Inner vs. Outer Wisdom
Hi friend, today I want to talk a bit about Inner and Outer Wisdom.
My relationships with food and health have shifted quite a bit since the beginning of Mind Over Munch.
While it’s been a winding road, I’ve gotten progressively healthier over time. I don’t mean physically healthier—although that may be true. What I really mean, though, is my mental relationships to food and health.
That is, the way I relate to my health has changed.
What’s different? Well, I could write a book about it (and maybe one day I will!) but today I want to tackle a concept that has become my foundational focus with health:
Inner vs. Outer Wisdom
Most of the video content I’ve created has focused on outer wisdom.
Outer wisdom includes anything health-related that we may be exposed to outside of ourselves—science and knowledge, opinions and advice from experts, doctors, friends or family, ways of eating through diets or meal plans, recipes, and more!
Most people get caught up in outer wisdom, thinking it’s where their answers to health, weight loss and happiness lie—but the truth I’ve discovered is that outer wisdom is just a piece of the puzzle.
In fact, true balance can’t exist without inner wisdom as a foundation.
You’ve heard people say, “listen to your body,” right? But what does that even mean? Most people don’t know, simply because they haven’t learned how.
Inner wisdom provides valuable information from within yourself—only YOU can access and benefit from your inner wisdom!
This includes your personal biology and physiology like genetics, as well as your own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Inner wisdom is also developed from attunement to oneself. Having an understanding of your bodily cues like how hungry you are, how full you feel, and even how flavorful a food tastes to you.
Inner wisdom gives you the power to ask yourself if a food (or a piece of health information) is right for you, rather than depend on anyone else to tell you.
For instance, a lot of people throughout the history of time have said “chocolate tastes delicious.” You might even agree! But the only way you know whether or not this is true is by tasting it for yourself and then deciding. (Fun fact: I am NOT a chocolate fan! My inner wisdom told me so!)
In the same way, a lot of people can believe certain things about health (and science)—but that doesn’t make those things true for each of us. Sure, some things might be facts—such as the existence of calories, or the fact that foods provide us energy.
But the way we make use of this outer wisdom is dependent on how much we trust our inner wisdom.
Unfortunately, most of us have not learned to tune into this inner wisdom. We’ve been taught that outer wisdom knows best. We’ve been conditioned to believe experts, and that others know better than ourselves. It’s possible we’ve even disconnected from our internal cues through dieting culture, dieting, and arbitrary food rules.
As I’ve been on my journey to make peace with food, my body, and my health, I’ve developed tools to help foster and trust my inner wisdom.
Building up this foundation has helped me use outer tools more wisely and less blindly.
Outer wisdom is useful, but we’ll never learn how our bodies and minds can thrive healthily and at peace without taking our inner wisdom into account, too.
Part of why I love these Brain Food emails so much is that they’ve given me a chance to explore some inner wisdom concepts with all of you. But I’ve got more to share!
Drawing from both inner and outer wisdom to make informed choices about food is powerful. Not only will it lead to freedom from dieting and, perhaps, help you lose weight, it will empower you to live your life more fully and with confidence.
I’m going to start sharing some practices and tools for getting in touch with your own inner wisdom—some you already know about, like gratitude, and appreciation!
But some are more related to food and diet. They might help you find clarity if you’re on your own health journey, trying to lose weight, or make peace with food.
In the meantime, let me know—what’s a piece of inner wisdom you’ve learned? Something that only you could have discovered from listening to yourself, and no one else? No science or expert could have told you this piece of wisdom, because it’s unique to you!
Take a moment to appreciate this inner wisdom! I think my new mission is to help people rebalance their outer wisdom intake!
Light and love,