no fear

don't feed thefears

 

saw this lovely sentiment on spirit rock’s facebook and couldn’t help but pass it along!!!

#donotfeedthefears

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healthy choice

the other day i stumbled across a raw vegan blogger, who i’m going to refer to as blogger x (keeping it anon because i don’t want to seem like i’m singling this person out).  as a vegan who is always interested in new ways to give my body a healthy boost, i was instantly intrigued.

fruit

blogger x reminded me a lot of loni jane, who i’ve written about in the past.  what i love about both of these vegan warriors is that they’re both strong women who realized they weren’t leading healthy lifestyles and took control by switching to plant based diets and giving their bodies the tlc they needed.

i personally love loni jane, but there was something about blogger x that was just rubbing me the wrong way.

i sincerely respected her journey and her focus on personal health, but something about her message just didn’t feel right.  and that’s when it hit me.  in one particular vlog, blogger x discussed the recent accusations that she was fat shaming.  she expressed serious frustration over it, saying that she was in no way fat shaming and in order to overcome the obesity epidemic we have to be able to talk about it.

one one hand, i completely agree with her.  in order to overcome an issue, we have to learn to accept and understand it.  we cannot overcome something we refuse exists.  that being said, my issue isn’t the idea of identifying and talking about the problem; it’s with what she believes the actual problem is.

blogger x frequently uses the words ‘obese’ and ‘obesity’ as well as ‘skinny’ and ‘thin’.  what bothers me about this is that she uses them interchangeably with the words ‘unhealthy’ and ‘healthy’.

it comes off as if she believes the problem is ‘obesity’ and the solution is ‘skinny’.  to me, this is totally wrong.

the fact of the matter is, people come in different shapes and sizes.  now i’m in no way saying that someone being clinically obese and of an unhealthy bmi is okay.  but i am trying to say that sometimes, just because someone isn’t stick thin, doesn’t mean they’re not healthy.  and someone who is stick thin might not be healthy either.

size does not necessarily dictate our health.

i always get annoyed when i see things that advertise ‘getting skinny’ versus ‘getting healthy’.  on some level i understand.  rarely are people incentivized by the idea of being healthy anymore.  and it’s easy to get someone excited about the idea of being the skinny self they’ve always wanted to be.  but in the end, that’s not whats really important.

i mean sure it’s nice to be thin or of a more socially desirable size (for lack of better wording), but that doesn’t really mean anything.  some of the skinniest girls i know eat potato chips and burgers all day.  they’re doing damage to their bodies just as ‘obese’ people are.  meanwhile, i know curvier, beautiful girls who are taking the time to get their fruit and veg on and it’s crazy awesome.

lets be real here.  it shouldn’t just be about how we look, its about being healthy.  for me, and for many vegans i know, this journey was not about being skinny.  it wasn’t about losing cellulite.  it wasn’t about looking cute in a bikini.  it was about feeling good and knowing we were functioning at optimum levels.  it was about doing the best thing for our bodies inside and out.  it was about becoming healthy again.

we need to shift this focus away from becoming a size two and back to becoming a healthy person inside and out.  just because you’re not model thin doesn’t mean you’re not healthy and beautiful.

healthy bodies

again, i completely respect blogger x and all the good she is doing for the vegan community.  she has helped many find solace in a healthy, raw, vegan lifestyle and that’s truly amazing.  all i’m saying is that we need to remember that in the end, our internal health is more important that the size we are in comparison to others.

being healthy is not the same as being skinny.  and being skinny does not mean you’re healthy.

we need to start to focus on improving whats within and take comfort in knowing that everything else will follow the way its meant to.

and above all else, love yourself.  no matter where you are in your journey.  each and everyone of of us is unique and beautiful in our own way.

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quote of the day

TNH Quote

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ethical practice

lately all of my meditation teachers seem to be very focused on the ethics of our practice.  this is an extremely open ended topic, but it’s got me thinking.

as a teacher, i’m open to teaching everyone who comes to me in need of guidance.  but many people have begun to use meditation, especially mindful meditation, in an unethical way.

Bloomberg Article

 

many corporations from silicon valley to wall street have employed meditation teachers to teach their employees the basics of mindfulness.  they do this in hopes of increasing their employee’s ability to perform under difficult situations, through stress relief and improved clarity.  and while this is great, it can be argued that they are taking advantage of meditation and using it as a tool to make more money.

and this abuse is not just in the business world.

one of my teachers was interviewed for a popular women’s health magazine about the benefits of mindfulness.  she left the interview feeling great about the message she had put forth.  but when she received her copy of the magazine, she was horrified to see that the article had been titled something like ‘mindful meditation – lower your stress and reduce belly fat’.  she was distraught.

i mean sure, there might be some truth to the whole stress-causes-us-to-retain-weight argument.  and meditation can lower your stress.  so by the transitive property, yes someone could make the argument that meditation can help ‘reduce your belly fat’.  but a.) there are no guarantees and b.) that is in no way what meditation is about.  in fact it might be the exact opposite message that meditation teaches.

meditation is also being taught to some of our military.  on one hand we can argue that this is an amazing thing that will strengthen our military’s compassion and cultural awareness.  however, it’s also been argued that the reason they’re being taught meditation is to make them more accurate and strong killers.

so we are faced with an interesting predicament.  do we limit who we teach this practice to in favor of retaining its sanctity, or do we teach it freely to everyone in hopes that we do enough good to cancel out the few who choose to abuse it?

one of my teachers believes that no matter how you try, the good morals that can be learned from meditation are impossible to escape.  even if you begin your practice simply as one to help de-stress or to help your mental clarity, you will still eventually become aware of the higher benefits of meditation (i.e. loving kindness, a desire to be a better person, a desire to be an authentic person, etc.).

this has been my position in the past.

but what if that’s not the case?  what if there are people out there who can simply tune into only parts of meditation?  what if there are people who can and will successfully abuse it?

do we continue to spread this practice and hope for the best, or do we hold it close within our community and only teach it when we feel someone is worthy?

i have no answer to this question, but it is one that plagues me.  fellow teachers, practitioners, meditators alike, what are your thoughts?

should we become more selective or should we give without judgment and have faith in our practice’s ability to change the world?

please let me know your thoughts!!!

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happiness tip #6 – go outside

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go outside.  take a walk.  breathe in the fresh air.  feel connected to the ground, to the world.  take in the sun.  watch the clouds.  if it’s raining, let it rain.  take it in.  feel the earth.  hear the birds or the city or whatever comes your way.  be outside.  be alive.

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be great.

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meditation monday – forgiveness

for today’s meditation monday i wanted to focus on what i believe is one of the most important elements necessary for a happy life: forgiveness.

i truly believe that the moment we start to forgive and cultivate love, instead of holding on to anger and hatred, is the moment in which we can truly be happy and at peace.

and while it’s important to find love and forgiveness for those around us, it’s just as important (if not more) to find it for ourselves.  no one is perfect, we all make mistakes.  but in order to move on from those mistakes we must forgive ourselves.  we must learn to accept any past transgressions and settle back into a place of love.

today’s meditation comes directly from jack kornfield and is all about just that.  it will help you cultivate forgiveness and loving kindness for yourself and those in your life.  for those of you unfamiliar with mr. kornfield, he is a buddhist monk, an amazing author (i highly recommend any/all of his books) and is a well known teacher within the vipassana movement here in the western world.  below is a short but sweet guided meditation featuring mr. kornfiled, to help us find forgiveness and loving kindness.

enjoy!

 

sat nam everyone!

 

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