I’ve been on an interesting journey lately tring to tweak my diet so it works well for me in just about every instance & keeps me feeling in top shape. I’m willing to be uncomfortable until such time as a workable solution (for now) presents itself. Rest assured that whatever I come up with will be vegan; that won’t change. Whether it’s entirely raw or includes some cooked items is still in the works. I LIKE some foods that simply can’t be replicated in a raw diet – at least not yet. (Sopapillas anyone?) Am I interested in leaving those items behind? Possibly but not necessarily. And good health doesn’t mean I have to. I’m not talking about munching twinkies, eating fast food take out or suddenly eating everything out of a package. My favorite items run more towards black beans, brown rice & toasted nori snacks. And I really do enjoy baking. So, yes I am tweaking my diet to find a way to make it work for my preferences & my lifestyle. What else am I up to? Enter unusual health practices.
Last week I came across a rather unusual YouTube posting from one of my Facebook contacts. She interviewed some people who run an alternative healing center in Costa Rica (Farm of Life Health Retreat) who practice sun gazing. Yes. It’s exactly what it sounds like: gazing into the sun. I know! I know! It sounds like the dumbest thing to hit the pike since, oh I don’t know eating rocks maybe? We’ve all been told since childhood “Don’t stare into the sun or you’ll go blind!” (Raise your hand if you tried it anyway just to see if the grown ups were right. ::raising hand REALLY high & waving while jumping up & down::) Well, now there are people telling you not only to gaze into the sun, but they’re saying it’s good for you! Not one to hear something bizarre, relatively harmless-sounding, potentially beneficial & free & not test it out for myself (urine therapy excluded; I believe pee is excreted for a reason & reingesting it on purpose….) I decided to give it a shot & see what happens. Following directions to gaze at sunrise & sunset in short increments (it’s advised to start small with ten seconds & increase in ten second increments daily) I went out that evening, stood barefoot on bare ground (of course barefoot; I only wear shoes when/if I have to) & gazed into the setting sun. I tried to gaze for ten seconds but a strange thing happened: once I relaxed my whole body I craved the sunlight, my eyes didn’t flutter & I could gaze for minutes instead of seconds. It was as if my eyes were glued to the sun. I followed the sun with my gaze as it set behind a neighbor’s house & was disappointed when I was no longer able to gaze into it. It felt amazingly nourishing, especially to my eyes.
The next morning I was out sun gazing again. I immediately noticed a difference in the quality of the light at sunrise & sunset; sunrise is a lot stronger! Still, when I relaxed completely I was able to stare directly into the sun without harm & again I felt nourished. Since nothing bad was happening I decided to keep going to see what long-term results I’d get from the practice. One thing I noticed immediately was my eyes began to itch & get mucousy. It was a deep, internal healing sort of itch. I’m allergic to eye make-up & avoid it due to the lovely mucous clouds that drift across my eyes & glue them shut whenever I do wear it just because I feel like it. (Yes – dumb, I know.) It seems sun gazing was bringing this lovely condition to the fore & was healing it! My eyes began craving the sunlight. I found myself drawn to standing in the courtyard with my face to the sun letting the sunlight bathe my eyes. Of course, during the middle of the day I was NOT staring into the sun, just turning my face directly into it. My eyes don’t yet have the strength to stare into midday sun & I’m not so sure that’s the point of the exercise. A nice added benefit is that now most sunlight at any time of day no longer seems to bother me. Obviously, if I’m driving & the sun is directly in my eyes I drop the sun shade; I do need to see when I’m driving & most people (including me) appreciate me preventing my car from crashing into them or any nearby objects. But it’s nice to be able to see in situations where I was previously unable.
Another unexpected effect of sun gazing has been my need for less & less food. This I find to be a bit of a mixed blessing. I LIKE food. A LOT!!! Please don’t leave me alone with a lovely plate of cookies or scones & expect them to be untouched. It’s simply not going to happen. I like eating; it’s one of life’s greatest pleasures. When life offers me a simple pleasure I’m right there! The thing is, I only find eating pleasurable if I’m hungry. At times, hungry or not, I find it a chore. Eating when I’m not hungry becomes instant torture as my blood pressure goes up & my pulse races. Feeling stuffed is not a sensation I enjoy. I already have a small appetite, so taking away more of that leaves me eating like I did a couple of days ago: two apples, a liter of green smoothie & water. Not exactly food fun for someone who loves food. But again, I am willing to be uncomfortable to allow beneficial changes to take place. New habits are always uncomfortable because, well they’re NEW!
So, here I am trying a new thing, enjoying said new thing & creating new habits of health & healing. Since this is a long-term experiment & I just started less than a week ago I haven’t a lot of deep changes to report. My eyes are still healing & craving the sunlight, but they aren’t shrouded in mucous anymore (thankfully); my sinuses have joined in the healing jag & symptoms I’d thought long past have returned, albeit in a milder form. It takes a lot less food to get me to “stuffed” & I had a few days where even the thought of food made me nauseous. Where is this going? I have no idea. I suspect it’ll be one of those things I adopt like morning pages & barefoot living that just becomes a part of my daily life. At some point I won’t even think about it anymore. But I do plan to keep going until I’ve gained enough insight to report further on what I find. There may be others who may benefit from what I share. That’s the whole point of healing, isn’t it? You learn, experiment, experience & share. At least that’s what it’s all about for me!