A couple of weeks ago I took the kids down to San Simeon and Hearst Castle for a mini vacation at the end of their Spring Break. We had a little, um, difficulty getting out of the house and on the road, so as a consequence, I banned all electronics for the 3.5 hour drive south.
Based on the drama that then ensued, you’d think I had told them that I was taking away food and water for a week. It was practically mutiny.
“What are we going to DO?!” they all cried.
“Enjoy the scenery. Talk to me,” I told them. We were driving through parts of California they had never seen before, and I didn’t want them to miss it.
After a little while they calmed down and started taking note of the surroundings. They asked me about the parched farmlands and why farmers were using their irrigation systems in the middle of the day instead of at night, when it would conserve water; they commented on the ugliness of the oil wells south of King City; and they noticed all of the water-sucking vineyards in Paso Robles.
In short, they became aware and started paying attention, even if it wasn’t all pretty. I was proud of them for seeing how big our human footprint can be and told them as much (but I still wouldn’t let them use any electronics).
On the drive back home up the magnificent Highway 1, I initiated the same electronics-free policy. After another brief round of drama, we had so much fun on the drive. They shouted with glee whenever they saw a whale, and they oohed and aahed when the fog would mysteriously shroud a hillside.
Although it took some time to see the benefits, the gratification came from being “deprived” of the electronics. For them, they got to see scenery they never would have noticed, and I, after enduring the aforementioned drama, got to hear about their discoveries and have conversations with my children that we wouldn’t otherwise have had.
Finding the magic
The sense of deprivation can also be powerful when we’re giving up foods and habits that might be contributing to health issues. I often initially face resistance from clients when I suggest that they eliminate a favorite food or beverage, even if just for the short-term. For most people, the deprivation is more emotional and psychological than it is physical.
Most of the time, however, once they understand the logic behind them, and what the healthier alternatives are, they are able to find a wellspring of courage and will power to make the changes I’ve recommended, such as eliminating coffee or wheat products.
That’s when the magic happens.
Then they come in to their next session somewhat perplexed, and maybe a little frustrated. They feel so much better. They have more energy. Their digestive systems are happier, with daily and sometimes twice daily poops. They’re having more sex with their partner.
And even though they might desperately miss whatever it is they’ve given up, they keep plugging away, because it feels too good not to. Part of this has to do with their customized protocols of whole food supplements and herbs, which are supporting their body through the process, but greater motivation simply comes from the fact that they can see how these old foods and/or habits have affected them for years. Moreover, they are allowing themselves to consume nourishing and delicious alternatives and start new, healthier habits that they never would have known about before, just as my kids never would have seen the whales had they been watching a movie or playing a game on my phone.
And thus, through the “deprivation” comes gratification. The gratification in turn lasts for the long-term, empowering them to heal for good.
There's no way I can give that up
Every so often a client has a particularly difficult time giving up a special food or habit in their life because of the emotional comfort it gives them. They’re truly grieving a loss. Luckily, I have two awesome experts on my POWER team trained to deal with this exact issue. Stayed tuned over the next few weeks as I introduce them to you.