Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fortitude and Raw Food

Cultivate Bravery

Yesterday on Raw Food Rehab Penni spoke to us about FORTITUDE.  She defines fortitude as a "'mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously. Courage is another word that embodies fortitude... '".  Fortitude/courage can be broken down into four categories, the first one being BRAVERY.  These are the definitions of bravery given by Penni on RFR.  I could not have said it better than she.

Bravery is defined as “the ability to do what needs to be done despite fear”.

There are several forms of this bravery:

Physical Bravery involves acting in spite of possible harm to one’s body. 

Moral Bravery involves acting in a way that enhances what one believes to be good in spite of social disapproval and possible backlash. 

Psychological Bravery which involves things such as overcoming one’s own addicting habits, irrational anxieties, and harmful dependent relationships. Psychological bravery means acting against one’s own natural inclinations and facing fears which might not have any societal moral implications.

Bravery is a trait, just like creativity or sensitivity might be considered a trait; however, it is widely believed that bravery is a positive psychological trait that is found and can be cultivated in most individuals

The questions she asked us to consider can be a real door opener for the heart and mind of why I choose to eat the way I do.

How have you been courageous or brave so far on your journey with raw foods?
I don't know that I feel so brave or courageous in my journey with raw food.  Maybe facing the occasional ribbing from my family about what I eat/drink and still persevering is an act of courage.  Even the every day joking from co-workers about my "green slime" or "eating weeds" could be considered courage.  Personally, I don't care if they tease.  It's my life and I prefer to be healthy AND happy.  Imagine being able to do both at the same time!

Do you feel this is a character trait in which you are lacking?
I don't believe I lack courage.  Sometimes if something is unknown I don't do my usual dive in feet first without looking.  But instead I ease into it and gather information and find people who are already doing what I am interested in.  I don't mind waving my "freak flag" in the crowd!

Do you believe courageousness is something that you are willing to cultivate to help you reach your personal health & weight loss goals?
"Cultivate".  That could be an entire post all on it's own.  To cultivate something, anything, is to nurture it, care for it, give the "something" what it needs to thrive, surround it with good-for-it people, information, love, acceptance.  Surrounding myself with like-minded people is a courageous act all in it's own.  There is the chance of alienating the people you used to go to for support and help.

Courage comes from deep within.  It isn't some piece emotional jewelry we wear to accessorize our day. It comes from the gut and sometimes it wells up like a geyser.  I don't think courage is a trickle or leak.  It as an action that wells up in us.  It is too easy to live the kind of life everyone else thinks you should live.

To just go with the flow.  When we "go with the flow" all we are doing is drifting.  There really isn't any effort to floating along.  But when we decide to go against the current, go against what society believes, and swim in the opposite direction, that is courage.  It takes effort and work, perseverance,  FORTITUDE, COURAGE, BRAVERY.  It's all action baby!

I think the people I am mainly surrounded with right now accept that I choose to eat the way I do and are mildly curious.  Being on Raw Food Rehab and surrounding myself with people who are on the same journey is very helpful.  They cultivate in me hope, health, laughter, peace, acceptance, ideas, information, support, a shoulder to cry on, and courage to continue on the journey I undertook several weeks ago.

Do I feel courageous?  I do.  There is also the courage to share what I am learning with other people. THAT takes an enormous amount of courage because you take the chance of "in-your-face" ridicule; not something any of us particularly want.  But if something feels so right and healthy and happy why would I keep that to myself?  I want to encourage others to have the courage to live a life that will help them live better.

My challenge to myself and to anyone who reads this:  Let's do something courageous, something outside our waffle pocket, that we have never done before.

"'Wait for the Lord: Be strong and let your heart take courage: Yes, wait for the Lord.'"  Psalm 27:14

"'The only fundamental rule for me is to just be yourself.  Let your freak-flag fly, and if someone doesn't get you, move on.'"  Drew Barrymore

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