The following post was inspired by Claudia Gaviria, owner and founder of Cruda Cafe, the RawBrahs, my best friend Jenna Paulson and my MOM<3. Thank you!
I felt I needed to write about something that's been on my mind lately.
I have made the realization that eating and being in this lifestyle is something that requires a mind, body, and soul transformation. You may be eating the PUREST, cleanest, most organic and local, fair-trade, breathatarian diet in your life, but if you are not purging your mind and body of the toxic stress and energy from around you, you will literally be a living sponge for all of it.
I speak from experience. I believe this diet is the purest, healthiest, life-giving and earth and nature unifying diet. I'm not going to edit my use of the word diet, it's a lifestyle obvi, but readers, I'm sure you understand either way. In my understanding of the word toxic stress I will list what I feel it includes, or has included in a negatively influential way in my life: Friends, people -strangers/family, environment - the city pollution/household energy, daily stress - school/work/debt/etc, and any thoughts - emotionally charged/passive/negative.
I know that the way I have been eating is not something I receive EXCESSIVE amounts of support for and until yesterday I don't think I had come to terms with that. It was truly tainting my quality of life, and experience with this perfect way of eating. The stress of school is something I've felt I've overcome but again it isn't something I have consciously dealt with in my mind. It is important to counteract the negativity with positivity. For all of you NON-hocus-pocus people I am not talking about floating energies, as much as I believe those exist, this is the basics of living. If you are not addressing the negative thoughts going through your mind, they are going to stay inside of you and much like mixing fruits and nuts, they will ferment.
Ex. "Traffic sucks, this is horrific", "The TTC deserves to die, why can't this commute exist without technical difficulties!?" , "Why can't my mom and dad understand that juicing is necessary for optimum health and longevity" , "WTF, Why is she so thin when she eats a crap ton of pasta and all you can eat sushi!"
You need to be your own beacon of light and positivity even when circumstances around you are the opposite. You also need conscious stress releasers. For exercise I mainly run and Claudia reminded me that I need a more balancing exercise to counteract the running. Yoga or walking are great ways to experience grounding, and more relaxation and stress-release. I strongly encourage writing as well. For people reading this, I'm sure you have read that journal writing in general is a great stress release, and it is just a suggestion that you skim over. Until you act this out, and commit to a small 5 minutes of YOU TIME with a piece of blank paper, you will never know how much this contributes to a clear mind and heart. I suggest starting with a clean desk space, and a few different coloured pens. For five minutes, just sit and focus on writing positive words on this paper, without hesitation. I guarantee you will feel on top of the world after.
The final thing I want to mention is getting out of the huge beach umbrella of dogma and black&white-ism--if that's even a word. The Rawbrahs couldn't have released a more compelling facebook note summing up their reasons and experiences leading up to their plunge away from the do's and dont's of raw. At first I'll admit, I was SO SCARED. Like, sleepless scared. I didn't want to believe that another set of raw fooders had turned around. But the truth is, it isn't turning around, it's moving forward! It's deciding what is right for you, and what works within your means and doing it. It doesn't make you any less raw to question, or any less healthy. After I read this note and was over my initial freakout session, I actually felt a huge sense of relief. Maybe one day I would like to eat raw honey (or..insert other so-called NO-NO), I'm going to see if it works for me, I don't care necessarily about other people's experiences or rules. If I did care, it might mean I'm not doing this for the right reasons. Being vegan for over 3 years I am happy to say that I feel excited to live outside of the rigid mental guidelines. I'm not eating dairy or any carcasses yet but if I ever decide to I hope that I will only receive support for it.
SO. IN CONCLUSION. For the month of October (TEN MORE DAYS TILL MY BIRTHDAY). I will be focusing on three things:
1) Finding more grounding exercises and incorporating them into my routine: morning Bible reading, yoga.
2) Purging the emotional, mental and physical toxicity from my surroundings
3) Getting out of dogmatic rules placed by "raw gurus" and individuals alike.
I CAN'T WAIT :D
Don't EVER. Doubt your path! --Mom
Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
Please share any insight, advice, or experiential anecdotes!