The world is harsh. We go through rough patches, hard times, and events that are downright terrifying. There are a lot of people in the world who are currently living in fear. (Let me just clarify that I’m not speaking about a specific event; this fear exists day in and day out and for a wide number of reasons.)
It’s easy to give in to the fear, it’s easy to let it control you and dictate your life. And it’s okay if it does – no judgement.
But please don’t let it convince you that there is reason to lose hope. There exists a force of people in the world who are good! And who are actively trying to make a difference.
In my mind, there is a difference between dreams and goals. Dreams are the bigger picture, long-term, “wouldn’t-it-be-nice”, kind of over the top visions. Dreams are the big “what-ifs” on your vision board; the ones that when you sit and seriously think about them coming to fruition you get misty-eyed and choked up. Goals are the smaller (but still quite large) steps in progress to bring you closer to that dream.
It takes an average of 21 days to make or break a habit (depending on the habit) and I do remember the first 21 days being some of the most difficult. But before I dive in to my experiences over the past year, let’s take a look back at why I started.
How It Happened
To summarize what I outlined in Accidentally Vegetarian (little did I know at the time that I actually meant Vegan):
I had decided and truly thought in my past that I couldn’t ever become vegetarian, let alone vegan! I was a hard-core carnivore; I loved chicken and fish but most of all it was red meat that I adored. I would go out for dinner with friends and family and order steak and potatoes, only my steak had to be done “blue rare.” For those who are unfamiliar with this fairly uncommon term, it basically means the meat is seared on both sides and served…it’s not on the grill long enough to even heat all the way through so the middle is not only mostly raw, but still cold. Yeah – you read that right; I wasn’t kidding when I said “hard-core carnivore.”
So how does a person go from a diet like that to being completely vegan? When your body no longer gives you the choice.
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. There is no attempt to hide the damage but instead it is highlighted and made beautiful as it makes the object unique.
I like to think that my brain and my veins are laced with gold.
Unique and beautiful because of the history, not despite it.
No judgement; just healing.
I wake before the sun; the moon crying for me like a child demanding my attention.
I stir and fight the restlessness but eventually cave and surrender to the calling.
I prepare myself for a chill that I haven’t felt in months; layers to protect me.
I step out, exposed to the elements and breathe deeply. I am home.
I walk silently, my footsteps light against the ground so as to not disturb it.
I revel in the visible fog of my breathe and crisp air against my skin.
I notice the stillness of my surroundings, the world not yet awake.
I bask in the gentle embrace of the calm and quiet around me. I am home.
I am inspired by the age and wisdom of a sturdy old tree; the stories it would tell.
I am comforted by the gentle give and support of the soil beneath me.
I am born of this earth; not of concrete and skyscrapers but
I am made of the lush green of a dense forest. I am home.
(photo borrowed from flickr – click image for source)