"I'M A VEGAN" AND OTHER OFFENSIVE STATEMENTS
Doing conscious things is great!
Which is why it's really unfortunate that so many people look at you like you’re an escaped mental patient when you tell them about the health benefits of cutting meat and dairy out of your diet, how you don't own a microwave, television or vehicle, or how washing your vagina with baking soda is healthier than using products “specially designed” for the same purpose.
Like anything in life, all we’re looking for is some recognition and a pat on the back for a job well done when we give up meat for animal rights or stop shopping at wal-mart in favour of local businesses - because those things aren’t necessarily easy.
Unfortunately it’s not de rigeur to give out praise and appreciation to anyone for anything unless you’re being paid for it.
Most people value unconsciousness so much that they will fight you to the grave over their right to eat meat, bear arms, drive Hummer’s, discredit rape victims and condemn religions different from their own.
Of course veganism, tolerance, smiling, and all the other healthy habits that contribute to the saving of the planet and the overall betterment of your life and the lives of others (not to mention the continued survival of the human race) does deserve to be shouted from the top of the kitten castle and given the forefront on every media outlet and in every public arena. But instead you are labelled an asshole and ridiculed in (often quite hilarious) memes.
The path towards enlightenment is often a lonely one and by definition excludes such egocentric activities as:
- posting your views to Facebook;
- engaging with unconscious people in comment forums online;
- shaming people in real life, or;
- acting like a pompous asshole at Thanksgiving with your beautiful vegan sweet potato mash while pointing out to the rest of your relatives that they’re eating hormone-pumped turkey and bacon-wrapped genetically modified brussel sprouts imported from a child-labour-run farm located a million miles away.
I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make my ego purr thinking about all the things I do to make the world a better place.
I get absolutely filled with the warm-fuzzies when I think about the energy and nature and water I’ve saved through my personal choices because it gives me hope in a better future for the next generations.
But regardless of all that, I’m still a human living in the world and I still contribute to the destruction of the planet in some way or another.
With all that pent-up crossfit/vegan/tolerance-warrior energy, the only way to cause the ripple effect of consciousness you’re authentically trying to bestow on the world is either by being an energy container or by finding an actionable outlet.
Being an energy container is a daily practice (actually pretty much every second of every minute of every day I have to remind myself to be a goddamn energy container) of presence and mindfulness; being grounded in being a human being, breathing, here on earth and focusing on non-reactive inner peace.
Even in the toughest situations where your great-aunt had too much to drink and is spouting off about how immigrants are ruining the country, instead of engaging you sit there and smile and breathe and be present and give the woman space to express herself. You empathize with whatever deep-set frustrations or anxiety or fear that she is dealing with in this way at this time. Don’t engage, don’t condone, don’t oppose, just smile. And when the time is right, you either change the subject or you leave the room.
The great thing about being an energy container is that your positive presence is felt by the people around you and they start thinking, ‘Oh man, i’m getting the warm-fuzzies all of a sudden! I don’t know why, but life is feeling pretty beautiful at the moment' on account of you being there, or you get to leave and go home and nap or drink or meet up with someone else who’s down with not being racist.
Finding an actionable outlet means you get to talk all sorts of hippie madness with people who feel you.
You can join a meetup group for people who cook vegan jambalaya every Wednesday, go sweat your balls off and align your chakras at yoga, volunteer at an after-school program teaching kids about recycling, join your community garden, volunteer at an animal shelter.
There are so many people, so many organizations out there looking for conscious kittens just like you to help out in whatever way you can - people who won’t look at you like you asked them to chop off their right leg and sacrifice their firstborn when you tell them that replacing meat with tofu can be quite a delicious culinary experience if you do it right.
Hey kitty cats - what are your thoughts on being an urban buddha in the world?