Old habits die hard. Especially when these habits (beliefs, diet, etc.) are mainstays in our society…
I am not one to put my beliefs on anyone else… For me, if someone has faith in something and it creates a healthy support in their life… wonderful! This goes for the subject of diet as well- I have my own challenges with food and what feels right for me and my body.
The concept of “Ingrained Cognition” is something I have been sitting with for a few days now. I am simply wanting to explore it… and my only goal is that we start to become aware of who we are and what we think about, and why we think that way. This is something I believe to be important in life- asking the hard questions. Don’t just accept everything at face value… empower yourself.
My mom was given a book called “Only Love is Real” by Brian Weiss. The book discusses past life regression and the subject of reincarnation. My mom enjoyed the book and went on to read another by the same author called “Many Lives, Many Masters”, which I am now reading. In the book, Brian Weiss explains how he was raised and trained a certain way when dealing with mental health issues, and what he discovered concerning the concept of past lives turned his beliefs upside-down. He was forced to look at what was ingrained into his thinking, just as individuals had to reassess what they thought to be true when it was proved that the world was round, not flat… or the revelation that the earth revolved the sun and not vice versa.
I have never been much of a religious person, although I consider myself open-minded to all religions. I am not baptized, which during a discussion in my undergraduate sociology class, caused a classmate to express, “Well, then you are going to hell”. However, I do consider myself spiritual. I also feel open to not put limitations on my knowledge of religions and all other beliefs- while acknowledging what has been built-in to my own awareness.
Last week my husband and I watched the documentary called “Forks over Knives”. I am not going to bore you with the details of the film (it is now on Netflix streaming and there is much on the internet about it). The basic premise is that the “Western diet” includes an excess of animal products. In result, cancer cells are growing at rapid rates, and auto-immune conditions (like Crohn’s Disease, which I have) are increasingly developing at alarming rates. The bottom line is, many of the diseases Westerners are afflicted with can be reversed and/or cured with a shift in diet.
This is where fixed thinking comes in to play. Our society puts out messages about food. Milk is considered necessary for “healthy bones”. Protein only comes from meat. These messages are further ingrained in our minds by our own personal traditions, habits, and socio-economic statuses. A birthday for a co-worker results in having cake and snacks, we want to eat the food presented to us to be social, fit in, and- let’s face it- it tastes good. We have our coffee in the morning, this is a habit many Americans consider necessary to function. The dollar menu at the fast food restaurant is affordable and quick. All of these concepts make diet a complicated aspect of our lives. I never analyzed my diet, especially to the extent I do now, until my body said “ENOUGH, I am shutting down.” After watching “Forks over Knives” I again renewed my mindfulness about my eating patterns… and the process hasn’t been easy. Accessibility, habit, beliefs… all come into play.
Next time you have a knee-jerk reaction, think about it for a moment. Why did you respond that way? When a person speaks and their beliefs and/or religion is referenced, do you have an inner positive or negative response? If a shift in diet is something you desire, do you let others or society influence your intake? Mindfulness takes practice, awareness is the first step. Unravel the tangle that can go unnoticed in our psyche.