We had one of our leaders come and talk to us at a work meeting. He was talking about expense pressure and how it is a given. He made a comment that stood out to me – ‘You do not walk around thinking about Gravity, do you?’
His point was expense pressures will always be there – so why spend unnecessary energy thinking about its existence and griping about it? He makes an excellent point. But to treat expense pressures (or any other habit) like gravity requires work.
His comment is not valid only for expense pressure but for any habit that we are trying to build. Think about the process of building a practice. Let’s tackle an easy one – brushing your teeth every day. Do you think about it every day? The chances are that you don’t go around thinking about brushing your teeth. You just wake up and do it. Now, think about avoiding sugar or processed foods. It is highly likely that you think about food a lot when you are trying to build a good eating habit. The goal is to get to a point with food where you treat it just like gravity – it exists.
To get there with habits takes time and courage. First, the desire in you has to be resolute that you do not give up despite challenges, obstacles. Let’s continue with the food habit. It is highly likely that you switch back to the old eating habits in a couple of days or a week and then it takes you days to get back on the ‘good eating’ bandwagon. The desire to have a good eating habit needs to be strong for you to keep trying. And it takes courage to get up after you have fallen umpteen times. The one thing that very few people talk about which you need the most is Self-Compassion. It is tough to change habits because they are ingrained in our minds as neural pathways. And to accomplish this daunting task, we need to have a love for us as we fail.
When we are babies and learn how to walk – we are not caught in the human predicament yet. Hence as babies, we pick ourselves up with very little mind-chatter and keep at it until we start walking. But as we grow up, we become more human; our mind chatter takes over. As a result, we give ourselves a hard time when we fail at anything. And this is where self-compassion is the solution. Be kind to yourself like you would towards a friend until the habit you are trying to build becomes like gravity.
Once the gravitational pull exists, then it does all the work for you – you just have to build enough energy to gather the strength that sucks you into the habit.
Kindness and desire – are the two keywords to build a habitational pull that sustains all the good habits for you.
How will you work on building your habitational pull?
Before we begin:
Vegetarian: No meat including chicken, fish (eggs – Maybe)
Vegan: Vegetarian and no dairy products (including eggs)
Whole Food Plant-Based Diet (WFPB): Vegan plus no refined or processed foods or sugar and limited oil
I turned WFPB (Vegan) this year. I still have eggs once in a while but overall Vegan diet.
Vegan Chai Smoothies + No Oil Bread Pakoras
WHY? That is the question that most people ask – Why am I Vegan? When my mother-in-law asked me this question, I realized I did not have an answer. I am realizing now that I am very intuitive and this was one of those things – I am ready to be vegan so here I go. But, it did get my thinking cells started, and I have tried to list some of the reasoning below
Healthy Lifestyle: As I grow old I have to do something about this ever-growing weight. I usually eat well and seem to be on some diet all the time, but my weight grew a pound or two every year. And this kind of a rate is not sustainable. And when I am eating healthy my body feels great whereas if I stuff myself with fries it does not. I wanted to treat my body well. (If I don’t take care of my body where will I live.)
Vipassana Meditation: One of the precepts for Vipassana includes not killing or harming other living beings. And as students, we take the precepts during the ten-day course and are encouraged to maintain our precepts in daily life too. A decade of practicing Vipassana has to have some effect. And now I cannot bear the thought of eating an animal. I might start crying if I see a fish being killed (and for those of you who know me crying is a compelling statement from me)
Other Centered Universe: This is a by-product and not an intentional result. As a result of going vegan, I am doing the planet a lot more good. The global warming effect is primarily due to the CO2 that the cattle release and the amount of grain that goes in feeding the cattle can feed the entire human population many times over.
HOW? I am bragging a bit when I say that I have no trouble saying no to ice cream/chocolates. But, keep in mind this was not an overnight decision – I have been on a healthy lifestyle journey since 2008. I switched to Soy initially and then did the Master Cleanse for the first time and did it every year since then. I switched to brown sugar from white one year and then to honey the next and now no honey either (I use date paste/maple syrup only if necessary). So as you can see this has been a long journey with incremental steps. Last year we did the FOK course, and that brought me closer to being vegan. So, this year becoming vegan was practically the next step in my journey.
WHAT? What next? I have been vegan for three months now and loving it. I continue to have delicious dishes likes Chocolate chia pudding/Pita pizzas, and I am eating a lot more vegetables. And some of the vegetables I had never even heard of like Palm of hearts. I eat till I am satiated and guilt free.
(No Cheese pita pizza)
The main reason I went vegan is that it was the easiest way to eat healthy everywhere (at office/ restaurants). They did a study once where they left an apple and Mcdonald burger out for a week. The apple had decayed and was rotting whereas the burger was the same – Can you imagine putting something in your body that even the bacteria could not break down. With vegan diet you only eat stuff that your body can digest :).
My Friday drink – Fruit Beer Float [Cheers to a healthy lifestyle]