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.

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: The Monster Ego vs. The Low Self Esteem

Since Dear Husband and I have returned from Hawaii, I have really struggled with my ego in yoga classes. I am not generally an egotistical type of person…at all but I realized when we came back that I have been bringing some sort of ego monster with me to yoga class. My first vinyasa class with Sonja kicked my butt all over the place and all I could think was “what is wrong with me, why can’t I keep up”. At my yoga studio, Sonja is known to be the ass kicker which was a quality that I had previously enjoyed. After my three week honeymoon, not so much. I even struggled in Linda’s Hatha Flow class. What was wrong with me?
So, I talked with Laura, the studio owner, about chaning to less intense classes. And low and behold, instead of dragging my low self esteem with me, I have been dragging my monster ego. I found myself comparing myself to others and wanting to be “the best” in the class. After a lot of thought, I realized, I have always done this. Is my downward dog better than hers? How does my warrior IIcompare to his? Maybe I will be the only one that doesn’t get corrected by the teacher? Haha, I don’t need a block for that pose but skinny blond girl does.
What was coming over me? Why is it that I struggle to find the perfect slimming outfit every morning and sometimes get to the point of tears because I hate my body so much but in yoga I am an egotistical jerk? Is that why I like yoga so much, because it creates a level of self esteem that I have never had? Why is it that even with the reminders from the teachers that yoga is no place for the ego that I bring it in full force? And how do I stop this madness?
I have been pondering this subject for a few days now and was determined not to carry my ego into last night’s hatha flow class with Laura. Laura is the very opposite of Sonja, she is gentle and slow. We arrive early and I am relived to find the usual suspects there, no one that really drives my ego into either direction. Though, there is this one woman who scrapes my nerves because she “warms up” before class by doing all of these obscene poses. So, anyway, class is about to begin and a tall skinny blond chick shows up. Great, just what I need. Not only is she tall, skinny and blond but I bet she can rock the poses and of course my hamstrings are pulled so I won’t be able to show her how good I am. This wasn’t going the way I had planned.
As the class progressed, I found myself watching her to see what she could do. She could do it all, I kept thinking about my friend, Sarah, who was behind her and wondering how she felt. I kept thinking that I was so glad that I had chosen my safe corner in the room. And then the kicker happened. Laura told us to move into legs up the wall and then started saying that if we wanted do do shoulder stand then we could but to be advised that there would be no fish poseto follow. My mind was racing, who among us was going to do shoulder stand? Not me, of all of the yoga poses in all of the world, shoulder stand is my nemesis. It makes my back hurt because I don’t have the core strength to get into it without using momentum instead of strength. Laura has advised that I continue to build core strength until I feel more ready. So, no shoulder stand for me. I gracefully turned my head to see who it was doing the sacred shoulder stand. And you guessed it, it was tall skinny blonde chick. What a show off bitch. Eh…maybe, maybe not but that was the first thing that popped into my mind.
Clearly, my little plan to leave my ego at the door did not work. I guess I need to find the place within my self that allows me to do things without comparing myself to others. Whether it is in yoga class or at the mall buying size 16 pants. I think in my next private lesson with Laura, I’m going to discuss this with her and find out how to make it happen. I know that I have to go somewhere deep inside, I’m just not sure it is a place I have ever been.
Namaste