A lot of people ask me why I eat a plant based diet. Do I feel healthier? Have you lost weight? What do you eat? It started as a self serving mission to be healthier and live longer by possibly avoiding diseases that plague my family. Then another layer came to mind. The environment. Based on statistics and research I’ve come across it appears to be better for the earth to eat a plant based diet. Then I really started to think about why I put so much effort into a plant based lifestyle. I’ve always been an animal lover. But actually stoping to think about and watch what happens to these animals changed me. In stores nothing has a face, eyes or really resembles an animal. These items are simply thought of as fuel for survival and a means for culinary pleasure. I’m a believer in energy and karma. I believe when a terrified animal whether abused or treated ethically(if that exists) is about to be killed hormones and toxins release into their bodies. It’s like how stress and anxiety can cause disease or health issues in humans. Whether it’s spiritual or scientific, people are consuming these animals and their toxins or karma. I believe what you put into your body not only affects your health but also our minds and our soul. If you had to kill and butcher everything you ate would you still eat animals? Whether your answer is yes or no, I invite you to look at that. I personally thought I needed so much protein and meat to survive. I’m a 200 pound active male who is mentally and physically able to do just about anything. I thought I would possibly get sick or become weak. Here I am over a year later eating only plant based feeling mentally clear and maintaining a weight with out yo yo-ing constantly. It’s a lifestyle not a diet. It’s about your health, the earths health and compassion. Everything on this earth human or animal just wants to be loved, safe, recreate and thrive. Who am I to take that from them? Animals have souls and are very aware of what’s happening. There is no difference between your pet dog, cat, rabbit, cow, pig or chicken. Just someone decided hey we can eat these guys but these other animals are pets. We live in a society of made up rules and ideology. That’s doesn’t mean we act out and disobey them. That means we challenge them. We question them. We always pursue and strive to be better. We evolve and adapt using the information we have today not blindly following the beliefs of the few from years ago. In today’s world I believe anything is possible. That statement is proven true daily. I invite you to find out what’s possible for yourself by considering what rules and ideology you follow or believe to be true. Then challenge and question them. Anything that is true to you does not need justification or defending, just being. If you find yourself being defensive or angry that’s something you should explore.
What are we doing as people? Are we really listening to those around us? Do we even truly see someone who is right in front of us? Are things really what they seem? Work, social media, possessions and looking good among other things have consumed many of our lives. Maybe not 24/7 for some but I have felt, lived and observed our lives consumed by so many things portrayed/perceived as so important. In my perfect world there would be nothing more important than the person or people around you. And I’m not just talking about family. I’m talking about your neighbor. The person in line in front of you. Anyone who crosses your path. But again that’s my perfect world which I don’t always live in personally. I’ve caught myself rushing to work and seeing someone on the side of the road obviously needing help. But I don’t stop. I continue on with my day as if my being on time for work or whatever I’m doing is more important than simply taking the time to help or maybe just check on another human being. This used to make me angry. Now I just feel sad. In some aspects the disconnect grows and grows. Other times I’m truly amazed by the consecutiveness surrounding me. It’s not my place to judge or dictate how ones life is lived. But I do feel it is all of our duties as human beings to question ourselves as well as others. To really take stock of what’s going on within and around us. A sense of awareness coupled with connection. Life is a beautiful thing and we all get to choose what makes it beautiful. I invite us all to choose willingly, considerately and knowingly.
Below is something I wrote to my daughter before she was born. It felt strange writing it at first, but looking back I’m glad I did it. Even years ago while exploring my spiritual side I would talk to her and dream of her. It’s like she was waiting for her turn in life and had already chosen us as parents. We just needed to choose each other. The more I dive into my spirituality and honestly just life as I feel being here is a spiritual experience. The more I embrace the unknown. To me spirituality requires a lot of trust and letting go in the face of the unknown. Believing in something bigger and more powerful than ourselves. For me the word I use is Universe. I believe everything and everyone is connected creating a universal power within us all and everything around us.
Where do I begin…
I’ve always dreamt of having a little girl.
I feel like I have been waiting for you my whole life.
I knew the moment your mother and I connected she was something special.
Little did I know she would be the one to make all my dreams come true.
From the moment we started dating it felt like I had known her forever.
Even when times were tough,
something inside me knew she was the one I would love forever.
The best choice I have ever made will always be loving your mother.
I know in my heart that you will love her as much as I do. Maybe more.
If there is one thing you should know,
It is that as my heart continues to grow there is enough love for both of you.
I am excited to meet you and I will always be there whenever you both need me.
I have always wondered what my life’s purpose was. Now I know it is enjoying every moment I have with you and your mom.
Without women nothing in this world would be possible or as beautiful. The strength, compassion, love and overall drive is something I have continually experienced from the women I have been so fortunate to have in my life. You are literally creators of life among so many other things. So much power and intuition packed into a human. If you ever feel undervalued or if you are ever treated that way. I want you to know you are so much more. Your value is truly unmeasurable. I take comfort in seeing the changes and progress being made for equality and value in all human beings. It gives me a great sense of hope that my daughter, our children and everyone will have the opportunity to live in this world as one. Coexisting in harmony without the unneeded hate or judgements. But for today cheers to all the amazing women out there and to all the women in my life you are appreciated and loved. Big shout out to my wife for inspiring me daily and holding me to a higher standard of being. You always rock mine and Charlotte’s world as a mama.😘 #internationalwomensday
Although I may not always respond or acknowledge (I’m working on that as well as my communication skills) I truly appreciate and value every response. Whether it is a like or sharing some words. It’s not natural or always easy for me to share. I’ve lived as though I’ve had something to hide for most of my life. Some who have known me longer might say I was very quite or shy. Then through sharing, listening and being vulnerable I’ve learned that a lot of us have similar feelings even if the actual circumstances are different or unique. This has given me and fed the urge to share. With this sharing I do my best to be intentional with my words and with my feelings. I hope to never offend or upset. Rather inspire and promote thoughts or questions. As I said before… the older I get the more questions I have. I believe our lives and the way we live our lives as a society deserves thought and questioning. Not in a way of making wrong or causing hate and upset. But in a way of making conscience choices based on our current level of knowledge. For me the times where I grow is when I obtain or experience a different perspective. A way of looking at something through a different lens. I believe everyone’s perspective has value no matter how offensive, thoughtful or ignorant it may appear. We all have lived through valuable experiences that shaped this perspective. So rather than arguing or just agreeing I invite us all to listen and ask questions so we can better understand each other and grow together. Because honestly no matter what your race, color , religion or belief is. You should take a moment to consider how it is just a miracle and incredible we are all here at this same moment in time.
I’ve been really struggling lately with the realization that I won’t be home and able to spend as much time with my wife and daughter. For those who don’t know. We sold our home in CA and moved to AZ in July last year. This move was thought about for years but also there was a lot I never thought about. Since Charlotte was born 23 months ago I’ve been blessed with being able to be home the huge majority of the time. Something most fathers and some mothers do not have the luxury of experiencing. I’ve been present and able to create a unique bond with my family which has allowed us to grow and become closer. It makes me think about the impact this will have going forward. The impact on me is profound but I’m curious the impact on my daughter. Based on current situations I’m not sure the next child (when we decide to have one) will get the same time Charlotte received. It’s kinda like a real life experiment with real life results. I try not to project to far into the future but as I get older life seems to leave me with more questions than answers. I find myself questioning whether providing a certain lifestyle and certain luxuries are really going to matter. Or if my time/presence is more valuable than any object or lifestyle I could provide. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. I’m not looking for sympathy as I know how fortunate I am just to be here. In my heart I believe my time/presence is more valuable than anything but I constantly struggle with the balance aspect. Where is that line… when and where should I cross it?
At times we may not see eye to eye. We all have had different experiences that have shaped our perspective. I believe everyone’s perspective is valuable. No matter how abrasive or pleasant it may seem. It’s in the listening, asking questions and understanding that we grow as humans. I myself struggle with this daily. My ego flares up and I get angry or just emotionally shut down. There is this need to be right and look as if we know exactly what we are doing at all times. I’m here to tell you it’s okay to not have a plan. It’s okay to not have it all together all the time. We are human beings living a life through the lens(perspective) of our hardships, our joys, our failures and our successes. That should never be discounted but it should be checked constantly by being open to others ideas and ways of seeing the world. Stop what you are doing and close your eyes. Take a deep breath and let it all out. Now imagine you are free to share your perspective without fear of rejection. Imagine you can be open and unafraid of judgement while going through your life. What does that look like? How does it feel? To me it felt like connection, a sense of relief and peace. This isn’t a test and your are encouraged to feel however you feel. I invite you to hold onto that feeling and examine it. Maybe try that in other aspects of your life. Being human isn’t just about being here. It’s about thriving and enjoying this journey we call life. I don’t know nor do I speculate what’s after this life. That’s for everyone to create and decide for themselves. I just want to invite you to make it the best journey you possibly can. Whatever that truly means to you. -Jeffrey
We spent a few days up at the beautiful Lake Arrowhead, CA with some family. Even on vacation in an amazing place I find myself worrying about the past and the future. Not being present enjoying the gorgeous scenery and the time with my family. I don’t know about you, but I usually seem to get distracted and caught up in my thoughts about work, stuff I need to do or just silly unnecessary baloney. It really takes a pep talk with myself to snap out of it and realize that this moment right now is what I need to be focused on. The work. The stuff. The baloney. It will all be there waiting for me. Dwelling on them does nothing but create anxiety and an absence from the moments happening now. One thing I’ve noticed is the pep talks get shorter and easier the more I do it. So next time you feel yourself distracted and not in the present moment just focus on your breath and remind yourself that this moment right now is all you need to focus on. We may not be able to slow down time, but we can be more focused and present with the time we do have.
Guilt and vulnerability. Two words and feelings that usually do not go together. In my own life guilt has consumed me. It has ended relationships. It has hurt those that I love. Most of all it has hurt myself and shaped the way I interact with people daily. Guilt does not always mean that you have actually done something wrong or hurtful. For me guilt comes from not feeling adequate. Not being able to meet someone’s needs or wants. Not being able to relate or understand someone’s feelings. Guilt has many forms. I find when I come from a place of guilt I become more defensive and close minded. The guilt does not allow me to be vulnerable. When I am vulnerable I can get my feelings/point across in a respectful and positive manner. I can actually connect with people. When it comes from a place of guilt… look out!
There is a saying, “you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar”. My wife always laughs at me and wonders where the heck I learned all these old sayings. I guess I was just lucky enough to encounter some wise old souls in my lifetime.
Treating people with respect and being vulnerable really does create a positive interaction the majority of the time. We can disagree or have a different point of view without feeling guilty. We can still relate and connect even though we do not see eye to eye. There was a quote I found from The Huffington Post website from a blog written by Charlie Maffei. (I will post the link below at the end) The quote goes: “Being nice to nice people is great, but being nice to those who are not nice to you is how the world becomes better. We should not want to defeat or humiliate those we don’t agree with but to win their friendship and understanding.” I know from experience that it is not always easy. Some people have some outrageous point of views. But that is the beauty of being human. We all have a different experience of life and life’s little situations. We do not always have to agree with everything and everyone. But we should at least be open and vulnerable enough to listen and try to understand. We can simply take some thing positive or what works for us from a conversation or article. Then simply just let what you don’t agree with or understand go. I feel if we just tried to understand other people’s views rather than argue we would learn a lot more about them and ourselves. So I invite you to really listen and be vulnerable next time you have a conversation, read or watch something. You may not succeed every time and that is okay. It is about trying, being aware and recognizing what guilt and vulnerability mean to you.
I do not agree with or relate to everything in the article in the link above. But I did take away something positive and it was very enlightening to see a different point of view. Just as you may not agree with or relate to everything I write about. But my hope is that something you read or experience sparks you to find peace in your guilt and comfort in your vulnerability.