Every New Year, my mother resolved to give up whalemeat sandwiches. Although I grew up in the bustling Inuit village of Toronto, it wasn’t at all difficult to keep this deal with herself; by “giving up” something she never ate, it was not only possible, she spared herself considerable angst and eventual (forgive me) blubbering.
So what is your resolution this year, and does it have to do with those 18 inches between your hand and your mouth? If so, beware. Most resolutions are tantamount to breaking out a dull hatchet and whacking off one’s own arm (“I will not eat chocolate in ’07!” Whack!) They ask you to refrain from committing an act that has been thoroughly ingrained in the subconscious mind. But your poor subconscious mind only understands positive suggestions, so when you yell at yourself about not eating those Hershey Kisses on your co-worker’s desk, all you can see is a little foil-wrapped teardrop dancing a jig.
It is infinitely more effective to resolve to do something new, to add to your life, to expand. That is the natural direction of the life force — constant learning, expansion and growth, as opposed to whacking apart and negating. So think positive.
I always find that the resolutions I keep are the simple ones; it’s easier to resolve to meditate for 15 minutes every day than to run a triathlon. And, when the simple, powerful resolution is kept, the bigger goals seem to take care of themselves.
So what can you add to your life this year that is easy, powerful and pleasurable? My vote? Whole grains. Yes, I wrote a book about macrobiotics and I whine on and on about whole grains every month in the Phoenix, but I am not the only one stuck on these little suckers: The FDA’s food pyramid has officially recommended three one-ounce servings daily since 2005. But of course, that’s about as enticing as your mother telling you to eat your vegetables. Don’t eat whole grains because they’re good for you. Eat whole grains because they will completely transform your life. Brown rice, barley, millet, quinoa (and others) in their whole form (not as a bread or noodle product — the whole grain itself), contain an energy and nutritional oomph that can totally alter the direction of your existence; if you are feeling sludgy, they will clean you up. If you are confused about where you are going in life, they will give you clarity and direction. If you are depleted, they will restore you.
Think of it as positive bio-terrorism: whole grains will get into your mouth, whence they drop into your stomach, hence intestines (by the way, I resolve to use antiquated English this year), which gets them into your bloodstream, offering access to ye olde brain, affording them the opportunity to change your nervous system and your thinking — i.e., life.