It appears that we have all survived another year! We have seen the most trying year so far politically that at times I had to go on a news cleanse and just turn off the news channels, social media and turn on some calming meditative music.
We all have different ways of coping with such a crazy news cycle and for me, it was about connecting with myself spiritually, continuing my vegan food evolution and embarking on a zero-waste journey. How does this help me cope? Well, it gives me something else to obsess over and feel like I'm making a difference in the environment as well as my overall health.
1. On discovering spirituality...
I am an atheist. I personally don't believe in an omnipotent being pulling strings on some parallel plane. I never really considered myself to be a spiritual person either. Instead, I believed in 'the universe' and our connection to it. After visiting and ashram in New York State, I began to view spirituality as a personal experience and something that I wanted to explore further.
Welcome Kundalini Yoga... I was perusing the meetup pages in my area when I came across Kundalini Yoga. They were offering the first class free, so I thought, why not? I had no idea what I was getting myself into, or how it would change my life! Kundalini is known as the yoga of awareness. I went to the class, everyone was nice and friendly. We went through the kriyas (series of postures, breaths and sounds) which felt foreign and weird to me. Once I stopped feeling self-conscious, and went with the flow (see what I did there), I felt wonderfully amazing.
I now attend Kundalini on a regular basis, have incorporated vinyasa (a style of yoga that moves different postures fluidly along with breath to create a 'flow') yoga into my daily regimen and do some sort of meditation almost nightly. Sometimes, I just crochet and find that to be meditative.
2. Plant-based whole foods vegan...
Back in April 2017, I decided to go completely vegan. After being an ortho-lacto vegetarian for 9 years, going vegan wasn't that difficult a leap for me. It was, however, long overdue and something I wished I had done sooner.
The benefits of completely cutting out all animal products far outweighed any cravings and addictions to dairy that I had. For one, my migraines were completely gone. I had given up gluten a few years ago with great success, but still got some migraines. I had attributed those episodes to either my period or stress. Turns out, eggs were a trigger for my migraines.
Speaking of periods, my period used to be heavy with extreme mood swings, headaches, fatigue and terrible back pain. Now, I can happily report that I no longer suffer from discomfort, my flow is 2-3 days, and I don't even realize I have my period until it's time to remove my menstrual cup.
Other things I've noticed since going completely vegan are no more chronic back pain, insomnia is gone, my overall mood is better and I've become a pretty awesome cook.
3. The latest of my evolution and going zero-waste...
I had already started implementing some changes such as making my own cleansers and using crochet dish towels instead of sponges. I was always big on recycling and reducing, but now, I make a much more conscious effort in my daily choices.
One of those changes is using the hand dryer in public restrooms when available. I take a look at packaging and try to stay away from products that are packed with plastic. I have to really need it and there's no alternative available.
I also made the difficult decision to stop using my electric toothbrush in favor of a biodegradable toothbrush. I also made my own toothpaste...recipe will come soon!
I am super excited for all the changes in my life that I've done so far and look forward to sharing them all with you!
Share some of the changes you're planning on making in 2018 in the comments below.