Eat your veggies.

Eat your veggies.

 

I talked to a grown man last week who, when asked how he felt about his nutritional habits, responded with, “Well, I don’t eat vegetables. They make me gag and throw up.”

Huh.

There is a lot of brokenness in the way first world countries interact with food today. At this point, that pretty much goes without saying. But being able to say you don’t eat vegetables? (a staple of the human diet since the beginning of the human experience on earth) Ever? Because you don’t care for them? It’s like saying you don’t brush your teeth – ever – because you just haven’t found the perfect shade of turquoise toothbrush. It doesn’t make sense. How did we get to this place where a human being can be say, “I don’t eat vegetables” and still be alive to tell about it?

Perhaps planting an organic garden, or supporting someone who does and who will share their harvest, should be required. Kind of like taxes. You pay your taxes. You plant your garden. You eat your veggies, and you learn not to throw up. Because that makes sense.

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

A good mantra to live by, I think.  Thanks for the wise words, Michael Pollan.

                                                                                                                                                                         

If you need more ideas on how to change your eating habits to include more plants, check out the following:

Healthy Eating Plate – Harvard’s take on what to eat.

Wellness Today – The Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s nutrition article online library.

Healthy Eating Education, in the form of recipes – From The Edible SchoolYard Project.

Shop at the farmer’s market.  Plant a garden.  Learn to cook.  Avoid food that has a barcode…but if it does come in a package, make sure the ingredients list is short and recognizable.    In short, eat your veggies.  And if you can, know where they came from and how they were grown.

Finding Our Balance

Finding Our Balance

There has been a lot going on lately.  So many people I encounter say this, or allude to it, regardless of their life situation – poor, wealthy, middle class; student, teacher, parent; volunteer or employee; retiree or entry level worker.  The pace of life is fast, quickening even as these words are typed.  It would seem that all people are busy, constantly.

Yet steeped in the busyness, systems are changing, albeit slowly.  A lot of energy is being projected into helping the population interact in a different, more positive and healthy way, and a project of that scale takes time and effort.  Even those who do not recognize or believe that anything is different put a lot of time and effort into completing their usual tasks and going about their daily routines.  Work hours are long, jobs feel tedious, values are tested, traffic is bad, cities are congested and the kids have music lessons, sports, church activities, tutoring sessions, and homework.  All of which they need help with, or a ride to.  The driveway has to be shoveled and the dishes washed.  Things take longer than anticipated and many times don’t go quite as planned.  So, regardless of state of being or level of awareness, people are generally busy and have too much to do.

How can we find a sense of balance amidst the energy that needs to be put out? How do we maintain our equilibrium when putting forth the energy that must back the tasks that need to be accomplished, the ideas that need to be thought of and implemented, and the hours of work that are necessary to move this planet into a way of existing that is sustainable and life giving for all? How can we take the ashes of failure and see an opportunity to know beauty in a completely different way?

For positive change to occur, we will all need to contribute and use our unique gifts to serve the collective.  We will need to step outside of our individual needs and into our neighbors’.  We will need to figure out how to operate cooperatively after so many years of competition.  We will need to let go of needing more.  Even the Joneses can’t sustain their pace forever.  We will need to accept sadness and allow joy to radiate from places of darkness.  The road into the light, while welcoming and full of joy, is not without rocks, bumps and the occasional uphill stretch.

It sounds daunting, and maybe it is.  But I think we can find our balance amidst the rocks, the uphill stretches and the energy needed to sustain momentum by remembering what is driving us to do the work in the first place.  We can remember the vision of an earth that is defined by beauty, equality and peace.  We can remember that this vision will not look the same to everyone, and that it doesn’t have to.  As we project the energy of love and joy into the space that surrounds every action and thought we will get where we are called to be, even if the road looks different than we thought it would.  And we can use the empty space that exists around the work doing and being whatever it is that makes life real for us.

So take your life situation for what it is -a situation – instead of a sentence or definition; busy or not, and let it be a way for your Being, your true self, to experience all that is worth experiencing. Walk through a grove of aspen trees, stand in a ray of sunlight in the middle of the city, marvel at the way your physical body helps you carry out the mission of your soul.  Focus.  Spend time loving the present.  Take some time off if serves you.  Enjoy silence.  Be loud when being loud helps.  Dance with your baby, talk to your neighbor, let the snow or rain melt into your skin and see the art in the world. Look past the to-do list to what is.

Find your balance, and honor it.

Life evolves and is a living organism that can recreate itself. But this will not be an easy transition, because our world is so out of balance. Our civilization has been running on empty for too long, our way of life too unsustainable. If we continue our future is too bleak, the inner emptiness too desolate. In pursuit of a few material pleasures we will have lost what is most precious and most meaningful in our existence. We will have to confront our fears and our weaknesses, find courage that we did not know we had. Nor do we know how long this transition may take. We may be just creating the seeds for a future that will blossom in a hundred years or more. But with grace, commitment and care, with a heart open to grief and to love, life can once again regenerate—together we can create a way of life that is truly sustainable. The light of the sacred will rekindle, and once again the soul of the world will sing the song of creation: the hidden mystery within all of life.

—Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee