Spiritual Guidance and Plant Based Wellness Coach Jenna Davila answers your questions on physical and emotional health and wellbeing.
Do you ever have down moments or days or weeks and how do you handle them?
– George, Greece
Hi George, thank you so much for writing in! Do I ever have down moments? Of course! I feel that everyone here experiences periods of ups and downs. Contrast exists in everything we do but the way we navigate the down is what matters most. I used to suffer from depression and anxiety because I allowed situations and people to fill my mind with negative thoughts and disconnect me from my self. The core of self is the truth of sovereign Divine infinite light. Seeing our own personal light within helps us to maintain eternal love, gratitude, security and joy. It is there at our point zero of existence that we can remember that we are so much more than any experience happening. I don’t allow down moments to control me or to manifest into prolonged periods of time. I don’t dwell on the downs; I move through them. I embrace whatever is happening. I connect to myself by breathing mindfully, staying clear and centered in my heart. I claim my empowerment and remember my strength to not allow something or someone to diminish my happiness. I have learned so many lessons and continue to do so… that is part of the art that makes us human. Our experiences are what help us to become expansive and wiser.
My experiences have taught me that there is always a bigger picture to the things that are happening in our inner and outer worlds. If are able to keep a wide perspective in the grand scheme of things, it is easier to relax and remember this too shall pass. In the end, it will be in our favour no matter what it may look like right now. It is through my own personal journey of self love, mindfulness and appreciation that I am able to fully trust in the process of the Universe. The outcome of every situation I have travelled on this path has led me to where I am now. It has proven to me time and time again that all is always in Divine order. No matter what the circumstance is, it will always work out for the greatest good. Reminding myself of this really brings me to a place of trust, peace and reassurance.
Life is unpredictable. Never do we truly know what may or may not happen until it actually occurs right then and there in the present moment. We are always going to be gifted the ebbs and flows of life. The waves of highs and lows that help us and challenge us. I see them as opportunities for growth and transformation. When we wake up every morning, it is a fresh start. As the day progresses, we are exposed to having different experiences just by living. Usually when most people have a down moment or day, there is some sort of interaction or event that has triggered a less than ideal response, reaction, thought or feeling. From that, a person can be filled with either the emotions of doubt, confusion, pain, sadness, guilt, stress, anxiety, worry, frustration, fear and/ or chaos. How that manifests in one’s life really depends on each individual. If a person gets stuck in these emotions, a down day can turn into a down week and so forth. I have found that the more grounded and confident I am in myself, the easier it is for me to handle situations with calmness and grace.
The way we react, respond or view something is simply because of a learned behaviour, habit, thought pattern or a defensive mechanism (mostly from being hurt) that we have acquired over the years starting from birth. Whether it was from environmental factors or just being inexperienced and not knowing any better, it is all okay! What matters is how we handle the things that are now being brought up in the present moment for us to learn from. When we have the drive, dedication and openness to have a greater sense of comprehension as to how and why we react or feel about certain things and unravel where it comes from and how to deal with it respectfully, we can start to transcend and heal. It may sound intimidating or scary to face emotions from the past that are still programming you today but I find it very exciting! We have the ability to transcend to our highest potential through recognition and being open to the inner work that needs to take place for healing.
Here are some practices that I do when something feels off or carries a downish vibration. I either scan the energies around me or tap into the energies moving within me. It depends on where I am, what I am doing and what my intuition is communicating with me. When assessing the energies in the environment I’ll ask myself, “Am I picking up something from outside of myself? What is going on around me? Did I hear or see something that made me feel this way? What is going on energetically on the planet?” Sometimes we can pick up feelings and emotions from people other than ourselves and/ or pick up energies from the collective. Determining where the energy is coming from is important. You must start becoming aware of how the energies around you personally affect you because if you don’t pay attention, it will be harder to maintain harmony in your emotional state.
When I know the emotions and energies affecting my day are my own, I’ll go within, listen to my heart and my body. I become mindful, grounded and anchored in the heart and focus on the flow of breath. Connecting with the breath has the ability to change our internal state and bring us calmness and peace. It helps us to become more stable. Next, I will sit with the energies being presented to me and stay centered with love and trust through it all. I feel all the emotions and recognise the thoughts I am having. I ask myself questions such as, “When did I begin to feel this way and what happened?” From there I can best discern the best action to take. Sometimes it can be as simple as needing to get my energy moving by going to the gym, taking a walk or a hike to connect with nature. Other times I might just need to pick up the energetic vibration by making myself a juice or smoothie, putting on some essential oils, listening to music and/ or dancing. There are times where my body is just telling me to slow down, to take a break and allow myself time to relax and take the day to regroup. If there is something I really need to express and move through and nothing on my own is helping, speaking and sharing my Truth always helps, whether it is having open communication with a specific person about something or maybe calling on my spiritual sisters and brothers for friendship. It’s always important to be radically honest with yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to reach out to the people who care about you. Connecting with like minded individuals who support you, understand you and hold space for you really does wonders.
I would say about 80% of the time that I experience a down moment is about the inner work that needs to be done in order to gain the next level of self mastery. I really don’t like to call them down moments because I see them as occurrences that bring forth the opportunity to go deep within and work through unresolved feelings and emotions that I may or may not have been aware of. Just know that our past is our past. It has made us who we are today but it does not define who we are as people. They way you act, speak and treat yourself and others right now is what matters. The journey of spiritual growth goes in cycles and comes in waves. As we begin to heal, layers of ourselves start to peel away so we may see, feel and transmute all we have endured in this lifetime alchemising it into understanding love, acceptance and appreciation. When we let go of our past and extract ourselves from identifying with it, we become liberated and transmute everything into a higher expression of beingness and oneness.
For soul work, it’s about breathing through it, feeling everything and not suppressing whatever is coming up to be revealed. It’s beautiful to recognise all of the emotions we have stored within ourselves because when we uncover what was hidden within us, true healing takes place. After I fully feel what is going on within me, I then take myself out of it and see the circumstance or situation as the observer or witness taking part. It is from the perspective of consciousness, our level of infinite light that we can see things from the view of the Divine. Seeing things through the lens of the Divine can really help us trust that whatever we are going through, whatever we are being challenged with is just a tiny squiggle in our magnificent tapestry of life we are painting.
Sometimes we need obstacles and discomfort to push ourselves to change and to be inspired to grow. It helps us to stretch to the edges of our boundaries and to explore new territories of self. That is how we keep evolving. Going into gratitude for anything in my life is very helpful when I am being presented with something that may be uncomfortable or challenging to sit with but it is in the realisation that this occurrence is ultimately needed to strengthen me and propel me forward in ways I didn’t even know I needed and therefore I am transformed and grateful. Constant upgrades help us advance to the greatest versions of self we can be. It’s important to find the beauty and blessing in everything and incorporate spiritual practices of inner work to turn your down moment, day or week into a great lesson for transformation.
Just remember, you are more powerful than you think you are and you can persevere through anything! You got this! Sending you my best!
I’m so unsure about how much fat in the diet is recommended. I have read that too much omega 6 isn’t good but I don’t know how to manage that. I eat a balanced whole food diet with nuts and seeds and raw chocolate and avocados and high quality oils. Is that OK? I feel well but I’d like some further guidance.
– Selena, Australia
Hi Selena, thank you for your question! Healthy fats are needed in order to help the body absorb certain vital nutrients into your cells such as vitamins A, D, E and K. Fat is an essential nutrient for maintaining healthy nervous system, brain function and helps to regulate hormones and body temperature. The main focus should be which fats are healthiest and which ones are less than ideal. Getting your fat from whole, plant based foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds is key. Keeping your fat between 10-15% is a good general idea of what your fat intake should be. If you are very active, you may perform better with a little more fat, say 20%. And hey, if you want to indulge in some fat one day over the mark, that is totally okay! Just try to be more conscious of your fat intake the following day. You may even want to try to go with no fat if you overdid it the day before. Fat can store in the blood stream for two to three days which gives you an idea of how to find balance.
If you are incorporating oils into your diet, I wouldn’t recommend using them every day. Try using them as sparingly as possible. If you are cooking with oils, keep in mind that adding heat can change the chemical properties of them to be carcinogenic. If you are using the oil for cooking, I would suggest coconut oil at a low/ medium heat. You can always replace cooking oil with water instead.
Some of the healthiest fats to stick with are coconut meat, avocado, durian and the best fats with an excellent omega 6-3 ratio are walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds and flaxseeds. When looking at what a good omega 6-3 ratio is, keep this in mind; for every two grams of omega 3 you consume, three grams of omega 6 can be eaten. Too much omega 6 can make the body stiff and rigid and act as a competitive inhibitor which means it will take away from your omega 3 intake. This can cause you to become deficient in DHA which is important for healthy electrical activity in brain functions, the nervous system and hormone regulation. I would suggest trying to stay within that omega 6-3 ratio I mentioned above as best you can and try to focus on the healthy fats I listed as well. You don’t have to do anything 100%. Don’t feel like you need to limit yourself. You can definitely add in whatever other nuts and seeds you like but the ones I suggested are just the fats that would be most beneficial for the body in maintaining a balanced omega 6-3 ratio. I hope this gives you some clarity.
It’s always a nice moment for me to read all your thoughts about life and it’s helpful on my beautiful journey! I’d like to ask you a question: do you drink alcohol sometimes?
– Marianna, USA
Hi Marianna, thank you for your question! I started drinking alcohol in high school, and continued all through college and a little bit after. For the past four and a half years I haven’t had a drink of alcohol aside for a kombucha. Just thinking about and reflecting on my experience with alcohol makes me so grateful not to be consuming it any longer. Here are a list of symptoms I have personally experienced from drinking alcohol: memory loss, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dehydration, body shakes, slurred speech, blurry vision, destructive behavior such as doing and saying things I wouldn’t have if sober, etc… When I started to become more health conscious and aware, my body began to go through detox and the cleansing process began. A high raw diet allowed me to finally start listening to my body and my sensitivity to what I put in my body heightened.
For me, it’s about respecting what the body is communicating and signalling. It got to a point if I were to have one or two glasses of wine or a martini, some of the symptoms I stated above would surface. The returning symptoms was evidence enough for me to right then and there stop and realise this is not what my body wants nor is it benefiting my body in anyway shape or form. The side effects of alcohol also had me thinking, “What’s the point of drinking alcohol if my body is showing clear signs of rejection? My body is showing signs of being poisoned when I’m actually wanting and trying to be as healthy as possible in my life.” That question/ statement I had in my mind is what was the turning point for me to stop drinking alcohol. The facts to me were that it was completely the opposite of what I was trying to achieve.
Coming to the conclusion to stop drinking alcohol has definitely been one of my best decisions. For starters (a small tidbit here), I save so much money by not drinking. Just the price of alcohol can build up dramatically whereas that money can be spent towards health and things that positively enhance my life. My choice to stop drinking really transformed my view point on life. Here are a few things to take note of: If you are at a party or event and people are drinking and you’re sober, you will start to witness so many things that you wouldn’t have noticed if you were drinking. As the night progresses, you’ll see people’s demeanor change because of alcohol. By being sober, you’ll also be able to recall how interactions and transgressions happened because your mind will be clear and you won’t be influenced by or put in an altered state. You can with confidence make sure yourself as well as everyone else around you is safe. It is important to be fully aware of what is going on within your environment and to be in control of your words and actions. I still like going out to bars and parties to meet up with friends. I love going out dancing, attending concerts and having fun but I just drink water. Sometimes I’ll even bring juice with me! There is nothing weird about it. It’s actually pretty awesome! People always want to know what I’m drinking and then it’s a great way to start up a conversation about health!
To tie this together, if you are thinking about going alcohol free, start writing down a list as to why. What are the cons of drinking alcohol? How does your body feel? How does your mind feel? How does your heart feel? What are the side effects your body shows you? What is the reason you want to stop drinking? This is a very important to because it’s a great reminder to help you stay on track to alcohol free living if you begin to struggle and crack under outside pressure. Sending you my love and feel free to reach out to me if you’d like to discuss further!
Disclaimer: The advice offered in this column is intended for informational purposes only. Use of this column not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, medical, legal, or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological or medical help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist. The opinions or views expressed in this column are not intended to treat or diagnose; nor are they meant to replace the treatment and care that you may be receiving from a licensed professional, physician or mental health professional. This column, its author and the website are not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions.