What Are You Craving? A Step-by-Step Guide to Designing the Life You Were Meant To Live is a saucy new approach to the process of personal transformation. Life-long friends, Melissa Peace Pumo and Dawn Sheek, combine their passions of life coaching and all things culinary to create a recipe for a life that is delicious and satisfying. What Are You Craving? takes you through the steps of life transformation in the context of planning and cooking the perfect meal from appetizer to dessert. It even has recipes! It is designed as a workbook and also includes a facilitation guide so you can cook up the life you crave and help others do the same. So, grab a fork and dig in!
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Read an Excerpt
We are all hungry. Some of us are even starving, and I don't mean we can't wait to stuff ourselves with that next giant pizza. If you are like most of us you are experiencing emotional or spiritual hunger. You feel like something is missing in your life, but you can't quite figure out where that feeling is coming from or why you have the feeling at all. Therefore, we often feed ourselves the wrong things trying to satisfy our cravings.
We try to fill the holes, but sometimes we miss the mark. Perhaps we are craving a new relationship, but instead of putting ourselves out there and actually talking to a real live human being, we feed that craving with chips and ice cream and end up with a relationship with food and a body that doesn't serve our highest selves. Or maybe we have a spiritual craving that we try to fill with relationships. We surround ourselves with people all the time and end up with many friends and acquaintances in our lives, but still feel empty and lonely and without a spiritual connection to a higher power.
We also have different cravings at different times in our lives. What are you craving now? Is it a new job, a new relationship, a spiritual connection, a purpose? Maybe it's Kentucky High Pie (If you've never had Kentucky High Pie, you are in for a treat!) Or maybe you don't even know what it is yet. Many people feel like something is missing in their lives. We are craving something, but can't quite put our finger on exactly what it is.
This book will help you to discover what's missing and find a way to satisfy your true cravings to nourish your mind, body and soul and yes, it will even satisfy your craving for pie!
Start by asking yourself this question, "What do I really want my life to look like?"
How many times do you ask yourself this question? Once a year when you are making your resolutions, or maybe never? We go through our life trying to accomplish things daily, weekly, or on the five or ten year plan. Take a moment to look closely at the life you've created up to this point. Now, think about the life you really want. Do these pictures in your head look similar or does one look like a finger painting done by a three year old and the other a masterpiece by Norman Rockwell? My guess is there are probably some areas that need to be changed or at least spruced up a bit.
Now, here's a big secret, and yes, you are getting it in the first chapter!
So it is time to ask yourself, what do you believe? What are you telling yourself? All that chatter in your head ... is it naughty or nice? Take a look at your life as it is today. How did you get here? Did it just happen to you or did you consciously create it? Here's a hint: (in a whisper) You created it. Either consciously or unconsciously, but all the choices you have made in the past have brought you to this point in time. So let's reflect for a moment with a little exercise called "Stop, Start, Continue." Looking at your life right now, what would you like to stop? Would you like to stop saying "yes" to everyone who asks you to do anything - from watching their kids to cutting their grass? Would you like to stop smoking twenty-three cigarettes a day? Would you like to stop telling yourself how much you hate your body? I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
Things I would like to stop:
Now think about what you would like to start. Would you like to begin a new creative hobby like painting or playing music? Would you like to start moving your body more in a fun way? Would you like to learn how to cook healthy delicious meals for your family? What would you like to add to your life right now that would bring joy, health, and love into your life or the lives of others?
Things I would like to start:
And finally, what would you like to continue? Let's give ourselves some credit here. We are doing something right! Maybe you are already an amazing cook and you bless your family and friends with scrumptious food for any occasion. Perhaps you are already a health nut and you share your tips with others. Maybe you are a great parent. Maybe you are the best underwater basket weaver in North America. We all have gifts and talents. What are you doing well in your life right now that you would like to keep doing because it brings joy and love to yourself and those around you? (Everyone loves your underwater woven baskets so don't stop making those, please.)
Things I would like to continue:
At this point you have a nice list of things you would like to stop, start and continue. This is our starting point. This list is fluid, meaning it will change and grow as we evolve. It is not carved in stone, as nothing in this life really is. Everything can change, and we have the power to change anything we want.
So congratulations on taking the first step! You've reflected on your life and identified some things that work and things that need some work. So onto the next step in the process. Now, this is an easy one, and you're going to love it. Are you ready? Step two is Be Still. Yep, that's right. Be still. This may sound too simple, but it can be more challenging than you might think.
Now you might be saying, "Are you crazy? I don't have time to be still! Have you seen all the things I have to accomplish each day?" That's just the point. We go through our days in a crazy-busy, hurried manner trying to get everything done for our families, our jobs, the school and the community, and we barely take any time for ourselves. If we take a few minutes each day to take care of ourselves, we will have ten times the amount of love and energy to give to others. It's time we stop, listen and learn to recognize the many signs the universe sends us to guide us through our most amazing life experience.
Getting quiet can take many forms, such as prayer or meditation. I've heard people say that prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening. I've also heard of people exercising until they feel the stillness (but I'm convinced these people are a rare breed of 12 or so who live high up in the Himalayan mountain tops). Maybe you already practice thirty minutes of meditation every morning. Or maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about. Wherever you are, this is a journey and we must begin somewhere. If you aren't used to being quiet, I suggest starting with one minute. Yes, one minute can make a huge difference in your day. Begin by finding a nice quiet spot where you can sit comfortably and be still. Choose a place that has positive energy for you. Take one minute at the beginning of each day to just sit, breathe deeply and listen. At this point you may be thinking, "How on earth can this do anything?" Trust me on this. You will be amazed at the things that start to open up, reveal themselves to you, and you will begin to crave this time. You will want to stretch it to five minutes, then ten minutes and before you know it, you are up to twenty minutes a day. Or just stay at five minutes. Whatever is working for you. That's the beauty ...there is no pressure. This is your life to design at your pace. There is no wrong way to do this. As you begin to make this a part of your daily routine, you will discover what works best for you. Remember, this is about opening up and receiving all that life has to offer and creating the life you crave. You can afford to give it a few minutes each day. In fact, you can't afford not to.
You can do many different things during this "quiet time." This isn't a book on meditation, but I will share some ideas for you to explore as you find what works for you. Here are a few ideas, but this is not an exhaustive list:
Say Positive Affirmations
Listen to Sounds of Nature or Peaceful Music
Let Your Mind Release All Thoughts
Focus on Your Breath
This practice of being still and focusing on gratitude, peace, or positivity creates the space for you to be present in the moment. So many of us live either in the past or in the future. We agonize over what could have been. We cover ourselves with guilt over past choices. We live in the world of "if only." When we aren't thinking about all the things we would do differently if given the chance, we are consumed with worry about the future. We live in fear of what might happen. We worry about disasters that never come. We fret over the big presentation coming up or the birthday party we have to plan next month. When we are not in the world of "if only," we are on the planet of "what if." You've probably heard the cliché that the present is called the present because it's a gift. This may be corny, but it's true. When we learn to live our lives in the present moment, we tap into joy and peace we thought were only figments of our imaginations. This does not mean we don't plan for the future and work toward our dreams. There is a difference between being present and living for the moment. When we are present, we can still work toward our dreams knowing that the choices we make today are going to directly affect our tomorrow.
So back to that giant pizza. Why you may ask? Because food is the perfect metaphor for creating the life you crave. We must eat to live, but we can go through life on a diet of tuna sandwiches or we can eat lobster, drink the finest wine and savor the most decadent dessert imaginable. Just imagine eating that tuna sandwich 3 times a day, every day, for the rest of your life. That is how some people are living their lives. Survival mode. Engaging in habits that get them through the day, but don't really bring joy and contentment. The same is true for your life. You can go through the motions of each day and do what it takes to survive, but you are feeding yourself empty calories and living with a sense that something is missing in your life. It is up to us, but we must learn to feed ourselves well emotionally, spiritually and physically. So get quiet, be present, and begin to ask yourself, "What am I craving?"
Chapter 1 Action Step
Carve out a time in each day to get quiet.
Create a space that is soothing and spend a few minutes a day just being present.
What Are You in the Mood For?
Oftentimes we ask ourselves or others this question when we are planning our next meal or choosing a restaurant. It usually goes something like this.
You: "What are you in the mood for?"
Other: "I don't know, what do you want?"
You: "I don't know, anything is fine."
Other: "How about sushi, then?"
You: "Gross, no."
Other: "Then just tell me what you want."
You: " It doesn't matter."
The choice of what we feed our bodies often depends on our mood or the mood we want to create. Sometimes we feel like a quick bite, easy, no fuss. Sometimes we want to relax, have a glass of wine, some nice conversation and relish the meal. We may not realize it, but we are setting our intention for the experience of eating.
You may be thinking, "Me?! Set an intention for eating? I'm lucky if I can decide between the fries and the onion rings at the drive-thru." We have all designed a meal, and yes, I'm talking to you. Whether it's ordering a pizza or having 20 guests for a holiday party, we have planned the meal. If we are plowing through life at warp speed, we may just default to the easiest path, like the drive-thru. Why do you think it's called "fast food?" But if you eat fast food all the time, you will be left craving the good stuff - the home cooked meal or the five star restaurant dining experience. And the same is true with your life. If you are plowing through life just surviving day-to-day trying to get things done, you will find yourself craving meaning and purpose, and probably rest. We wrote this book to show you how to not only create the meals you crave, but, through a little self reflection, quiet time and setting of intentions, how to also create a life that is satisfying and gratifying.
The process of consciously or unconsciously planning a meal is the perfect metaphor for planning our lives. Before you plan a meal, you determine the intention of the gathering. This is sometimes done on a grand scale, such as planning a celebration dinner, but if you think about it, we do it in our everyday planning as well. Let's look at how we plan a meal. Now, I can actually feel some of you giving up already, but hang with me for little while before you throw in the towel. First, start by consciously determining your intention for the meal. This doesn't need to be a complex process. Just ask yourself, "What do I want this experience to feel like for myself and others?" Do you need a quick bite to get you through to dinnertime because you are starving? Then your intention is to quickly, and maybe even healthily, feed a physical hunger. You may grab an apple. Do you wish to create a romantic meal for you and your partner? Your intention is probably to create an environment where you can express your love and affection. This may involve a meal of lobster and your partner's favorite chocolate cake (before those of you who don't bake have a complete melt down, nobody ever said YOU have to bake the cake). Perhaps you need to figure out how to feed 10 of your spouse's colleagues at your home. Your intention is likely to get through the evening without embarrassing yourself or burning down the house. You may want to make your go to lasagna dish that feeds 10 people out of one pan instead of making four different dishes which require constant tending to, and all of which will be finished at different times. Or maybe you want to take an award-winning dish to a potluck supper. In this case, your intention may be to earn praise from your family and finally show Aunt Betty that you know your way around the kitchen, so you make your grandmother's famous blueberry pie.
We form intentions about our lives all day long, whether we realize it or not. Forming intentions for our meals is just one example. In America, food is a large part of our culture, therefore setting our intentions for meals can, at times, be very important and down right ritualistic. One of the things that make holidays so special for many people is the food. Let's face it; we look forward to eating Aunt Betty's sweet potato casserole just as much as we do seeing Aunt Betty. Maybe more, if we are brutally honest. But the point is that intention is behind every choice we make from the smallest daily task to the largest decisions.
Remember those empty tasks we talked about in chapter one? Those are acts that lack intention. If you are going through your life just accomplishing tasks without intention, you will feel like the hamster on the wheel. You will run yourself ragged, but never get anywhere. So in order to change that, you have to make a change. It begins with a small change. Small consistent changes lead to big changes over time. So settle down, settle in and let's start walking through our lives purposefully and with intention!
There are two main types of intention. There are small intentions we set each day, and there are large intentions which guide the big decisions in our lives, such as job choices, partner choices, trips we take, homes we create and friends we choose. The small daily intentions add up, little by little, to create our lives and lead us on the path to the larger, longer-term intentions. You probably know someone who has lost weight using a fitness bracelet that tracks your steps. They set their intention of losing weight and by paying attention to that intention, they made the small change of adding more steps to their day. Over time, they achieved big results of not only feeling better but also losing weight that was noticeable to others.
You see, setting your intention can, and often does, happen overnight. The results rarely do, however. But, through a series of setting small daily intentions, we ultimately create the life we long for. Your intentions can be very vague or very specific. It doesn't really matter. What matters is that you start becoming aware of your intentions and noticing your thought patterns. For example, if you set an intention to become healthier, maybe you do that through deciding to enjoy movement, purposefully nourishing your body with healthy foods and being determined to create balance with work, family and fun. Pretty soon, your actions will follow your thought pattern and a new habit will form based on a new way of thinking or seeing yourself. The small intentions we set every day add up to the life we live. This creates lifelong change and patterns for success in any area.
Excerpted from "What Are You Craving?"
Copyright © 2017 Melissa Peace Pumo and Dawn Sheek.
Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Who's Hungry?, 1,
Chapter 2 What Are You in the Mood For?, 9,
Chapter 3 What's on the Menu?, 17,
Chapter 4 Let's Go Grocery Shopping, 31,
Chapter 5 Prep the Meal, 41,
Chapter 6 I Smell Something Burning, 53,
Chapter 7 Can I Start You Off With an Appetizer?, 59,
Chapter 8 Don't Skip the Salad, 65,
Chapter 9 And What Would You Like on the Side?, 73,
Chapter 10 The Main Course, 81,
Chapter 11 Save Room for Dessert, 89,
Facilitation Guide, 93,