Turn on, tune in, drop out

This counterculture phrase was popularised by Timothy Leary in 1967. Leary spoke at the Human Be-In, a gathering of 30,000 hippies in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and uttered the famous phrase,

Turn on, tune in, drop out.

In a 1988 interview with Neil Strauss, Leary stated that slogan was “given to him” by Marshall McLuhan during a lunch in New York City.

Tune in meant interact harmoniously with the world around you – externalize, materialize, express your new internal perspectives. Man. (thanks to Wikipedia for this information!)

Turning on and dropping out are optional activities which any or all of us may like to experience at some point in our lives, but for the purposes of Beyond Chocolating, Tuning In is essential.

So essential that it’s the first of the 10 Beyond Chocolate principles. And it is manifested in a slightly different way to the hippie mantra. For Beyond Chocolaters, Tuning In is the starting point for a more nourishing and empowering relationship with food and your body.

Tuning in is a simple and effective tool which works on many levels. Once we learn how to identify our thoughts, feelings and physical cues we will have all the information we need to make profound changes to the way we eat and the way we feel about our body.

So a certain amount of hippie-type navel-gazing is to be expected. After all, this is a chance to re-connect with ourselves, a way to really know how we are feeling physically and emotionally and how our thinking impacts everyhting from our food choices to how we feel in our bodies. And how often do we really focus on ourselves in a positive way? Gently and with curiosity, gathering information rather than looking to criticise or despair?

How does Tuning In help?

How do we do it? How often? When? Where? What do we do with the information thus gathered?


Starting anything from scratch is a process of discovery and learning and the good news is that Tuning In is easy and effective and can be done at any time, anywhere. All we need is ourselves and less than 1 minute.

HOW TO – Tune In

  1. In a quiet moment, sit or stand, if you want to, close your eyes.

  2. Focus first on your physical sensations. What can you feel? Is your hair tickling your face? Can you feel your clothes on your arms or legs? Is there a slight pain in your right temple? Are your feet tingling or cold? Pick one physical sensation and just notice it. There is no need to change it or understand it.

  3. Next turn your attention to your feelings. How are you feeling? Happy? Sad? Angry? Afraid? Or some variant on one of these? Content? Gloomy? Tetchy? Wary? Just notice, there is no need to change the feeling or have a reason for feeling that way.

  4. Finally, catch a thought. Any thought. Yes, that one! There are so many, rushing through our minds all the time that it can take some practice to catch just one and have a look at it. Again, no need to change it or work out why you are thinking this – acknowledge it and let it go back into the rushing stream of thoughts.

That’s it. You have just Tuned In.

So Turn On (the computer), Tune In (to A Truly Nourished Life) and Drop Out (of Diet Culture). We'll see you there!

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