To Cause No Harm

Hi Everyone,

Long time no write! Oh, how I miss my bloggie friends!! Many things have been going on with me lately and my mind is finally clear enough write. Though all of the changes I have gone through have been very positive, I have still needed time to process it all.

Over the past few weeks, I have had a coming of age, if you will. Things have changed in every aspect of my life. The first major choice was to become a pescatarian. For those of you who are not familiar with the term, it means that I will no longer eat any meat except fish. I tried being a pesky a couple of years ago and eventually gave up in the middle of a hiking trip when I was craving bologna. I know, bologna is barely meat at all but that was how intense the cravings were. Soon after, I started my yogi adventure and felt so conflicted with eating meat. The first yama of the Yoga Sutra is Ahimsa which in simple terms means to cause no harm.

Ahimsa encompasses so many things. As a human, it is very easy to cause harm, sometimes without even realizing it. We cause harm to the earth every time we choose a paper or plastic bag at the grocery store. We cause harm to ourselves every time we let our negative thoughts destroy our self esteem. And, from my perspective, we cause harm each time we choose to eat meat. I struggled with this so deeply, I eventually signed up for a private lesson with my yoga mentor, Laura. She told me that I may also be causing harm to my own body by not eating meat and I knew that I needed to make the not eating meat decision based on my body. Fast forward about a year which brings us to six or so weeks ago.

The dear husband and I went to Costco and bought loads of meat, every variety you can think of, we bought it. We came home and began packaging it up for the freezer. It was in those moments that the horrid thoughts began to pass through my mind. I felt such deep sympathy for the pig that made the pork chops and the cow that made the steaks. The thought crossed my mind that I didn’t want to eat animals anymore but we had just dropped a boat load of cash on this stuff. How could I tell the dear husband that I didn’t want to eat all of this stuff that we worked hard to buy. At the time, I couldn’t.

I continued to eat meat for a couple of weeks. Each time, the thoughts of the animals became worse. I felt disgust in myself like I had never felt before. I slowly started to do a little research about craving meat as a vegetarian and discovered that protein isn’t the only concern. Despite my best efforts the first time, maybe I wasn’t getting the nutrition I needed in order to sustain a meat free lifestyle. I learned through my research that iron and B12 are very important. I know that I have low blood iron and have often solved the symptoms of it with beef but B12 had never crossed my mind.  I bought some supplements and a few days later, I ate my last piece of meat.

I went back and forth  on whether or not to eat fish and eventually decided that I will eat it from time to time.  I will do my best to avoid it but know that as I transition, there will be occasions that I will eat fish. I hope to one day become a full fledged vegetarian but I am trying to give myself a little leway while I learn the right way to live this lifestyle. I need to learn how to not cause harm to the animals as well as to myself.

Over the next week or so, I hope to share more of my changes with you. I also hope that as the dust settles, I will have more time to blog. I have been so wrapped up in everything that making time to write has fallen to the wayside and yet, once agan, I realize what a special part of my life it is.

Namaste, my friends.

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The Latest and Greatest

Welcome to the latest and greatest version of blogging for me. I hope that you all will enjoy the blog just as much as I enjoy writing and being part of the blogging community. I’m not really sure where this blog is going but I know that blogging has been wonderful “therapy” for me in the past. I am happy to have a place to just write about the things that I want to write about without regard to any one topic or another. I have imported in some of my favorites from blogs past and hope to keep sharing the things that make me tick.

Right now, I have a few things going on in my life. I’m working to find myself in so many ways that often times I feel lost. I want to be a fit yogi with a strong sense of emotional well being. I want to care for the environment and be a writer. Other than caring for the environment and blog writing, I am none of those things. I have a tendency to pick things up, get excited and then drop them when it gets hard. But through all of my flippant behaviors and choices, those are the things that stand out as the things I want from life.

I realize that in order to get from life what I want, I have to go out an get it myself. No one can live my dreams for me. I think that what holds me back is my way of thinking. I have very black and white thinking and often times let one set back keep me from moving forward. I want to change the way that I think about life, love, food, money, family….all of it. Through therapy and this blog, I hope to do that.

I hope you all will come along for the ride.

From the Archives: I *am* changing the world one bag at a time

I try to be as green as I can and try to continue improving daily. I am always looking for a way to make a difference. And today my friends, I feel as though one person really can change the world.
Dear Husband and I have been shopping with canvas bags for quite some time now. It all started in our local health food store Ellwood Thompson. I bought my first canvas bag and the obsession began. We take them everywhere and let me tell you, they are not always well received. I’ve actually resorted to bagging my own groceries in some places. Some places are stepping up a realizing that things have to change and are starting to offer bag credits for every bag you use of your own. I think that is swell. I can save the world and save some money.
A few months into my bag obsession, I saw an Oprah show about going green. Oprah asked if paper or plastic was the best and I knew that the answer was neither. I felt smug that I was one step ahead of the Oprah show. Later in the show, she introduced produce bags. Oh my, new bags for my collection and yet another way to save some plastic. I went to buy the bags right away but for days and days they were sold out. I stalked the site until finally, the bags were available.
I was so excited when my produce bags came. We used them for the first time and people stared at us in the produce department like we had 14 heads or something. The cashier was intrigued and commented that they were interesting. Within a few weeks of having the produce bags, I headed back to Ellwood Thompson and used my bags for produce and for bulk grains. This time the cashier was very excited. She was calling attention to my bags with everyone in the store. She wanted to know where they came from and I proudly said “Ecobags.com”, once again I was feeling smug. An low and behold, guess what happened. The very next time I was in ET’s, they had custom printed produce bags for sale in the store. Now, I’m not sure if this was a result of my little bags but I sure would like to think so.
My little bags have been causing a stir everywhere I go. But yesterday, I must tell you that I felt the proudest I have ever felt about them. We went to Charlottesville, VA with some friends to spend the day at the lovely Historic Downtown Mall. We had also decided that we would visit the Mecca, Whole Foods. I was excited, health food stores are one of my favorite places and since we don’t have a Whole Foods here, I couldn’t wait. While packing the car, I threw in my canvas bags ready to fill them to the brims with yummy healthy food and cheese.
We probably spent an hour or so in the store, roaming the aisles, trying samples of good food and filling our little cart. While we were looking at the bread, I saw that they had the cutest little shopping bags and I mentioned to my dearly beloved that we had to buy a couple of them. I wanted one for myself and one for Traci from work. I had recently turned her on to using canvas bags as well. I even earned the nickname “Hippie” for it with my co-workers. So, as we gathered our things and put them on the belt I added two more bags to my ever growing collection.
And while shelling out what seemed like my whole paycheck, the man bagging my groceries said “These are cool, where did you get these” and I was feeling prouder than every. No way was the Whole Foods dude asking about MY bags. I proudly said “Ecobags.com” and he pried a little more. He wanted to know how much I paid and wondered if they could get them custom printed for Whole Foods to carry in the store. Oh, I was feeling more smug than ever.
I can’t wait to go back to that Whole Foods and see those bags for sale. It feels good to know that I *am* making a difference one bag at a time.