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It's always a journey.

That's basically my post today, boiled down into four words. From all I've read, from all of those I've talked with / emailed / interviewed, and certainly from all I've personally experienced, this is a key concept that, in my view, it's best to come to terms with as soon as you can.

You know, I'd like to post a simple message here that says "Raw is a journey, so learn to enjoy the ride." I mean, that would be great advice, right? And it would ultimately be perfectly accurate, as well.

However, going raw can also be kind of like visiting an amusement park while wearing a? blindfold. Imagine that someone leads you to a seat somewhere, and then suddenly it starts moving. You feel yourself going up, then down, then up again. (Hopefully it's a pleasant sensation!) Sooner or later you put two and two together: "Aha!, I'm on a RIDE!"

So, what I mean by that metaphor is: There is actually a critical piece of raw inspirational advice to be given that is even more fundamental than: "Raw is a journey, so learn to enjoy the ride."? What could be more fundamental than that ? Well, try this on for size:? Before you learn to enjoy the ride, I think you have to accept or realize, via experience, that it IS, in fact, a ride!

Or maybe it's a whole amusement park, to be honest, and all of the major learning experiences are the rides. Hmmm, yes, I like that. I think some of the early "rides" I enjoyed -- losing weight, kicking prescription meds, ramping up to an exclusively raw existence, changing some fundamental belief systems I held onto for so long -- clued me in that even more powerful changes were afoot, that even larger, scarier coasters might be awaiting me. And, in fact, it's now been literally years into this and I'm still experiencing new insights and profound changes.

I'm pausing here for a moment to collect my thoughts, as I realize that I'm probably heading off on a tangent from my original intent. I suppose the observation I wanted to share today could actually be categorized as part advice, part cautionary tale with myself as the tragic hero.

You see, if I could do it all over again, I'd like to think that I could have made a more concerted effort to get better in tune with the person I was becoming and perhaps I might have taken action earlier on that direction. Of course, of all of the major ways raw changed my life, I really couldn't have known then which one(s) would manifest in which ways. Based on my personal experiences and the experiences of many people I know, I can tell you that the major changes you experience may profoundly affect:

  • your friendships
  • your relationships
  • your social habits
  • your job
  • your outlook on spirituality
  • your outlook on morality
  • your outlook on physical health and nutrition

And much more, of course. But, any of the above, alone or in combination with others, can really grind your life to a painful, screeching halt. For example, I talked about some terribly challenging friendship changes just the other day, as you may recall. (I'm interested in others' reflections on the above list, whether you're new to raw foods or a long-term practitioner. Which ones have you played out to their ultimate conclusions? Which ones still loom on your event horizon )

For me, I think I've faced all of those domains now rather deeply. Except the job one. I sensed and clearly understood that I must no longer work in Corporate America very early on in my raw journey, but pushed back (for financial reasons, needing my paycheck to pay the mortgage) taking action on that knowledge, hoping our home would sell before my employer's displeasure at my new outlook on life became a contentious issue. I see it now, though, the way a master chess player sees a checkmate coming ten moves in advance. Quite honestly, I fear it's not going to end well.

But, aside from that personal observation, my point is that sorting through all of the major stuff that happens because of going raw can literally take years. I'm living proof!

I'd like to think, regarding this raw "amusement park" that, while it's always dynamic and exciting and journey-esque (and, yes, not without pain), maybe there is in fact at least some point when you've fully addressed and dealt with each of the major bullets, as outlined above, in-depth (plus whatever ones I've inadvertently left off). And maybe, after facing each of those issues head-on, taking them to their utimate conclusion, just maybe the real fun begins -- the true enjoyment of the journey.

In fact, this isn't just a suspicion; it's a reality that I can feel intuitively.

Original Comments

Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On December 8, 2009, Jim Dee wrote:

My self-critical nature leads me to a further clarification. I just wanted to add here, in response to when I said this ...

"...And maybe, after facing each of those issues head-on, taking them to their utimate conclusion, just maybe the real fun begins ? the true enjoyment of the journey."

... that a valid alternative viewpoint could very well be: "You don't have to wait until you've faced each of those issues head-on, having taken them all to their ultimate conclusion, in order to begin enjoying the journey. On a very deep level, it's all just a big game and nothing really matters in the grand scheme. So, why not just choose to be perfectly happy all the time !"

Yes, that's very true, and I do hope that people savor and enjoy *every minute* of their raw journey to the fullest extent possible. Maybe what I was getting at was in fact a fleeting glimpse of something even more unusually transcendent, though -- some "next level" of existence as a sensed possibility. Maybe it's totally subjective, representing something I need to personally experience before attaining. Anyway, I suppose I just wanted to point out that I didn't mean to imply that people shouldn't or couldn't truly enjoy their journey until some specific point in it. (I'm actually straining to remain brief here, as I could literally go on for hours on this topic.)

On December 9, 2009, Rick Myers wrote:

Hi Jim,

What you are saying makes perfect sense to me. I think I know where you are going with this and I hope you will completely let your guard down and expand on your experiences.

Your blogging has a depth to it that I find nowhere else.

I hope Wendi is improving and that you two are in good spirits.

Rick

On December 9, 2009, Liz wrote:

Your follow up comment took the words right out of my mouth - it is true - waiting for your life to change so you can finally enjoy it is a bummer. But acknowledging the painful emotions we experience oftentimes while going through difficult changes and experiences is ultimately also an essential component to healing and self discovery.