How a tomato sandwich changed my life.
Homemade sourdough bread, fresh-off-the-vine heirloom tomato, just-cut basil, and mayonnaise made that morning from the free-range farm ducks that roamed outside my cabin. After college, I packed up all my belongings and moved from Florida to the mountains of Western North Carolina to reclaim ancestral knowledge of cultivation and natural medicines. Every day was a gift on that farm, but it was that afternoon specifically when I had the revelation that I had never really tasted real food before and my life would never be the same again.
After I ate that simple sandwich I decided I would design the rest of my life to learn how to grow and create space for all sources of food–from mushrooms, to garden vegetables, to fruit trees, to every herb you can think of, and more. I hated vegetables, especially tomatoes, but as I ate this REAL tomato, I finally understood that my diet growing up on “great value” foods not only robbed me of pure culinary ecstasy and nutrition but also a piece of my soul. I am the first to second generation in my lineage not to have grown up on the farm eating fresh produce. Not only was this a disservice to my body and health (especially mentally), but also spiritually.
Organic and heirloom fruits and vegetables have not been chemically engineered or altered. They are most close to the source of their original design…and in my opinion, most close to the original gift of God’s nourishment for us on this Earth. The foods we find in mainstream grocery markets are far from natural, and it is important that we are aware of the toxicity we are putting into our bodies, and do our best to limit consuming them. In fact, the more I eat organically, the less and less I can comfortably participate in America’s popular culture of fast food, bars, restaurant chains, sweet holiday and celebratory traditions, carnivals, and so on.
Farming and gardening has been a spiritual journey for me. The health in my body and the mental clarity I now have compared to a few years ago is miraculous. I have learned to intuitively alter my diet with plants to heal mental and physical diseases. I have so much presence and awareness of my body now that I can design my diet to help me function optimally and energetically each day or to calm and cool my nervous system. Conscious consumption, and the community it has come with have expanded my lifestyle to include so many interesting and alternative healing modalities. It is an endless adventure and journey on a daily basis that gifts me with experiences and knowledge that continue to heal me deeply and bless me with extraordinary insights and creative inspiration.
It is important that we hold our integrity when it comes to what we eat, and take responsibility for how food gets on our table. I know that it has become so normalized to betray our bodies, numb our minds and emotions, and neglect the medicines and science of our ancestors with processed fats, salts, sugars, and alcohol. I welcome you, and I challenge you however to stay on the path and keep feeding your soul with as much life and love as possible. Eat food for awakening: make it a part of your spiritual practice, and watch how much more wholeness you begin to embody.
Raileigh Duschen is an author, poet, speaker, healer, and founder of consciouslifestylecoaching.com. Conscious Lifestyle Coaching is a sacred space for those on the paths of self-development, healing, and spirituality. Through significant lifestyle changes, authentic embodiment, and deep present awareness, we are able to collectively transition and ascend to our highest and chosen life paths.
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View excerpt from "Phoenix Medicines — A Transformative Journey Through Consciousness" by Raileigh Duschen at her bookstore.
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