For the past week or so, my husband and I have trying out a “vegan experience.”
Well, kind of.
Vegan, except for that time we ate pepperoni pizza. Okay, well, the two times we ate pepperoni pizza. And also that time we had Chick-fil-A. Ooops, and that one salad I had with just a little bit of cheese on it.
Okay, so we’re bad vegans. It was my fault, really. I begged Keith to take me to Chick-fil-A, because I was hangry and the thought of driving an extra ten minutes to get a different kind of cuisine that would be in line with our dietary habits seemed asinine and just much to far away. And although I could have easily asked for the wrap I like without chicken and cheese, I didn’t, because they always look at me funny when I ask for the chicken wrap sans chicken.
Keith interpreted this moment of weakness as “hey we’re quitting the vegan club” and promptly bought some pepperoni pizza the next day. I couldn’t resist.
Okay okay, but other than these four meals, all the rest of our food has been vegan. Okay, all the rest of my food has been vegan. I mean, vegan in the sense that there’s no blatant dairy or eggs or meat in them. I am not about that “read every food label and scrutinize it for the smallest ingredients you don’t even know come from animals” kind of life. Maybe one day, but my commitment level just isn’t that high right now.
So, why, you ask, when cheese is just so so good? When we obviously have an affinity for pepperoni pizza?
Well because of Forks and Knives, of course. Also, we like animals.
And cheese is terrible for my skin.
Anyway, what the fuck do you care about my diet? You probably don’t, and that’s totally great. Honestly, most of the time I don’t either.
But this week I’m studying Brahmacharya, or moderation. Sometimes it’s also called “non-excess,” but the literal translation is “walking with God.” (Brahma, yo. The CREATOR. What a freakin’ badass.)
Why is it walking with God? Get this guys: when you live in excess, you lose your wonder and connection to the sacredness of life.
Remember that time you were super hungry sitting around a campfire and downed four s’mores right in a row? Or when you were totally zoned out in a Netflix binge-watching marathon and you felt super groggy and out of sorts later on. Or that time you ran for four hours and basically couldn’t do anything the rest of the day but eat and sleep. (Okay, maybe just my marathon runners on that one.)
This is living in excess.
We all do it, in one way or another. Most of us, probably, with technology. I know I’m guilty. But also with work, with alcohol, with education, with debt, with entertainment… I could go on.
Anytime we over-do something, we’re essentially numbing ourselves to the sacredness of life.
All of life is a delicate balance. There is no “never enough” – all things, even things that are good for you, have their limit. Drink too much water and you’ll die. Eat too many carrots and you’ll overdose on Vitamin A. Exercise too much and you’ll get injured or deplete your immune system.
Lately, I’ve been pretty dull. My sense of wonder and awe is right out the window, along with my sanity. It’s a combination of too much work, too much technology and too many things on my to-do list.
Luckily, I’m working on it. This “vegan experience” is just one of the many ways I’m getting myself back into balance. How else, you ask?
I’m trimming down my class schedule and locations to a manageable level.
I’m running bigger events and workshops and less daily stuff.
I’m passing off projects and letting others take the helm.
I’m dropping things that don’t make me come alive.
One of my favorite teachers ever gave me this quote: “Knowledge is what you gain, and wisdom is what you let go.”
This week, contemplate:
- where do you have excess? your clothes, your budget, maybe even your asana practice?
- where can you begin to let things go?
- can you re-connect to the sacredness of life in all places?
Happy freakin’ brahmacharya, friends. Go be vegan for a week, and when you need that secret slice of pepperoni pizza, call me.