Today is the last of the amazing guest posts and giveaways that have been on the blog throughout the month of September to help me celebrate my birthday. All of these women have so many gifts to share with the world and I am honored that they gave their time, their message and offered a little something for you to help you create the life you've always wanted. Today's post was no coincidence as tomorrow I am sharing some very exciting news with you so make sure you come back and see the big news!
Today's post is written by Morgan Day Cecil from Romance & Adventure
I believe dessert is almost like a 4th meal. Who’s with me?
I’ve had my issues with food and quite a rap sheet of way overdoing the sweets, but I’ve made peace with my body and with food.
Which is why it was strange, not long ago, when I decided, kind of out of the blue, to give up all desserts. Perhaps it was me just wanting to join the bandwagon. Everyone around me seemed to be giving up sugar.
But I love sugar! Needless to say, I didn’t last long.
Two and a half weeks in, while on a date with my husband, and walking by Salt n Straw, I asked myself, “Why exactly am I giving up dessert again?”
Why are you giving up sugar?
For me, giving up sugar wasn’t a weight-loss thing. It was a control thing. I was trying to deprive myself into becoming the person I thought I should be.
(Note to those seeking personal transformation: this NEVER works).
I know that sugar is the devil in the food universe. It hides in practically everything you can buy at the general grocer,and it’s highly addicting. It’s over consumption in our culture is to blame for many health problems. Not to mention it has some horrible historical roots.
Because it lacks much of any nutritional value, it would be fine and good to go without it.
I’m all for leaving behind the sugar that sneaks into packaged goods of all kinds. No ones needs all that processed gunk. I’ll join your Say No to Corn Syrup bandwagon. But a flat-out ban on sugar? I don’t think my world would be better for it.
Here is why: the way I frame my world is from the lens of romance and adventure. My husband and I want to live a life of true romance and meaningful adventure and everyday we seek to learn better how to do that in mind, body, and spirit, in our marriage, and in our bellies too.
The foods we choose to eat are as much about captivating our hearts and awakening joy in our spirits as they are about sustaining our body and mind.
Should you give up sugar?
I love desserts. Desserts are pretty to look at and fun to eat.
I love the way we celebrate with desserts. I love the way a case of pastries shines. I love the pretty little sprinkles on a donut and the colors of macaroons.
A life without sweet things would be sad to me. For us a life of romance and adventure definitely needs room for many date nights at Salt & Straw. (Take a look at their flavors. Mint leaves with Sea Urchin Meringues, Pear with Blue Cheese, Honey Balsamic Strawberry with cracked pepper-- these are for real!)
Yes, a life deprived of these strange concoctions of sweet things would be sad to me.
When I realized this, I decided to give up using food restrictions as a way to control and order my life, and instead use food pleasures as an opportunity to practice gratitude and adoration for all the good and beautiful things in my life.
Can we trust our body and what it craves?
This is risky, of course. This requires a much higher sensitivity, awareness and honesty of what is going on in my mind and body and heart. But when I want to share some cookies and milk with my son after school, or enjoy a piece of chocolate with a glass of wine when I have an hour in the evening alone, or indulge in two scoops of Salted Caramel Ice Cream on a waffle cone when I’m on a date with my husband, I think it’s worthy to look at.
Saying No! just for the sake of following some dieting rule doesn’t make sense to me.
“Just as trials train us in patience, pleasure trains us in worship.” Carolyn Arends
I feel like for the past several decades in human history women have been beating their heads against a wall trying to learn how to better and more effectively deprive themselves in order to be more of the feminine ideal.
But what is the feminine ideal?
What if the feminine ideal had less to do with a certain body shape or physical attribute and more to do with the woman’s heart and spirit?
What if the feminine idea was a woman who wasn’t afraid to enjoy herself? What if all of us as women decided to go for joy-appeal instead of sex-appeal?
What if what it meant to be a woman was to trust and befriend our bodies, not treat them like skepticism and disdain?
What if our lives were less about training ourselves in restraint, and more about training ourselves how to worship and enjoy things?
You can trust your body and your heart. Maybe you have some healing work to do after years of losing trust in those two areas. But the relationship between your mind and body and spirit and heart can be redeemed.
You can decide to live your life without sugar if you want to, or you can decide to learn how to peacefully and joyfully live with it. You decide.
At the end of the day what your body wants is simply to feel alive. What your heart wants is simply to feel listened to and cared for.
You have what it takes to give your heart and your body what it wants and needs. And a world of romance and adventure awaits when you give your heart and body permission to want and need it.
This isn’t about a free-for-all at the make-your-own-sundae-station at a cheap buffet. This is about learning how to be present and really feel what you feel and want what you want. Not stuff. Not numb. Not deprive. Not withhold.
You’ve spent a lifetime training yourself in patience. Why not spend some time training yourself in worship? Stop making food pleasures something to flat out avoid. Delight in all your senses. Enjoy your body and the experience of feeding yourself foods of all life-giving kinds.
You are free to go and enjoy a pretty little meaningful and celebratory dessert now.
Morgan Day Cecil is a writer and yoga teacher in training in Portland, Or. She and her handsome man, along with their two kids, are pursuing what it looks like to live a life of romance and adventure with grace and peace. She is creator of The Romance & Adventure Guide and (coming in 2014) the e-course. Currently she and her husband are creating a curriculum to help married couples live a life of true romance and meaningful adventure together.
And it gets even better! Morgan is graciously giving all of you a FREE download of the image below. All you need to do is sign up for her incredible newsletter. Trust me, it's amazing and filled with thought provoking wisdom on Romance & Adventure, something we all could probably use more of.
And check out more of Morgan's art on her Etsy shop here