Monday, March 21, 2011

Peaceful Transformation

Day 180 - Six months

Wow.  I awoke with an awestruck feeling of gratitude.  This day marked new beginnings, new friends, and new life.  It marked transition, trying, and transformation.  I am a new creature.  I am not the same person I was just 180 days ago.  I am amazed at the many new things I've learned and humbled by the massive amount of things yet to know.  With eagerness, I accept each new experience with encouragement, and I attempt to convey as much and as soon as I can.  As I reach, I teach, as I share, I care.


The prefix "dis" is often has a negative association as it generally means "not".  In this case, I would state that I am not a health professional, dietitian, nutritionist, fitness trainer, guru, or chef.  I do not profess to have the knowledge to cure illness, foster weight loss, or prolong life.  In fact, I recommend that individuals consult a professional and obtain a mentor/coach to guide their path with a healthy focus.  Sometimes, however, "dis" can be associated with a positive spin as it is the opposite of a negative connotation, for example: "disinfect".   While I can not promise a miracle fix, I can share my experience and my transformation in hopes that this choice will disengage negative feedback, enable discussion of discoveries, distribution, disclosure and display that as I discard, past ways will disappear, so too will dys-function, dis-ease and dis-ability.

Recognizing Change - relationship of  Yoga and Veganism

Yoga and Veganism
 Hand in Hand on one accord
I began this journey almost two years ago.   It had begun with "exercising", a little cardio, circuit training, and a some yoga.  Slowly, I found that I felt better after practicing yoga than after a strenuous workout. I started doing less of these exercises and more of yoga.  The more yoga I practiced, the more I began to realize that yoga is not exercise.   Yoga is a means to bring your mind, body, spirit, and soul into one accord with peace and tranquility.  I had begun to change.  The more I disconnected with traditional physical movement, the more cleansed I felt.  This lead to more and more dislike of things I knew were not good for my body.   Six months ago, after a year of enjoying the benefits of yoga practice, the realization of the need to review the food consumed  just swept over me like a wave.  With an intensity, it suddenly became important to understand that this transformation was not just a physical adjustment, but a mental and spiritual one as well - thus, becoming vegan.  Acknowledging this change is not a major revelation but more of a natural progression.  The link between Yoga and Veganism is as old as the practice of yoga itself.  If  in yoga, you are working toward a clean body, mind, and spirit, the wish would be to only place things in the body that would not contradict the practice.  The more yoga I practiced, the more desire I had to select foods that focused on healing, purifying, and of a pranic (quieting) nature.  My desire to eat anything of an animal origin had lessened.  I had begun a transformation naturally.  The decision to become vegan feels "right".  According to Pantanjali, the father of yoga, "the purpose of yoga is enlightenment, that one can not attain enlightenment through the harming of other beings (i.e. animals". Although we don't wish to think about it, consumption of flesh is a violent act.

Lokah Samasta Sukhino  Bahavantu

Emerge peacefully from your chrysalis and fly!
This mantra means " May all beings be happy and free and may the thoughts,  words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and that freedom for all".  This mantra is the banner which represents the relationship between yoga and veganism.  Too often during these past short six months, I've been challenged, confronted, questioned, and forced to defend my eating habits.  Not many outside of my vegan circle have applauded or even complimented.  I realize that people are not personally attacking me, but rather, are experiencing their own fear of transformation.  In the leadership transformation book, "Flight of the Buffalo", authors James Belasco and Ralph Stayer state that:

"Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have -
 and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up". 

This is avoidable if the change is positive, natural, and in accordance with mind, body and soul.  Instead of anger, I feel compassion for those who attack, and I choose to feel happiness, to accept ayurvedic (holistic mind, body, and soul) approach. I challenge those afraid to emerge from their own personal chrysalis transformed,  new and fresh and to embody Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bahavantu.

"When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self preservation,
 we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness"- Jospeh Campbell

As I celebrate the end of my previous life and the beginning of  life anew, I am strengthened by peaceful transition as the gap between mind, body, spirit, and soul quietly closes and slowly continues to transform. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn, dis-cern, share, and grow.  May you all be happy and free.


Yoga:  Bridge Pose - Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

The bridge pose is a beginning backbend that strengthens the legs, hips, massages the spine, opens the heart.  According to The Capricious Yogi, "the purpose of this pose is more than a physical gesture.  Prior to posing, place hands in prayer position at the third eye and make an intention or dedication.  By combining your intentions with the of opening the heart and the strength of the back bend, the pose aligns or 'bridges' the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual within the body."
The bridge pose provides a slow, peaceful strength that allows transformation from one point to another.

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