Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Walking the Talk

When I started this journey, I had no idea that the personal steps taken would lead to a public walk.  I also didn't realize that I would become an example of change.  It is often said that people do not like change.  Not so.  It is the "fear of the unknown" aspect of change that people do not like.  When presented with an example of change, the very same people may form an opinion different from one  formed  without an example.  People will often visualize how something will effect them when they do not have a way to "see" a result.  We humans love to "fill in the blanks".  A physical, tangible walking example ends speculation about change. When people can see, touch, and feel how a positive change can be brought forth, they become curious and are apt to try it for themselves.   Each of us possess the ability to be an example of something for someone.  Most of us never know who is watching our gait nor do we realize the impact we are making. When you recognize that you, solicited or not, have become an example for others, you must act accordingly and accept the responsibility that comes with it.  If you are blessed with both the knowledge and the opportunity to lead by example, use it!

Be Contagious

A walking advertisement
As stated, I started out on a personal walk of faith.  Faith in success, support, and transformation.  I decided to advertise.  I ordered a Vegan OM t-shirt from a vegan friend who is also graphic-artist/designer.  I love this shirt.  It exemplifies who and what I am.  It sparks inquiries.  If asked, I am sure to tell my truth.   I had begun to "talk", sharing my story with strangers.   When you start talking, you must back up your words, you must walk.  If the talk is truth, the walk is easy.  If your words lie, then a bumpy road lies ahead.

My husband always says "you never know how you look to others until they tell you".  What I failed to realize is how my walk has begun to influenced the steps of others close to me who are on a walk of their own.  As I receive coaching, counseling and guidance, I am being sought to give of the same:
  •   My brother-in-law, the 18yr old gentlemen, a friend on the verge of his 30th birthday, and my son have each expressed their desire to become a vegetarian and have made steps in that direction.
  • My husband is content with his consumption of meat but has increased his vegetable intake by 80%, even sampling my dishes
While I can not take full responsibility for the personal choice of these individuals to effect change in their lives, I accept that my example serves as a contagious burst toward a new alternative.  My new loquaciousness has led to a call to action, to spread this positive contagion further.  So far, so good - in the nine short months since seriously committing to this lifestyle,  I have guest written an article for a wellness website, written a testimony for an e-book, been featured in a vegan cookbook, served as a yoga ambassador for a wellness event, and have been asked to become an employee wellness champion for a retailer.  It is a continuous cycle.  The more you reach out, the more reach out to you.  Since my son lives with me, it is easy to reach out to him.  His favorite Asian inspired dish is General Tso's Chicken.  It is a sweet and spicy chicken dish served with fried rice and broccoli.  I made this vegan version for my husband and son. They both admitted it rivaled the meat version. Although not a proponent of faux meat, I accept that it helps the transition from a meat to a plant based diet go a little smoother.

Spreading contagion: Stir-fried
Vegan version of a favorite Asian-inspired dish

Vegan Gung Pao 

Seitan, Green Onion
Garlic, Ginger
Dried red chili peppers (seeds removed), Sea salt,
Agave nectar, Sesame Oil
Brown rice, Broccoli
Bragg's Amino Acid

Steam brown rice, set aside. Dice garlic, ginger, onion.   Heat sesame oil in pan or wok.  Add diced ingredients, chili peppers, broccoli. Add seitan, agave nectar & sea salt to taste.  Place stir fry over bed of rice.  Top with amino acid.

More than Just Food!

When you decide to place your ideas in motion, you can apply it to anything.  It's about more than just food!  A friend who blogs about a "blissful, eco-friendly life", just sold all of her belongings and is moving her family to another state to build an eco-friendly house on an organic farm.  She has begun to live her words!  She has decided what a better way  to "show" a blissful life instead of just "telling" how blissful life can be.   When things do not go well, most people are quick to report it, talk about, or complain about it.  They are not however, so quick when to "tell"  when things are great.  They hoard the good thing to themselves, only volunteering when asked or prompted.  It's a little selfish and we all are guilty.  We like to keep our goodies close to our hearts.  Oddly, while you would think keeping it close will prolongs it's life, it doesn't, for nothing lasts forever.  It is better to spread your good thing amongst many to ensure it's life, your legacy, and the life of those you've touched.  Go, tell your story,  put action into your words. Share your goodness.  Whether it is cooking a new version of an old favorite, offering a few pointers on how to do or "be", building a farmhouse, or simply wearing a t-shirt, become an example of  some "thing" for some "one".

"Each one, teach one" ~African Proverb

Yoga:  Setting Intention
The beginning of each yoga practice begins with an intention. An intention is not a goal.  A goal is a future-based objective.  An intention is "present-based".   Intentions are values which establish clarity for your practice. 

According to abellayoga.com, intentions can be as simple as a word: "breathe", "relax", a statement, "I am happy with who I am", or a dedication to someone you wish send positive energy. The purpose of an intention is to focus on where you are at the present time and what you plan to do right now. 

Setting intention is a personal, current-state, grounding alignment of mind and body.  As the mind, "talks", the intention prepares the body for the "walk". 



Missy said...

Thank you so much for your blog. It encourages me as I continue to make steps towards being completely vegan. I am a Bikram Yoga student and I believe you when you mention "setting intention" for the class. Some classes are better than others just depending on where you are that day. But my question to you is, Where can I get a hold of that AWESOME SHIRT??

Yoga Girl said...

Sat Nam Missy. Your words ring truth. Thank you for your comments.

If you place your mouse over the words "Vegan OM T-shirt", and select it, the link will take you exactly to the e-bay site of the vegan gentleman who designed it.

Love and light!