I stirred briefly last night, my consciousness rising from some vague dream, mumbling a single word: euphoria. Speaking aloud woke me up enough to wonder why that particular word was important, and to lock the experience into my memory. Sleep claimed me again.
This morning I recalled the incident with a chuckle. It’s not unusual for me to wake with a word, movie quote or the snippet of a song in my head. What’s important is that I’ve learned to pay attention to these seemingly random thoughts.
What is this feeling?
A few months after I shifted into a plant based lifestyle in 2016, these incredible feelings of joy would suddenly wash over me, seemingly from no where. In fact, I was usually alone, engaging in an ordinary, routine task like driving or tidying the kitchen.
What is this feeling? I would wonder.
I’m naturally a happy person who can be annoyingly upbeat and positive. However these waves of energy were intense…deeply experienced…and they inspired gratitude. I knew enough to identify the feeling as euphoria. Yet I never questioned the source, beyond believing that my improving health perhaps contributed to the sensation.
I eventually decided that I had lived with pain for so long, that I had forgotten what healthy felt like.
The euphoric moments have continued, and increased in frequency. Multiple times a week, and sometimes daily, this inexplicable joy surges through me, radiating outward from the center of my being, my heart. Tears fill my eyes even as my mouth curves into a smile.
Early this morning, I reached for my phone. After waking up with the word escaping my lips, it was time to dig deeper. I looked up euphoria.
By definition, euphoria is “a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness“. From my research I found that alcohol, stimulants, and exercise can induce euphoria, as can success. These episodes are typically brief, and none of these are the sources of my own experiences.
Looking at the origin of the word provided a clue. Euphoria comes from the Greek words eu – well and pherein- to bear. Combined the words morphed into euphoros – well borne, healthy and later the word that we know today.
My instinctive association between euphoria and health proved accurate. The “intense feeling of happiness” is a result of my body bearing well the state of good health.
For the past month, I’ve considered entering into a raw food cleanse. My healing journey began two plus years ago, with a 28 day cleanse, in which I only ate raw fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. Although I’ve experienced a week long juice cleanse and I eat raw foods about half of the time, I’ve not participated in a fully raw cleanse since 2016.
Guided by euphoria, I stocked up today on fresh organic fruits and veggies. My freezer is filled with bags of organic fruit as well, for morning or evening smoothies. My sister Linda, who is taking charge of her own health and well being, joined me on a fun shopping trip.
For the next week, and possibly beyond, I’ll nurture my body with nutrient dense foods that will deliver health at a cellular level. My digestive system gets a break while my liver detoxes. The journey will be documented on my other blog site, Journey With Healthy Me. Follow along there.
Photographing some of my life giving produce this evening, that incredible feeling of joy rose and I laughed. My body is already vibrating at a higher energy level, in response to the sight of such gorgeous food. I nibbled on sprouts and sampled cherry tomatoes, sweet strawberries and tart blackberries. It feels like such a loving thing to do for myself.
I’m excited. I’m euphoric. Healthy truly does feel incredible.