Challenges, Change, Authenticity, Action
January 24, 2011
As most of you know I’m doing a few Challenges right now:
No Complaining/Gossiping/Criticizing – I’m on day 11 and still haven’t made it a day. It would be so easy if I didn’t talk to anyone! 🙂 Maybe today will be the day. Meanwhile I’m having fun laughing at myself every time I complain or gossip, which is usually around 4 or 5 times a day.
Clean Eating Challenge – I just decided to call it that. Started that one on January 1st – No alcohol/caffeine/sugar/processed foods/dairy/red meat.
I haven’t had any drinks or regular coffee, but I did throw in a splash of red wine when I made my Leek, Sweet Potato and Pear soup for some friends the other night (there was a leftover bottle from having some friends over the week before; I dumped the rest of the bottle after I made the soup). And this past Saturday I was wandering around Pasadena on a chilly night and we passed by an Intelligentsia. I decided to get a decaf ccffee. It tasted like crap. 90% of the time I get regular coffee, even from “good” places like Intelligentsia and Urth, it tastes like crap to me. I’ve also ground up beans at home from really expensive places and brewed my own coffee, and it still tastes like crap. I think I like the idea of drinking coffee more than the actual experience. And I think I like the taste of milk and sugar more than the actual coffee. I have enjoyed coffee from Organics to Go, Vee’s Cafe, The Griddle, and Grub (though the last cup I had at Grub was gross too). So, I know decaf has some caffeine in it, but that’s the first time I’ve had any in 24 days so I’m feeling good about that.
Sugar and dairy sneak into my diet occasionally – in salads, in pesto, in almond milk – but I’ve been pretty good at avoiding then outright. I had Pinkberry once with a friend who was in town from London, and I did some cheating this weekend – Saturday I chose to do research for my pending food blog, so we went to Nickel Diner. I basically broke all the rules besides alcohol/caffeine by having a bacon donut, a Nutella donute hole, AND a slice of salty peanut chocolate peanut butter buttercream cake. They were all fucking fantastic. Nickel Diner makes the best desserts in this city, as far as I’m concerned (Waterloo & City & Ford’s Filling Station are close runner-ups). I felt sick afterwards (obviously), but it was totally worth it. Sunday I had girlfriends over and had a bunch of home-made vegan chocolate chip cookies, and some carrot cake thingies from Trader Joe’s. But now I’m back on the wagon and will have absolutely no sugar or dairy or processed foods today!
I also started another Challenge on January 1st – The Consumer Fast! Since the 1st of January, aside from a ring and Ganesha statue I bought at a Bead & Jewelry Fair in Pasadena, I haven’t bought any non-necessities. No books or music (those are the hardest for me), no clothes, no lip balms, no turquoise collapsible shopping bags… between that and not drinking, I’m spending much less, which I’m funneling towards my goal of living financially free and clear by 12/31/11.
Some people ask me about positive-action challenges. For those I’ve been meditating every day – haven’t missed a day in 2011 yet (and I probably only missed about 50 in 2010). I’ve been doing the Three Morning Pages writing exercise religiously since….oh – I just checked my book and I started on 1/11/11! Ha! I’ve been training for my upcoming 1/2 marathon in May. I listen to one of Brian Johnson’s Philosopher’s Notes every morning. But really, right now I’m about breaking old habits. Once those are properly broken, I’ll be free to create consciously-chosen new ones.
I happened upon an article today that beautifully articulated what I feel about changing, choices, authenticity and action:
“Making a difference is not something we do, but rather a lifestyle we choose, one that flows from the words inscribed in the scripture of our heart, of our soul; and in this way of purposeful living we are a constant blessing to ourselves and to others, we are a walking seed and spark that awakens and fires the imagination of others towards a similar way of living. The ways in which each of us will make a difference by definition and necessity will flow out from our inner being. First, we choose the difference between true and false, between authentic and inauthentic. Then, we act. Then, we make the difference that has already been made within us through our choice as to how we are going to live. In the end, making a difference is not idealistic or philosophical. It is practical, and inevitable.” – Robert Rabbin
Robert’s my new hero. I can’t wait to buy his book, “Authenticity Accelerator,” once my Consumer Fast is done. Though I probably don’t need it; I’m living it. 🙂