When it comes to advice given to you by those around you how can you tell what’s good and what’s not, and how do you know the difference?
That’s a question I have been pondering recently after I was given an unrequested and unexpected piece of advice from a loved one.
I was out walking with my loved one and as we walked, naturally, we chatted a bit. And I was talking about how I’ve recently, finally, weaned myself off one of my Crohn’s drugs.
I was expressing how happy I was about no longer taking the drug when, suddenly, out of the blue, my loved one suggested that it would help me more if I ate a more balanced diet.
I was a little taken aback by the comment because I thought, in general, I eat well and healthily. Sure, I do eat some crap and junk… I am human, I give into temptation. Who doesn’t? However, in general, I do tend to eat well, most of the time.
Feeling a little baffled I asked, “what do you mean?”
And the response I got completely shocked me: “I think you’re having too much fruit.”
Each morning I make, from scratch, a smoothie. I juice my own pineapple and apple juice at the beginning of each week. Then each morning I add a whole hotchpotch of fruits I have previously cut up and frozen. We’re talking a lot of fruit – melons, grapes, mango, papaya, pears, different types of berries, kiwis, cherries… pretty much any and every fruit I can get my hands on, goes into my smoothie. And then I blend it all up with some banana, oats, cocoa, and cinnamon. Sounds yummy, right? It is!
I’ve been drinking a morning smoothie now for about 5 years. It used to consist of only strawberries, mango, banana and juice. However, in the last year it has taken on a life of its own after I watched a documentary which advised that, to have a healthy microbiome, we should be giving our body 34 positive experiences a day.
You know the whole 5 portions of fruit and veg a day which so many people still struggle to manage? Well, how about 34 positive experiences a day?
Believe me, it can seem daunting but it’s far from impossible. A positive experience is a herb, a spice, a veg, a fruit, a nut, a pulse etc. Anything that brings something positive to our body. That means that white carbs, meat, dairy… those aren’t considered positive experiences. And if you consider that, for example, a pink lady apple and a fuji apple count as two different experiences, or if you have eaten 5 different leaves in a salad you’ve just given your body 5 positive experiences, you can find inventive ways to reach your 34-a-day.
So, honestly, I was shocked that someone was actually trying to tell me that eating fruit, drinking smoothies I was making myself each morning from scratch, was neither good for me nor was it a balanced diet.
It was so absurd it was laughable, and it left me completely and utterly lost for words, unable to reply.
However… and this is the interesting thing.
Since that conversation, my mind has gone into a flurry. Could they be right? Am I being stupid? Could “too much fruit” be a thing?
Since that conversation I have been riddled with self-doubt, I’ve been questioning my choices (not just around smoothies), and I’ve been wondering if my choices have actually been poor and have been doing harm, not good.
On the surface of it, logically I know that that is one piece of advice I should let drop to the ground and ignore.
And yet, beneath the surface, my uncertain, low-self-esteemed, doubtful self is raising her head.
And that has really got me thinking.
How many other times have I taken onboard advice from those around me that hasn’t actually been the best advice?
How many times have I heeded advice given by someone I deemed to be a professional or expert who wasn’t as much of an expert as I had thought?
How many times have I listened to someone else at the expense of own my inner wisdom?
To watch and observe my thoughts and self-belief spin out of control after being given advice that was clearly absurd, it has really made me wonder how many times I have taken on poor advice from others simply because I didn’t have the self-confidence or self-belief in my own wisdom.
And I know I’m not alone in this. When was the last time you listened to someone else at the expense of your inner wisdom?
I suspect you don’t have to think too far back into your past.
Why is it we believe that others have the answers to our lives when it is us, and only us, who knows our own life so intimately?
Since permitting myself to sit with this, to allow my awareness to become inquisitive, I’ve witnessed my thinking move from the flurry and doubt, quizzing “am I wrong?”, to a more calm and determined-to-understand “why am I doubting my own wisdom?”
Everything in modern society is so fast-paced. When we want something, we want it now, no time to dilly-dally and wait around, right? We have become so impatient and demanding that we’ve forgotten how to slow down and listen.
Rather than seeking advice from those around us, why aren’t we stopping, turning inwards and asking the wisest being we know, ourselves?
I think it’s because that takes time, that takes effort, that takes self-confidence, that takes a deeper awareness of who we are. And those are things we seem to have lost along the way. So it’s so much easier to take advice from others, no matter how ill-advised it may be, than to tune into our own wisdom.
Is it any wonder our lives aren’t flowing as smoothly as they could and should?
I think it’s time to stop listening to the voices outside for advice and start listening to the guidance within. However, to do that we first need to know how to tune into our own inner wisdom, the insight that is connected to the All-Knowing.