Today, I mowed. Mowing is not my favorite. If I had my way, then I would plant a food forest, a wildflower garden, native bushes or trees in every yard in America, and I would never mow again.
But…I mowed and as I mowed, I prayed and pondered, listened to music and even cried (one song gets me every time). This week has been a hard week. The tension seems to be pulling me apart limb by limb and I seem to be strung up in a way that I cannot move. Yet, I can still breathe, listen, ask and look but I cannot move, and it’s driving me insane.
I wish I could blame all of what I am experiencing on the Coronavirus but these feelings go much deeper than social distancing and forced isolation. If anything, the Coronavirus has helped me to grow more desperate, weak, needy, vulnerable, transparent, sensitive, dependent and fragile. Whether you believe it or not, I think that’s a good thing, a great thing, a divine thing and a gift.
The Coronavirus or rather my forced response to mitigate the Coronavirus has created the space for me to “Come and See” what is my way, my truth and my life, and what is my lifestyle. Forced isolation has also forced me to be still and it has helped remove any lingering illusions or delusions that I am not consumer and that my consumer lifestyle is not still here, and that I am not still trying to use my consumer lifestyle to mitigate feeling so undone and out of control.
In my 45 years of life, I have never chosen stillness and solitude. Rather, those things have been chosen for me. When God says in The Bible “Be Still.” I am now very aware that he is telling me about what he will make happen.
I wish he would say “Be Rich” but he says “Be Still” and I am being still…kinda.
(I wrote the above entry right before my mom called me to help my dad move dirt. In less than 30 minutes, I hurt my leg and I have been laying here for a month not kinda being still but definitely being still and I can’t help but laugh. Makes me believe that if he ever says “Be Rich” that I am set for life.
Prior to the Coronavirus, I was moving in a different way but obviously, I wasn’t moving fast enough for God. I had chosen to move back to the farm where I grew up to reconnect or probably, more accurately to connect myself to a place where I had lived for 18 years and been gone from 26 years.
The move back was a miracle move and one that I could have never in my wildest dreams predicted or imagined…but God is wilder than my dreams and infinitely bigger than my imagination. My move back to Dellrose was at the end of the longest “Be Still” period of my life. I call this “be still” period that lasted for 4 years my chrysalis phase because it truly was after 4 years of being mush, I awoke… transformed and ready to fly.
And so I got married to best person that I have ever known and I flew to Dellrose with my beautiful new wings, a song in my heart (Mumford and Sons, Guiding Light) and my greatest treasures, and filled with the most love and truth that I have ever known.
Since my move, I have fluttered around for a year in and around Dellrose with hope and excitement trying to share my treasures. Not only has everything I’ve done not produced the results I have wanted, but it has created a tension and that tension has grown into a web which appears to have caught me. At this point, it seems like the more I feel, think and struggle to break free, the more tangled I have become and now that tension seems to be suffocating and squeezing the life right out of me.
Yet, it never fails that the moment it gets to be way too much and I seem to be gasping for air, and I think I am taking my last breath that instead of dying, I inhale strange air.
So, I breathe and I feel that this air is full of life, love and truth, and it is not just a mouth full, it is mind-full, heart-full and spirit-full kind of breath that not only breathes new life into me, but transforms the moment from death to life, from emptiness to fullness, from hopelessness to hope and just by breathing in this strange air… I am still and silent, and I surrender.
I guess fullness is just a normal consequence of God breathing into you but there are also other things that result from his holy breath. I feel full, whole, holy and healthy and this makes me feel normal and like how I am supposed to be. Without fail, it has been during these moments that I have received an epiphany. It’s funny that my epiphanies don’t take me to heaven but they plant me into the earth and into the present moment to experience clarity, and see myself, my place and my purpose. Today was no different.
This particular epiphany was about my calling to help people break free from a model of health and wellness that has made them very sick. A calling that led me to Dellrose and away from a consumer lifestyle that sabotages any chance a person might have to transform their health. Yes, I came to Dellrose to create a space to help people remember how to Breathe, Listen, Ask, Look and Move a different way, which means I came to Dellrose to Breathe, Listen, Ask, Look and Move a different Way.
My epiphany, like all epiphanies, was specific. It was about why any talk about food and exercise, even if it’s the right talk about food and exercise, does not have a place to land in the majority of people. More specifically why my talk on eating plant-based and walking correctly…is continuing to fall on deaf ears.
For the last few years, I have constantly looked for entry points to have a real conversation about health. Initially, I tried to use food and exercise to talk about health because we are a culture addicted to talking about food and exercise.
My hope was to tell the truth about the diet formula and the workout model that we currently use to explain why it has failed to produce “health” in the mass majority of Americans. The reasons being 1) it distracts from the truth 2) it denies who we are and how we are naturally designed to be healthy, whole, holy and human 3) it deprives us of the nutrients we need to function as we are designed 4) it defends a lie on which the whole system is built 5) it deflects our efforts and attention away from health to get a result 6) it demands us to disassociate from the relationships we desperately need to be healthy. But I didn’t say all of this because I thought it was too direct and so I talked about food and exercise.
I thought if the world wants to have an honest conversation about food and exercise, then let’s do it.. because the mass majority of Americans clearly demonstrate that the diet and fitness formula is not working for them. Consequently, I thought this conversation would set people free to give up the diet and fitness model that shames and blames them for not just doing it.
Obviously, talking about food and exercise didn’t lead to a more serious conversation about health because it is impossible to differentiate yourself from a culture addictively talking about food and exercise when you are also talking about food and exercise. Consequently, there’s no way to talk about health when you are talking about food and exercise.
It seems like everyone has been stuck in the diet and fitness system for so long that it has institutionalized them and they cannot free their mind to look at their own results to see what they are doing, have done, and in some strange way still trying to do -DOES NOT WORK. Honestly, just admitting the truth of one’s own experience with dieting and workouts, or the shame, guilt, pain and diet-related disease and sickness affecting them, could have at least produced a crack in a dieting mentality and allowed us to the ask the important question- “WHY?” Why hasn’t it worked, why doesn’t it work, why won’t it work? Why is there so much guilt, pain, fear and shame attached to food and exercise?
If you think it is hard to set people free from the diet and fitness model, then try talking to them about eating plant-based and just walking. Why?Because food and exercise have somehow attached themselves to our identity and we cannot talk about food and exercise in any way without it producing guilt, shame, fear and pain- even to save our lives. Which is why, after I had stopped excessively working out and eating high protein/low carb and I had gone a completely different way and had switched to eating plant-based and just walking, and I had shown the results of my new way of life for years that the majority of the people I knew, who the diet and fitness formula had failed again and again and again for decades, still wouldn’t let go of the weight loss model and diet mentality to have a conversation about their health, no matter the proof, the research and their own present condition.
In all seriousness, what chance does a person have to give up a lie if they cannot tell the truth about their own experience. What chance do we have to find the truth if we are constantly opening our mouths and minds to be Fed a Lie by an industry that needs us to be a consumer, feel like a consumer, think like a consumer, act like a consumer, eat like a consumer and consume like a consumer. The entire diet model is built on a lie that you are a consumer and that you can use a formula to get the result of health and you can hack your way, grind it out and leap over over the most basic needs, practices, wants and truths to achieve a result. While at the same time, depriving yourself of everything you need to live life and strengthen your spiritual, emotional, mental, physical and relational health as a whole person.
This consumer mentality has not only produced disastrous physical results for the mass majority of adults but for our kids, our economy, our environment, our communities, our businesses and our country.
My epiphany was a wake up call to stop beating around the bush and speaking indirectly to a lie that is taking lives, destroying our world, and killing our family and friends. Our health is not joke- at this eleventh hour our health requires our most serious attention. We are not designed to be consumers, we are called to be healthy, whole, holy and human. This requires us to look up from the trough of consumerism and curating our lifestyles, and remember who we are and how we are naturally designed to be and live as human beings.
My epiphany led me to write ‘Fed A Lie’ and start the podcast with Jason so we can speak the truth directly to you and to why we desperately need to have conversation about our health- a conversation that may make us uncomfortable. Perhaps, the reason the truth makes us so uncomfortable is because we have been raised in a system that needs us to avoid the truth at all cost and keep our heads down consuming- so the system can get the result it wants and that is keep us dependent on the system to tell us what to think, feel, be, buy, eat, believe and do, and keep talking about food and exercise but not our health.
It’s time for Truth to set us free from consuming ourselves to death and set us free to be receivers and givers of life, love, truth, hope, joy, mercy and forgiveness. Health starts with truth. Join the conversation.