Sugar, Caffeine & Spirituality
Updated: Mar 22
I woke up with the red CocaCola sign emblazoned in my mind, and that's how I knew this post would be about sugar and caffeine. Over the years, I have limited my consumption of these substances, but they still have a hold on me. Just thinking about candy will make my mouth water, and I'm currently suppressing a desire to fire up my Keurig.
It's no secret that most people love coffee and refined sugar. We even have stores that are almost solely focused on selling these products: coffee shops, candy stores, bakeries and donut shops.
Caffeine it is many forms (coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks) wake us up and sit beside us in the car and at our desks. We meet for coffee, have coffee breaks, and go to special shops and wait in long lines to get a cup. And like any chocolate lover will tell you, it is especially wonderful when caffeine is mixed with sugar.
Sugar is featured in most of our celebrations. It shows up in Christmas cookies and stockings, in Valentine's day chocolates and candy hearts, in cakes at birthdays and weddings, and in Easter baskets. When I was a child, the ultimate candy event was always trick-or-treating on Halloween. Running house to house in the dark to gather up candy from strangers was like having manna rain down from heaven.
Many of us have experienced what the research is now suggesting... that sugar and caffeine are addicting. There are even studies that show that consuming sugar and hard-core drugs like cocaine may activate the same brain areas. We don't like to see our beloved Starbucks or See's Candies in this light, but they are a bit like dispensaries for socially-sanctioned drugs.
What's Spirituality Got to Do With It?
There is evidence that caffeine and refined sugar activate the release of endorphins, the feel-good neurotransmitters in our brains. The fact that these substances make us feel good sounds like a good thing; however, it may limit our power to choose our focus. Instead of being able to sense the Love all around us, we may subconsciously focus on the smaller version that is produced in our body-mind when we consume these substances. When we use substances to feel better, we may also be missing out on an opportunity to become more aware of how we are really feeling deep down. This introspection can be a key to releasing what we no longer want to carry and opening up to perceive and experience more Love.
I find it surprising that limiting my consumption of sugar and caffeine has been one of the most difficult parts of my healing journey! Diabetes runs in my family, and my blood sugar was rising, and even a fear of disease or death did not limit my sugar consumption! However, when I considered that decreasing this mental and physical attachment to sugar may be a way to use my body-mind in a more expanded way... I became more motivated. On a spiritual level, decreasing these attachments may be a way to experience more joy and love. And who doesn't want more joy and love?
💜≈ My second book, Healing with Awareness, has many more insights on how to heal the body-mind and grow in spiritual awareness. If you would like to receive future insights in your inbox, please join the blog below.