Kind Kindred : Sarah : Simple Gifts

Sarah Rachel is one of my dearest Sisters & is this week’s guest blogger for Kind Kindred! I met Sarah Rachel on Livejournal so many years ago & one of the many things that I love about her is that she helps me keeps things in perspective, she helps me remain focused on the things that matter to me. I hope that you enjoy this week’s Kindred post, & I wish you peace. ? – Jenn


121, originally uploaded by Somewhere Lovely.

Corporate America loves to give us slogans. “Talk is Cheap.” “Work Hard, Play Hard.” “Money Talks.”

However, those mostly come from business and sales gurus in the management section of your local bookstore. What about life slogans for us regular folks? How about some catchy phrases for day-to-day living, the kind we do with friends and family and partners? I decided to come up with a slogan that’s been influencing my life lately–“Food is Power.”

“Power?” you say. “The stuff we buy at the grocery store, or knock out of vending machines?”

Yep. Power.

Recently, I did something extreme with my eating habits–I went vegan. I gave up my precious cheeses, my Memphis barbeque, fried chicken, and Ben & Jerry’s. Naturally, you can imagine the state of my health (and waistline) if those foods were a steady part of my diet. Pretty terrible. Anxiety, chest pains, dull skin, and no energy–check, check, and check.

I didn’t realize that the very foods I reached for in times of stress were actually causing me more stress. Every bite of ice cream and Pringles were seriously messing with my peace of mind. When your brain is bombarded by processed chemicals that scream, “I’m delicious! Have some more!”, how do you change what you eat?

I began with Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet. The very name suggested that this could be a step in the right direction. To be honest, I wasn’t all that interested in changing anything at first, and definitely not considering going vegan. You would have to pry cheese from my cold dead hands before I’d make a change that drastic. But the more I read, the more I realized this could be the way to treat my body like the beautiful temple it is. Another bonus? Eating plants, beans, and grains helps the environment and takes dollars away from factory farms. Win-win-win.

I’ve never been kind to my body. As a theater major in college, I smoked, stayed up all hours of the night, drank whiskey, and pretty much beat up my system. And remember that Memphis barbeque? My body was so stressed out that when it needed to rest and repair, it couldn’t.

I think we’d all agree that the world is a better place with kindness, and spreading love in the world can begin with the simplest actions. Kindness keeps the beauty moving and rolling along, and what better place to start than with ourselves?

Since going vegan, I’ve fallen in love with myself all over again. I’m having a complete romantic experience with giddy moods and soaring adrenaline rushes. My skin is bright, my eyes are sparkly, and I feel empowered and motivated. I’m making a difference, and it’s starting with me, I think, and it just revs me up to do more for my planet and fellow citizens of this earth.

Do you have to go vegan to experience this rush? Nope. Simply setting goals for yourself, finding things to encourage and motivate you, and following your passions (wherever they may lead) is enough to get that lovin’ feeling groovin’ along for your gorgeous self. Doing yoga, dancing to hip hop, reading poetry while soaking in the tub, making sacred space–these all sound like winners to me. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that we do for ourselves that give us the self-love we so desperately need.

May you find happiness wherever your heart may search. Namaste.


Sarah Dufrechou is a part-time writer living in Memphis, Tenn., with her husband and three cats. She loves writing letters, drawing with pen and ink, and believes anything can be solved with a pint of Peanut Butter ZigZag. You can read more of Sarah’s adventures at simplegifts.typepad.com and follow her on Twitter at @quakergifts.

 

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