Since New Year’s Day, I’ve made a lot of changes in my life.
I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions because I believe that if you want to change something about yourself, don’t wait until a certain day or time.
It just happened to fall into place when I visited a Buddhist temple that day with Jill and our friend Dipesh and listened to the chanting and realized how peaceful one can be if they put their mind towards that goal.
It is also a large part of acceptance in behavioral therapy that I’m very fond of using for myself and my clients.
One of the results is that I decided to become vegetarian.
I did this for 6 months, once before, and loved it.
A little back history: I was involved in a car crash when I was four years old and lost my sense of smell.
Since, like almost everyone else, your question will be, “But what is your sense of taste like?” I’ll answer it right now: I think I can taste at 50-60% of what is an average person’s sense of taste.
So, going vegetarian for me is quite easy: I”m not tempted by smells of yummy foods as I walk into restaurants.
Also, I know bacon tastes great. I just care more about the environment, the pain that pig goes through, and the waste that is produced by eating meat.
Jill, my amazing girlfriend, also decided to jump on board and seems to enjoy the simplicity and ease of being vegetarian. She was also horrified by the treatment of the animals and the waste that accompanies the mass production of meat in the world.
This is not a holier than thou post, by the way. You can eat or do whatever you want. I’m just simply explaining my actions.
I also have stopped talking about political ideals or ones relating to spirital or religious beliefs.
They only serve to keep people apart and don’t help to build a community.
I’d rather live the way I live, see if people are interested, and then talk to them personally.
I’m one small guy in one large world.
And I’m cool with that.
Lastly, I’ve stopped reading most of the news out there.
I haven’t watched the new for the last 5 or so years becuase I feel it is basically a way to control people and make them fearful of their neighbors and keep them locked in their houses and afraid.
I’ve actually prescribed clients to stop watching the news if they are depressed or anxious. It tends to have an amazing effect on their mood because they don’t have to worry about events that are beyond their control as much.
I have no interest in the negative news as I think most people are doing the best they can, and if you interact with them, they will show their humanity and care for their fellow human beings.
I continue to read some of the comments on my Facebook wall as they are posted by others, but I’ve cut that down to almost nothing at this point.
Rage, anger, disappointment, fear, distrust and other destructive emotions, as well as many of my automatic negative thoughts have disappeared along with the horrors of the world.
Maybe I’m hiding my head in the sand and using escapism but I don’t think I am.
I believe I’m making a change for the better, trusting in my own ability to make friends, be a good person, and that it will be returned.
If you know me, you know that I tend not to focus on the past.
I don’t blame my parents, upbringing, or society for my choices.
I can’t think of one person that has taken advantage or intentionally tried to hurt me.
The only times bad events have happened to me is when I let my ego get in the way and jealous, greed or other emotions like those aren’t kept in check by me.
And me alone.
I make the choices that define me.
I am grateful for the freedom to be me.