Monday, October 4, 2010

Back to Basics

I made it.  If you'll remember,  at the beginning of this process, I stated that it takes 21 days to modify a behavior.  It's not my adage, it's a widely recognized tool used by coaches, counselors, and trainers.  It was something I learned during time management training with Franklin Covey some 15 years ago.  I've never forgotten it.    Today is testament that it works.  My behavior has been modified.  My thought processes and how I discern information have changed also.  Everything in my "circle" is now relative to a vegan lifestyle.

Day 21 - Instead of rejoicing on this "D" day, I decided to meditate (OM), stand still, and absorb the gifts of this transformation.  Om, in Hindu is a sacred sound.  Part of Yoga Practice is to recite the mantra Om.  It is said that "all activities which start with the utterance of OM do not fail to bear fruit" and  that:
The essence of all beings is the earth.
The essence of the earth is water.
The essence of water is the plant.
The essence of the plant is man.
With that in mind, as I meditated OM, I realized that in this short time, just 21 days, I have found my essence.  I have:
  • altered my outlook on how I view my body, my mind, and my spirit- I now literally take for granted the cliches "you are what you eat" and "your body is your temple" 
  • graciously accepted the support of kind strangers who have outreached to me, many without provocation, in ways not thought possible
  • felt blessed with recipes and food choices that have come in abundance
  • the ability and am ready to proceed, realizing that it is not as hard as it seems
  • been grateful for the opportunity to expand my horizons
  • stopped beating myself up for setbacks and accept them as a "moment to learn"
Remembering the KISS as referenced last week, I decided to go back to a few simple meals to solidify my footing.  I sat quietly and thought about how times were as little as 100 years ago, before the convenience of "supermarkets", all families didn't have the "luxury of  meats" to eat, especially during the cold, winter months. I thought of the stories my mother told me about her days growing up on a farm.  She told me that meat was scarce during the winter.  Her large family of twelve often supplemented the lack of meat with the very things vegans eat today:  grain-based cereals, whole grain breads, nuts, berries, thick vegetable-based soups and stews.  It sustained them and gave the family the strength they needed to garner for the upcoming spring planting season.  These meals were simple but hearty and provided a healthy, nutritious diet.  Om Shanti! (which means all peace).  Sometimes, when you are quiet, still, and peaceful, wonderful things happen.  The humble posture I took for day 21 was rewarded with remembering wonderful recipes from my mother and grandmother.

Just Like Grandmother Used to Make

On the farm in the 1930's, my mother told us that her family didn't have a refrigerator or freezer to store and keep their food.  After the harvest came "canning time".  The women would gather the vegetables, put them in jars with air tight lids and place the jars in a huge pot covered with water to cook/boil the veggies (in jar) and to "seal" the lid. After the jars cooled, they could be stored for months, perhaps even years in a dark, cool place.  Mom said that the fruits and vegetables would taste great and as fresh as first picked.  They made wonderful meals from the foods they had "canned".  As a child, I remember eating my grandmother's "stewed tomatoes" and how the cobbler made with those homemade canned sweet peaches melted in your mouth.  Inspired, I spent the rest of day 21 experimenting with one of my grandmother's recipes:
Back to Basics:  Grandmother's Stewed tomatoes over Hominy
  • Stewed tomatoes, green peas, & corn, over ground hominy (grits)

In the weeks to come, as the winter creeps in, I'll honor the memory of my mother and grandmother by recreating some of their recipes which compliment a vegan palate.

When you reflect, you also renew, revive, and rejuvenate. Reflection always places you right where you need to be at a particular place and time.   Sometimes, it takes you in a new direction where you are inspired to create amazing new things.   Other times, it reminds you where you came from, grounds you, and takes you back to basics.


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