My Philosophy

We live in a world today where our relationship to food is largely augmented and unhealthy. Now, I live in a tiny town in Colorado where mostly everyone is fit, healthy, the ratio of yoga instructors to non is practically 3:1 and we have three health food stores with a plethora of local, organic, farm-distributed options. But I know that is not the reality for most people.

There something in particular that strikes me to be odd about our culture of eating. This is that many people eat for taste and not nutritive properties. When most people don’t realize that you can be eating a nutritious, healthy, well balanced diet, AND it can be tasty too. It does not have to come down to an either or. One of my missions on this blog is to raise awareness of our eating habits and how they affect more than just our taste buds.

It’s voting season, and I have to heard a lot of people say things like “There’s no point in voting.”, “None of these politicians are going to change anything.”, or “My vote doesn’t matter.” However, that is not true. You have a  have a vote and you get to make it three times a day, every day for the rest of your life. What you buy and what you spend your money on, ends up influencing industrial companies, farmers, livestock, and the environment. What you eat is more than just a friendly encounter you have at the cash register, it impacts your entire global community.

With this in mind, I want to advocate for responsible, sustainable, organic eating that comes from small, non-industrialized farms. I recently read an article about the Orangutans in the rain forest right now. Apparently, the span of 300 soccer fields in the rain forest are destroyed per hour. And, depending on location, 3-14 Orangutans are killed each day. orangutan_with_babyWhich puts them in a disposition where they are likely to be extinct for the year 2023. The reason that so much of this deforestation is occurring is because big companies are looking for ways to harvest palm oil. Palm oil is found in a large variety of products from nut butters to Pringles to marshmallow bunnies. However it can be sustainably cultivated and should be if the price of nonsustainable harvestation is the result of killing one of the largest biospheres in the world and some of the most beautiful, intelligent and miraculous creatures to ever walk this planet.

You know the phrase that says you are what you eat? I’m sure you do. Well many of us also know we shouldn’t be eating sweets, we know they shouldn’t be eating processed foods, or things that are placed in the colorful packets and advertised on TV. But what some people don’t know is that when you are what you eat, what you’re eating could mean that you’re a killer. It could mean that you support the death of innocent animal, or the loss of trees, or the loss of beauty with out even knowing it. And that is what is so truly sad: You have a vote and choice, but you may not even be awe are of the ballot your submitting. I do not mean to place blame in this post, sureley for every finger I point, three point back at me. I’ve never been 100% perfect in my diet, nor will I probably ever be. But there is good food for thought in this message to consider what you’re eating and how it impacts others. Think about the farmers. Think about the animals. Think about the rain forest. Your dollar can support every tree chopped down and every life taken away. But I can also support every farmer, sustainably cultivated product, and it can support the preservation of life rather than the obliteration of it.

Want to do something about it? Stop buying unsustainably cultivated palm oil from these companies: http://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/stop-deforestation/palm-oil-scorecard-2015#fast

And vote here: http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/What_can_i_do.php
orangutans

Sources:

“Palm Oil and How It Threatens Orangutans.” The Orangutan Project. Just One Planet, n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.

Mayell, Hillary. “Wild Orangutans: Extinct by 2023?” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 9 Mar. 2004. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.

How to Move Forward: An Open Letter to Finding Comfort in Discomfort

Potensial

They say that the two of the most stressful things a person can endure are moving and the loss of someone close to you. On September 7th of this year my grandmother, a women whom I loved dearly and will miss eternally passed away. The grief still unfolds new for me everyday, unveiling a new layer of knowing the absence of her presence. Each day it becomes more clear that I can’t pick up the phone to call her, that I will never hear her Brooklyn accent, eat her roast beef, ride with her in the back of her cherry red car, or share my life with her. She was the most amazing listener and the dearest of grandmothers. When she passed, our cousin who lived near her said, “I want you to know that even though you live so far away, she breathed you everyday.” I remember hearing that and thinking to myself, “Wow. What a sacred thing to breathe someone.” To breathe someone, to know that no matter the distance, no matter the situation you are loved by one another. You are held by one another in a way that is as permanent and as impermanent as the breath.

In the coming weeks, I signed a lease with my boyfriend, Josh. We ended up in a beautiful little apartment right off Main St. I knew that it was because of her that we got the place. I just had a feeling: The odds of a college student with no credit and a mother as a second reference with a post-grad swamped with debt made us unlikely candidates. Yet here we are.

The idea of moving in together was not a new one, nor did it come into play silently without any debate. Very early in our relationship I decided moving in with Josh was something I wanted. For eight months I continued to nudge and ask for this move. Finally, Josh said yes. He saw part of him wanted to pursue our relationship in this way and that he needed to get away from his current living situation.

I have never lived with a partner before. Needless to say, everything feels entirely new and not entirely how I thought it would be. Everyday since we’ve moved in I have felt heavy in my heart, feeling as if I broke something that didn’t need to be fixed. I have yearned and yearned for my old room, my old house, and my old roommates, simply for the fact that they were familiar. Last night, my partner looked at me and said, “When are you going to arrive? I feel like I have been living here a week and my roommate hasn’t showed up.”

Crushed by my self guilt and the notion that I am letting him down, I recalled a conversation I had with my mentor earlier that evening. With loving eyes and little detail of my situation she said, “Expectations take you out of the present. You cannot find happiness where expectations lie. Furthermore, you’ve signed a year-long commitment with this person so you need to give it your 100%. By the time your lease is up you will know what you need to do.”

All of this leads up to writing this post this morning. I flashed back to the moment another yoga mentor of mine told me in the most arduous of poses, “This is life, right? It’s so painful and uncomfortable, but it’s all about how you approach it.”

So yes, happenings like death and moving may be some of the most stressful things one can endure, amongst many others. However it is not our circumstances that define our quality of life, but the way we choose to navigate them that counts. I noticed, the most painful things require a great deal of adaptability, for it is great change, I believe, that haunts us most in this life. Still, each day is a choice to stay in Duhka (suffering) or find Dharana (contentment). Finding contentment is a continual practice, one that takes conscious and undivided effort. It begins with showing up in the midst of discomfort and knowing that is shall pass. Knowing that change will change again and it’s all about how you approach it, so you may as well enjoy the ride.

grandma

Dedicated to Shirley Klein Harwood