Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Each and every day I am reminded in some way to revel in the little things life offers. To appreciate what we all take for granted. When I feel tense all I need to do to bring myself back to a serene frame of mind is to step out into the fresh air, close my eyes, open my heart and breathe deeply. Ahhhh…
Life swirls around us so quickly most of the time that it becomes easy not to notice how glorious Life truly is. A beautiful blossoming tree, a smile that lights up an entire face, a kind word or hug from a friend, or a child’s laughter. Enjoy the little things and the big things won’t seem so daunting. This realization seems to come easily for some, for others it never arrives. I am thankful that this wisdom,if you will, has come to me while I’m in my 30’s. I shudder at the thought of never finding this form of inner sanctuary.
In my personal search for ways to “green” my life, I seemed to stumble upon this realization. When we think of ourselves as part of a “whole” in terms of co-existing with the Earth the puzzle pieces of Life just seem to click together. I really started to think seriously about how my actions affect not just myself but the world while I was in my 20’s. Being around people with an appreciation for nature really slapped me in the face that although I thought I was environmentally friendly, carrying a reusable travel mug while peeling around in my gas-guzzling Mustang just didn’t cut the mustard.
I have been vegetarian off and on throughout my life for different reasons but mostly because, as a child, I was incredibly freaked out about eating something that was able to think and feel. I also had an aversion to worbly bits of fat in my mouth. While no one else in my family was vegetarian or ate like I chose to, I feel that my parents and siblings have always supported me and my decisions. I have altered my eating choices over the years but I have remained mainly a vegetarian. I had a few brief forays into meat-eating and found I felt worse, not better as many suggested I would, and always came back to where my body and heart led me. I enjoyed strict veganism for a few years but love (and I do mean love) butter so much I added it back into my world. Everything really does taste better with butter when baking. And I love to bake! I even chose raw food veganism for a while after my youngest child was born. I lost all the weight I had gained from the pregnancy plus more and felt fabulous. One day I just needed some bread. Lettuce leaves instead of a tortilla was only satisfying for so long for me. I needed something to sink my teeth into! A beautiful whole grain organic bread hit the spot and so my 85-90% raw food lifestyle was put on the back burner. I’m still vegetarian and can’t envision being any other way. It is the most earth-friendly way of eating which means a great deal to me. Feeling great and powerful from ingesting good food is an incredible added bonus.
Striving for a cleaner, greener lifestyle not only led me to being conscious of what I eat but where it comes from. Finding organic, unprocessed foods can be a challenge but pays for itself in the long run. Your body will thank you. Another reason to grow your own veggies (as if we needed a reason)! I know it isn’t always possible for everyone to eat 100% unprocessed organic and home-cooked. Wouldn’t it be nice though? Every little bit towards eating a cleaner, greener way will not only benefit you and your family but the Earth will thank you too.