So many of us feel like we are alone in our suffering, whether it be to do with our food issues, our relationship troubles, our abilities as a parent or our struggles at work (or about not working). We love food, we love our family, we want to love our work. Mostly.
But none of these are uncomplicated arenas and we often forget that we are not alone in our struggles. Most women in the modern world struggle deeply at times, even those that seem to have life sorted.
There is no need to feel inadequate when you feel like you are being a bad mum/wife/business owner/employee/daughter. We (the collective ‘we’ of the modern woman) have been there too.
There is no need to feel ashamed of yourself if you aren’t meeting your healthy-eating goals, or your weight-loss goals, or your fitness goals. We visit that place often too.
No woman is an island, even if we do manage to convince ourselves that we are sometimes.
What are Your High Expectations Doing for You?
When I am working with a group of women I always encourage them to share their experiences of what it’s like trying to eat a healthier diet; not only their successes but also their struggles.
I learnt, the hard way, that not sharing the things I found difficult or impossible (i.e. being 100% raw) led to unrealistic and stressful expectations of myself. I felt like a failure and a raw-food-fraud instead of focusing on how radically I’d managed to clean up my diet.
Having overly high expectations of ourselves can leave us feeling like we’re failing a lot of the time; failing ourselves; failing our loved ones; failing our vision for our lives. Other women seem to have the things we are desperate for (a successful and rewarding business; an exciting career; a loving husband/kids; a great body; a regular fitness regime; a healthy diet). Why do we find it so hard to it make happen, and to make it stick?
Learning Compassion for Ourselves, Through Shared Experience
We are all works-in-progress and my personal and professional experience have taught me that positive change happens little by little. Being able to share our vulnerabilities, fears and successes helps to accelerate our transformation into becoming the woman of our dreams (you know, she looks like Wonder Woman ;).
When we share our experience we witness other’s vulnerabilities, and realise that expressing our vulnerability is not in fact ‘weak’. It takes courage and honesty. When we share in a safe space we feel less ashamed of ourselves; we are kinder to ourselves; we heal our hearts; we give and receive love from others who know and understand how we feel, because they feel it too. We allow ourselves to be fallible human beings instead of striving for an unattainable perfection.
As we listen to and have compassion for others in the same boat as us, we learn to have compassion for ourselves. Our goals and aspirations feel easier to meet together.
The Power of Meeting Like-Minds
One of my favourite things about my online programmes is how they bring together like-minded women to share a life-changing raw food experience. It is such an honour for us all to bear witness to each other’s learning, not only with raw food but also with how to have more compassion and kindness for ourselves. We witness each other’s softening and blossoming, as raw food and the joy of sharing work their magic.
Raw food is miraculous. It is never just about the food. The food is simply a medium through which we learn to take deeper care of ourselves and to love ourselves for who we are, so that we can experience greater inner peace and happiness.