If you’ve been following my facebook feed or newsletter lately, you know I’m launching a group nutrition program with my colleague and soul-sister Anna Hinds called Identity Based Nutrition.  But I’m wondering if there’s some confusion around the name of the program … what does Identity Based Nutrition actually mean?

This is a big conversation, one we’ve devoted intense development and a three month program to but in short, Identity Based Nutrition means approaching your health, your vitality, the nourishment of your vitality, your food, the ways and whys of your eating, from a place of knowing Who You Really Are.

I approach this subject from a spiritual perspective that’s a nice mix of backgrounds in fundamental Christianity and yoga. So who Are You Really? iRest, the relaxation and meditation modality I love to teach, says that to learn who We Really Are we must first see through all that we are not. There’s a phrase for this from ancient yogic philosophy – neti, neti. It means not this, not this.

So who are you not? Well, turns out you’re not your body. In Identity Based Nutrition, that means we’re not approaching the ways and whys of your eating from appearance. You don’t need to eat salad because your waist is over 30 inches. You don’t need to practice extreme calorie restriction because you’re not the pants size you were twenty years ago. If we act like all we are is a number on a scale or a certain jeans or bra size, we are truly never going to fall in love with this body or this life, folks. That’s not what’s at play here. Neti, neti.

What else are you not? You are not your thoughts. Yoga (and Christianity too, by the way) says that this constantly meandering, involuntary stream of random thoughts is not who you really are. Most of us even aren’t aware of how much we’re thinking. All the time. About everything. And everyone. And mostly ourselves. How come she can eat that and be a size four? I really should go to the gym six times a week. Dangit, I’m such a failure because I only made it to the gym twice this week. I never succeed at my weight loss resolutions. I really want to eat what she’s eating. Mmmm it tastes so good.  I’m so bad because I just ate that. Judgement, punishment and self-rejection make up a huge majority of that thought stream. Streams are interesting to sit by, not so fun to have your toe caught and be submerged face down in. Neti, neti.

We could go on. You are not your emotions. Not the shame, guilt, pleasure, fear or anger you experience around food. Or anywhere else in your life for that matter. You are not your beliefs. This food is bad, that food is good, eat less, exercise more. You are not your experiences or your memories or your philosophies or your genealogy. Truth is not found here. Neti, neti.

Who Are You Really then? If I am not my body, not my thoughts, not my emotions, not my experiences, not my beliefs, not my family, Who in the world Am I??????

This is good news, dear one. Really, really good news. YOU, it turns out, are an already whole and complete, timeless, unchanging, potent, perfect Being in which all of your experiences of body, mind, emotions, and life experience come and go. The Kingdom of Heaven is within you. It’s already done.

Let’s take a simple analogy. If you were to look at our spinning green and blue planet from space you’d never guess that at its core is a vast sea of … molten lava. Heat and movement and fire that you’d never suspect from this surface level of houses and asphalt. Yet without that dense, fiery core, nothing that is on the outside would be. Billions of years of heating and cooling, metamorphosis and transition have led to this thin crust layer upon which all creation now walks. But let’s not pretend the Earth is the city we just built upon it. It’s much, much deeper than that. And so it is with IBN. In some small way, we’re tackling this whole issue of True Identity in this program. Because if you KNEW, in every cell, that you were already whole and perfect, wise and beautiful, EXACTLY AS YOU ARE, how would that change you? How would it change the way you looked in the mirror? The way you talked to yourself in a day? What you were focused on? The choices you’d make?  The love and generosity and reverence you’d extend to yourself and others?  Simplistic? Maybe. But yogic philosophy also says that the entire macrocosm is found in the microcosm. And THAT means that if you can alter the way you perceive and embody Who You Really Are in even one tiny realm such as nutrition, you can shift all layers of your being. It’s like an earthquake, or a volcano. The breaking through of that deep molten core makes a HUGE difference.

Come learn and experience with us. Identity Based Nutrition. We start this Saturday at 9am! Click here to read more and apply for the program.