2018: The Year That I ...

Did you know that writing helps to create a mental capacity to more clearly visualize the motivation or method behind the creation of a goal? In high school I had a teacher who told us time and time again the power of memory when it comes to seeing words written in your own penmanship. While I could photograph what I have already written about the upcoming topic in my journal and simply make a post from that, I am choosing digital ink mainly for the aesthetic purpose of a blog but also as a way to reaffirm what I have already promised to myself in the upcoming year.

Normally, I am not one for resolutions / goals in a new year because I am a firm believer in the power of each day having the potential to bring change - but also mostly because I usually forget what they are by the time the next year rolls around.

I want 2018 to be different. The start of this year is a like a giant snowball that has been forming rapidly throughout these past few years. This snowball can only be melted with one choice that will drastically change how the rest of my life plays out.  Weird visual I know but just roll with it ...

Well here it goes: a change in digital writing and honestly I'm a little shakey as my fingers type -

2018: The Year That I Finally Go Vegan

More than likely I probably know what you are thinking. Ugh not another one. I totally get where you are coming from and please hear me out. I am doing this not because it's trendy or not as emotional reaction to a documentary that I watched once or (yikes) as a "diet" that I will abandon after I see "results".  I'm transitioning myself to the most sustainable way of eating not just for my physical and mental health but for the vitality of the Earth and my fellow beings who occupy this floating rock in space - this move is a symbolic end of something that I had started many years ago when I first heard the word "vegan".

Without going off on too big of a tangent like I definitely have been known to do in the past: my relationship with food and self image has been one that is rocky. I was always a lanky gal which made it a perfect in to the modeling world when I was 13/14 - and it is completely valid for me to say that being in this industry has definitely shaped how I not only view myself but what I put into my physical vessel. Modeling taught me how to take care of myself: how to eat properly to sustain energy for long days of castings and how to maintain my physical appearance through self care and through exercise. Honestly, modeling at this young age was the best way for me to grow into the confidence and grace that I hold myself to now almost (OH MY GOD) six years later. It taught me what life would be like if I truly loved and honored the physical container I was gifted for this lifetime.

However the image of myself changed like any other teenage girl in our world due to my very very very early participation in social media (I literally have had Instagram since it released) in combination with some lingering traditional stereotypes about the modeling industry. I chose to focus on my studies rather than pursue a career in modeling. Modeling was my sport and without this facilitator the way I viewed myself started to change. Food became a weapon, a tool, nourishment and a punishment at the same time. As I learned more in school about food and about the environment, the more it became evident to me how what I put into my body effected not only myself but the entire world around me. Both my parents are traditional Western doctors and I have been socialized into eating the traditional healthy American diet based upon their studies and the good ol' food pyramid.

However, referring to how I ate affecting not only myself but the world around me is a global perspective coincides very nicely with a discovery that I made during my yoga teacher training a few years ago. The first of the eight limbs of yoga are called the yamas, or self-regulating behaviors determining how we interact with other people and the world at large. The yamas are a building block of living a life of true bliss. One of the yogic yamas is ahimsa, or the practice of non-violence.

What exactly does non-violence mean to a gal like myself? For me the practice of ahimsa means first and foremost being kind to myself and the only physical and mental vessel that I have been given in this lifetime. From what I have read I firmly believe that being vegan will allow me to break free from the cyclic nature of my restrictive / excessive patterns of eating and allow me to dissolve the mental barriers that I have inflicted upon myself and grow past a rigid view of food like I had developed in the past. Ahimsa means non violence towards others. One of the biggest parts of veganism is the ethics behind it. I am a peaceful human being overall and I believe that all living creatures have the right to live. Today more than ever we have the means to produce food more successfully than we ever could have in the past. I believe that we should let the animals live since we no longer rely upon them for survival. While I'm honestly not too eager to go and hug a pig anytime soon I believe that he/she has the right to peacefully live life. Finally, ahimsa means non-violence towards my human neighbors and the world that we must share with each other and our posterity for the rest of time. Veganism is sustainable.

Honestly I could go on about ahimsa but I needed to cut myself off there because my thoughts are still not in completion. I am humbling myself to a very novice vegan here because I'm afraid if I kept going on that I would become too preachy and to be fair I have no right to tell you how to live your life - I am here only to share with you how I am choosing to live mine going forward.

When I came back from Ecuador sophomore year of high school I got terribly sick. I blamed a hamburger and since then I have not consumed any cow or pig. Only when I moved to Denmark and began college did I decide to go completely vegetarian - this was mainly out of convince. This past month back in America has allowed me to reset both mentally and physically. I have read many books and watched several documentaries and videos and I have decided to complete the final stepping stone in my journey towards yogic ahimsa in order to be truthful to the peaceful, non-violent person that I want to be: not only towards myself but towards every singe being on this planet.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read through my little introduction into this new journey that I am on. If you would like to know what I have been using to research please click here

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