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I was taking a webinar on energy healing recently and heard some advice that resonated deeply: We lower our level of sovereignty when we are controlled by our addictions. This struck a chord with me because I’ve been working through a lifelong addiction, namely to sugar.
Over the past several months, I’d been replacing cane sugar more and more with stevia, a much healthier alternative made from a plant native to South America, as well as with honey. I’m a big believer in adding healthier options before taking away the less healthy ones because this helps circumvent the feelings of deprivation that sometimes come up.
At some point a few weeks ago, I realized that I’d run out of all three sweeteners – sugar, stevia, and honey – and hadn’t had any sweets for a few weeks. This was pretty unprecedented for me. I thought it’d be a good time to kick it up a notch and give sugar the boot for good.
So what did I do? I baked a sweet of course. Pumpkin muffins with icing to be exact. I used stevia for the batter, but the icing called for powdered sugar. I would have replaced that with the stevia too, but it was like 6am, so when my brain read ‘powdered sugar’, my hand reached for the powdered sugar. I poured it over the softened butter before it clicked in my head that I now was not going to be allowed to eat the icing.
Well this recipe ended up being like 20 steps, and I also wasted about 10 minutes trying to find the muffin pan before giving up and making it pumpkin cake instead. I’d worked too hard on it to not have the icing too, went my rationalizations. I’d just have one piece, and leave the rest for my roommate.
The Standoff at the Pumpkin Corral
After a delicious breakfast of pumpkin cake, walnuts, and a banana I went about my day. Each time I walked back in the kitchen though, I wanted another piece. So I repeated this mantra: “I am sovereign over sugar.” This helped a lot, reminding me of my promise to myself to treat my body with more love. Still, my cravings doubled and then tripled as Sunday turned to Monday and then finally Tuesday afternoon came.
I’d had an annoying day at work on Tuesday, and dived right into that pumpkin-muffin-turned-pumpkin cake like it was going out of style. Turns out, it was!
The Success of Failure
Here’s the silver lining in all this: Whenever we work on our addictions and shortcomings, we are rewiring our brains into a new pattern of being. This is a proven fact of neuroscience, made popular by such bestselling authors as Dr. Joe Dispenza. In his book Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One, he discusses the importance our thoughts and actions play in creating our new mindsets.
What we have to remind ourselves of are the times that we take actions which create new long-term habits, rather than concentrating on the one time that we take a misstep. So when I “stood up” to sugar over the course of those three days, what I was really doing was telling my neurons to start firing out a new message: that my health is more important than my cravings.
And even though sugar temporarily got the best of me, I now have begun to build a stronger base for future battles with The Sweet One.
Here are some other strategies that can be helpful when you’re trying to rewire your brain for success.
7 Strategies for Success
- Practice an abundance of gratitude with yourself. Thank yourself several times a day for the great work you are doing to uplift your life.
- Find a mantra that touches your Soul.
- Explore healthier options. I joined Jennifer Pott’s Spring Into Health! Facebook event for support on my sugar-free journey.
- Watch an inspiring movie. I love the cult classic Joe vs. the Volcano with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan because it’s so full of life lessons.
- Let it be a journey. Kicking bad habits is really about digging deep into ourselves to find the emotional reasons for why we sabotage our goals.
- Remember when you raise up yourself, you raise up the world. We’re all connected in spirit, and the energy of creating a life more aligned with your goals is inspiring to others as well.
- Don’t give up. Count your successes and leave the rest behind.
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh