of the way, but it took something even deeper within me to get across the finish line.
The final piece of the puzzle is the spiritual, emotional and quantum tools I’ve accessed and allowed myself to cultivate.
Accessing higher dimensions through meditation, energy work, kriya yoga, breath work are all gifts I’ve experienced and shared in the past year.
You can define them loosely as “New Age” or “magic” or “A total crock of bs” but neither of these terms really fits with how I practice health these days.
I’ve embarked on a empirical study of my body and how it responds to these various inputs and kept what has worked.
And it’s a journey to a horizon I’ll never reach, a mountain without a top.
Meditation has been a seismic shift in the way I relate to life.
Before I would feel anxiety about what to do next, even for simple tasks like choosing what to wear.
My brain was always under distress because I never felt at home in my body.
I’d judge myself for being fat, for any steps taken not to be fat, for eating junk food and even for eating healthy food.
By taking even one step towards health a voice would always shout down my better angels, saying I couldn’t sustain it.
There’s a line from Lord of War I’ve always loved: “If you go to war with yourself, you’ll always lose.”
From an early age my mind declared war on my body and both suffered the cost.
Meditation is what brokered the peace accord between the warring factions of my psyche.
My physical body got mistreated because my mental, emotional and spiritual components were all fighting for my soul.
Once I got into meditation I was able to not only calm by brain but also restore peace to the mind.
That peace made me less compulsive with food and other bad habits.
Binges became fewer and fewer and I felt the desire to eat better.
I learned to connect to my breath and feel the peace of letting thoughts pass by like clouds in the sky.
I soon realized that I couldn’t sit cross-legged for more than ten minutes.
My body was wanting to sit longer as it felt the physical benefits of a peaceful mind.
Finding alignment my mind and body started working together.
It was through yoga that I was able to integrate the renewed spirit of cooperation.
The next stop on this journey is Kundalini (or kriya) yoga.
I’ve done yoga for a few years but it wasn’t until last year that I really got into the spiritual side of it.
On the spiritual path, the body is stretched and toned in order to provide a seat for the mind to connect.
Once the platform of the mind and body are set, dormant spiritual energy can be released in the body.
The first time I experienced a surge of Kundalini energy coming up my spine I was forever changed.
It took place on New Year’s Eve 2014 and the teacher is now a good friend of mine, Yogi Emmanuelle
If you’ve never experienced this sensation imagine an ecstatic rush of pleasure from your lower back all the way up to the crown of your head.
It winds around your organs and heart before whooshing upwards like a surge of serotonin release.
It felt like a cool jolt of electricity massaging my insides.
Kundalini yogis call it Shakti: The releasing of the dormant spiritual energy that lives at the base of the spine.
A cleaner, purer and more ecstatic high I’ve never experienced.
At that moment I realized that I was willing to do whatever it took to be at that level of bliss and calmness.
Including have a healthy body.
My story of health deserves a special mention to the woman that showed up in my life at the perfect moment.
Apart from being beautiful, brilliant and a gifted coach and healer, she’s a magician in the kitchen.
Keidi takes healthy food and makes it taste gourmet and rich.
I didn’t know this was even possible.
I swim in an ocean of olives, where kale is massaged by angels.
She also turned me onto the documentaries like Fat, Sick and Nearly Dying, a film that advocates periodic juice fasts to cleanse the body, mind and spirit.
Having a partner that takes a stand for your health in such a loving way can’t be underestimated.
And it also came from me.
I had to be ready to shift and she came along when I was.
In August I agreed to do a juice fast together with Marie from Pulp Kitchen.
Five days of only fruit and vegetable juice, coconut or regular water.
The first few days were tough, I snapped at a couple of colleagues for no reason.
But I felt something shift in my body as grew accustomed to not eating.
By day four I was on cloud nine.
Totally blissed out and feeling no desire for food whatsoever.
I even walked down the Danforth with Keidi at the height of dinner rush just to inhale the goodness.
I was full on the smell alone and, by the end of day five we broke our fast with fruit.
The mere ability to eat a mango was so incredible that it was enough to satiate us.
My body, mind and spirit were intertwined in a way they hadn’t been before.
Once the fast was over I decided to curb my meat intake.
I went down meat at one meal per day.
I got some incredible coaching from my good friend (Soul Feast) Katie, who taught me lots and helped me shift my tastes toward organic and raw options.
Around this time I started blessing my food.
Thanking all the energy that went into creating it.
Expressing gratitude for it’s life-force, especially if it was an animal.
Each bite of delicious, healthy food became an opportunity to bliss out.
Gratitude for life at a deep, visceral level.
Food became a way to connect to universal energy.
The results were incredible.
Through diet alone I dropped 30 pounds and three pant sizes in less than 3 months.
And as great as it felt to lose weight, it was the shift in how I felt about life and myself that was the real reward.
Sure I still go back to my junk food ways, it happens more than I’d like.
And I’m getting really good on not judging myself for it.
I try to eat as little as I can.
Put another way I aim to consume “the minimum effective dose”.
The reason is that the body uses huge amounts of energy to digest food.
When I eat just what my body needs I’m able to feel lightness.
This space is as much mental as it physical.
I find it highly conducive to energy work, creativity and being a happy human.
When the food is fresh and healthy I have a platform for meditation, yoga and anything else I want to perform at a high level that day.
I’m close to drinking 3 litres of water per day,
Alcohol is treated with respect, I rarely consume more than one or two at a time.
I treat psychoactive medicine with respect and sacredness.
I eat small portions of delicious food that I enjoy every bite of.
I focus on being happy and relaxed, trying not to force outcomes.
I live happily and feel so fortunate to have been given these lessons.
I express my spirituality through taking care of and loving my body.
It’s my temple and fortress.
This article originally appeared on Concussions To Conscious
Photo courtesy of author.