Sunday, October 15, 2017

Notes from a Vegan Hypocrite...Vol. 2

My latest writing project is titled Notes from a Vegan Hypocrite.

I want to share in hopes that my vulnerability will encourage others to examine their role as consumers in this world and to be forces of peaceful change, one dollar and one bite at a time.

I've eaten the flesh and drank the milk of enslaved, murdered and raped men and women of other species...and now I have to live with and heal (heal myself and do what I can to help other beings and humans heal) from my greed, confusion, and addictive tendencies.  Although I choose to be vegan now, and have gone in and out of it over the last 6 years, most of my 37 years of life I did not choose to be vegan.  I am the problem.  I am also the solution.

And I will have to pay my karmic debts too. Nothing is free.  I can never take back the harms I've caused to innocent beings and I can never neutralize my violent choices.  I am a criminal in my personal prison who has to live with what I have done.  And moving forward, I will practice forgiveness and I will make the most nonviolent choices I can as a conscientious consumer and global citizen.  I am a believer in restorative justice, therefore, one day at time, I humble myself and work to be the change I wish to see in the world.  My job is to change myself.

Consequently, I would rather be a hypocrite in public perpetuating the critical mass of change than a silent, complacent cog in the perpetual wheel of suffering and misery.

Notes from a Vegan Hypocrite...Vol. 1

I'm having some blasphemous thoughts today, Sunday of all holy days, which isn't unusual for me. It isn't a slight against Jesus, but against humans and what we do with our various agendas to control, divide and conquer. I'm sure Jesus would be sick if he knew what humans have done in his name.
I stood on my porch on this lovely Fall day admiring the mountain chain just East of my home. In English they are called the Blood of Christ mountains... So gross, so violent!!! But these mountains were here long before Christ, long before humans, long before religious dogmas, and long before colonization.

I just pray that our human collective will stop being such a dominating self-centered dis-ease on this planet. I hope we will stop putting ourselves, our convenience, our lust for power, our greed, our addictions, our imbalanced value systems, our materialism and consumerism, our wars, our hatred of the other, our etc, first.

We have the capability to do so much better if we will only wake up to our True Nature and act from that knowing.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Letting go...

Today, I am falling more out of love with the world and more deeply in love with Life...and I am fully immersed in the tantric dialogue. 

I trust the bigger picture and complex elements at hand...and I hold it all...all of this Life, the love, the tragedy, the beauty, the destruction, the death, all of the my heart and in the collective ethereal heart of the Divine We. 

And I am not going to "try" to change anything other than myself anymore.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

For the last four weeks, I taught an elective called Art for Peace. AFP focuses on and demonstrates ways artists can be and are peacemakers in the world. We painted, made collages, and ended with making art out of recycled stuff.

So, one of "The Littles," which is what we call the 4-6 year-old girls, this particular Little is 4, made a star out of a lot of trash, popsicle sticks, and whatnot. She also insisted on presenting her work to the class—because all the girls are precocious and amazing and wanted to present their work, which I encouraged—and she explained that the star is protecting Earth and guiding people to take care of Nature and "the animals" and to be kind.

Each week, The Littles impressed me with their love for justice and desire for fairness in the world. Their work consists of their intentions for making the world, the human condition rather, as the world is just fine, more peaceful. They set intentions for healing the environment, planting trees, caring for forests, cleaning up water sources, refraining from over-fishing, animal rights and welfare, empowerment of women and girls...and boys too, refraining from indulgent consumerism, and training humans to be compassionate to all beings and cooperative with each other. 

I think one of the best takeaways for The Littles and for me was the affirmation that creative practices can promote Self-realization and Self-mastery, and that those avenues are also powerful ways one person, even a child, can be an agent of change.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Baking + Autumn = Alchemy

I made delicious and nutritious vegan spiced apple, banana, date bread tonight!  One loaf got a dark chocolate glaze too!

Fall is my favorite time of the year.  It's already electric on its own, but then add the aromas of fresh bread baking...and the results are nothing short of magic.

I'm so, so, so happy to be a grad school drop out following my dreams to be a chef.  It turns out that I have full funding for not one but THREE plant-based culinary programs all happening before the end of this year and one extending into next year. This feels so miraculous to me!!!  Especially because I also landed a full-time job at a vegan/vegetarian cafe which prepares all homemade ayurvedic foods, including a huge menu of baked items...and the chefs (one from India) are going to teach me everything.  My life is an alchemical fairy tale with new dream surprises happening daily! It's clear to me that I made the right choice because I am so happy and because the Multiverse has responded with nothing but positive affirmations, rewarding me for taking a leap of faith.

Besides my BA in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding with a minor in Studio Art, I have never felt my studies so in alignment with my higher purpose.  Even while I worked on my undergraduate degree, before I went to school actually, I was studying nutrition, food sustainability, all the benefits of a plant-based diet, environmental stewardship, and more.  And in the studio I painted realistic portraits of fruit and veggies and painted abstract paintings of my own body as well as the Earth body healing as a result of eating plants.  Now that I have arrived to this point in my life, there is no doubt in my mind that I was heading this way and that I am on tack for greatness.  I say greatness with humility because to me, that can only happy through serving others and working for the highest happiness, health, and wellness of all.  Greatness is shared; all is One.  This includes humans, non-human animals, rocks and minerals, plant beings, winged and water-dwelling creatures, all life seen and unseen, and all life on and beyond Earth as well.  These areas are where my passions reside.

But, because I live on Earth, I love to dream about what home will look like.  I wonder what kind of animals will live in the sanctuary when it is built?  I wonder which fruit trees we will plant?  I want to plant an orchard and semi-prototype for other orchards which my non-profit will planted in food scarce areas for people (and non-human animals) to eat for free.  I wonder where we will put the garden, the house, the vegan cafe?  I hope there are big trees to place picnic tables beneath.  I wonder who WE, my people, me team, will consist of.  I wonder!!!! And I'm so excited!!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I love how courageous I am!!!!

Moving right along toward my vegan chef/entrepreneur dream...and it's amazing how much support I'm getting and opportunities are presenting themselves in just 48 hours, as I do the foot-work of course. This week, I'm dropping off resumes at businesses I want to work in, thus learn from. AND here's the biggie...I may have full funding for the culinary program I want to start next month!!!! Fingers crossed!!! Holding the vision!!! Seeing myself succeed!!! In service to the health and wellness of all!

So, the other day, I was complaining and speaking negatively about having to go back to therapy school, before I dropped out, and that friend said, Laura, be careful because words have power...

So TRUE!!! I am extra aware of that now, and it's interesting because, for so long, I just tried to suck it up and not speak negatively, except in my journal, about the edu path I was on...and just stay positive and power through and do something I didn't want to do and tell myself all kinds of stories to keep myself motivated and..........

But when, I finally paid attention to my language, the private language in my head, heart and journal entries, and to my hesitation, and paying attention to the story about me being a drop out loser who will never accomplish anything, and started saying it and my dislikes about the life I'm living and work I'm doing, out loud, even though it was negative and not blissful and spiritual or whatever...then everything changed.  Sure, that's scary!  To admit to myself I don't want to be a therapist, or a teacher, or a social worker...that I don't want to work with kids, or humans, too closely and on a daily basis...was really hard.  I've been forcing myself to do this work for years now because I thought these were my only options.  Guess what, they aren't!!!!

My vocational dream timeline:  
  • start the Rouxbe on-line plant-based professional chef program 10/17 and have my certification complete within the 6 month period they allot 
  • at the same time, be working in the Vegan Bakery and Catering department at La Montanita Coop, or in the kitchen at Verde raw vegan kitchen, or BOTH at different times would be great, or at Body, or in some other businesses which I have rated in order from most desired and in alignment with my goals to the least
  • so then I'm getting on the job training and getting paid, so I have a home to live in, etc...
  • be researching other work opportunities within different plant-based nutrition organizations like Food For Life 
  • be researching animal sanctuaries, non-profits, how to support the animals with a farm-to-table cafe, how to set up a space for the animals to live, property stuff, where do the animals come from...possible therapeutic opportunities involving collaborating with the animals, if they and I even want to do that, of course, and certification processes involved in that
  • be researching gardening and how to manage a really big one to support the cafe
  • "                    " and developing business plans, menus, financials
  • where do I want this cafe and sanctuary to be??? can I afford that? what's the weather like there, is it conducive to raising animals and a prosperous garden???
  • who is going to be on my team?
  • eventually have all of this up and running...probably other steps between research and that but this is the idea and a good start

Anyway, I am just glad I have the courage to follow my heart and pursue my dreams...and listen to and voice my negative as well as positive language, in order to be truly honest and real with myself and the Multiverse.  I don't have to grin and bear it...I don't have to take one for the team...

I'll truly be able to serve the highest good doing what I want and love to do...just watching my world shift in the last 48 hours is an affirmation and indicator that I am right on track!!! A courageous winner willing to take risks and appropriate right action! not a loser/quitter!!!! 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Grad school drop-out (at least for now)...I'm out!!!

After a long and careful deliberation, and integrating all that has happened over the last year (and more than the last year) in my studies and life, I know that I do not want to be a therapist. It’s been hard to admit that to myself and now that I have, I feel so relieved. I have a clear vision of the work I want to do and directions I wish to follow and it involves A LOT less work with humans and academia and more work with Nature, non-human Animals, the plant-based, vegan, sustainable agriculture movement and entrepreneurship within that movement, as well as my own individual work in the arts which will likely involve collaborative healing work.
If it turns out I have made the worst mistake of my life, I can always re-apply and finish up my degree. I am not worried about it. I know and trust myself and listen deeply to The Winds of change when they cause my sails to shift directions. It may seem flighty, and it truly is, and The Winds of my intuition have never steered me the wrong way yet. Onward!  Following my heart and my dreams!