Let’s get back to the way life is meant to be.

I’ve been blown away lately by beauty. Almost daily I tear up just from a gorgeous view, or bird, or river… This world is so beautiful!

The fact that we’re alive and able to witness the beauty and life unfolding all around us is something to be grateful for. We’re beautiful and a part of the sacred cycle of life like everything else. The plants need the earth, we and all animals need the plants, and the earth needs us and the animals. We’re all connected, and we’re all tasked with taking care of each other.

I’m not sure where we all went wrong… Living a full life without taking too much or exhausting ourselves is really quite simple. We need to move away from what we “think” society needs from us, and instead look at the earth and feel its energy, and then use our intuition to determine what it needs from us. Apart from human interference, everything has a natural cycle that is respected. Animals take from other plants and animals only what they need, and usually, this is quite sustainable. The animal kingdom doesn’t participate in overconsumption; animals don’t drink too much water, and plants don’t take too many nutrients from the soil if they’re able to live and grow naturally. Everything in nature has a way of balancing itself out, and there’s no reason to have it any other way. We’ve found ways to commoditize everything. Plants, animals, water… all of it is viewed as a way of making money and spoiling ourselves, regardless of who or what is harmed in the meantime.

But why? Why did we ever (or do we now) think this is ok? Humans are just a natural part of nature’s cycle as well, and it seems like such a no-brainer that we should act as a part of it. We are intelligent beings with the ability to grow and utilize the soil and the animals to help us along, but that also means we have a duty to do it respectfully.

I’m not sure where on the evolutionary trail we diverted from this respect. Hunter and gathering cultures did (and still do, for those who remain) respect the natural balance and the sacredness of all beings. Using each bit of an animal, treating it fairly, and honoring the life it lived and provided for us… How can we get back to that? We’re meant to live like that, NOT the way we do.

Most of us couldn’t tell you where our food comes from. Where our water comes from. These are the two things we cannot live without, but yet we have no idea how our food was grown, where, how it was transported, preserved, processed… We expect everything to be handed to us. Somebody else can take care of the details and we’ll just consume. Well people, this isn’t ok.

In communities, each person has a role. Each person pitches in and each person partakes in the “profits” (in this case, the profits are the food, water, and pleasure items created by the hard work of everyone — each consumer included). This is how it’s meant to be! I may plant some seeds and water them each day until they’re ready to go in the ground. Then someone may transplant these seeds into the ground and water them and weed the soil until they’re ready to be harvested. Then someone may harvest and process the crops and turn it into something we can use for food, clothing, shelter, etc. This is the way it’s meant to be! Everyone has good intentions and everyone does their fair share.

In today’s modern, western societies we are primarily concerned with buying and selling. This consumeristic mindset is not beneficial for ourselves and our communities, and definitely not for the planet. It pins each of us against the other, always in a constant battle to have more than our neighbor… never taking cautions to ensure that all pieces of the system are in balance and thriving… And it destroys our planet. Piece by piece, by having commoditized everything, we’re throwing away the balance that was in place far longer than this new attitude was. It breaks my heart to know that the path we’re on leads to disaster and there’s no way around it, unless of course we change paths.

There are people making it their lives’ work to protect this consumerist attitude. There are people who are silencing voices against this.

Every day it seems I’m finding more energy and drive to fight the good fight and to bring more attention to the big issue at hand – the destruction of our planet and positive communities. Living a sustainable, balanced life creates happiness and contentment. Being mindful of our decisions inevitably leads to respect and balance (in my experience at least, thus far). If we make it a point to think before acting, with both the little and big things, we’ll surely revert to a more natural and beneficial way of living.

So then how… How can we change the course we’re on?

Recently I’ve heard several people say that creating community and togetherness is the only way to do this. By joining together with others who believe in a better, more positive and whole way of life, we’ll be able to share knowledge that will change the planet one person, one day at a time.

At my last job I learned about spheres of influence. By spreading a message with one person, and that person sharing that message with one person, and so on, our influence can be huge. Each of us can share what we know to be true and good, and then eventually almost everyone could be in the know.

… it can happen. But will it?

The only way to know for sure is to try, and we’re in no worse shape by trying. So, let us try! Each of us – let each of us share the good news with our friends and family, our coworkers and neighbors, even a random stranger on the bus or in line at the grocery store! Even if one tenth of those people share the news, our spheres of influence will grow wide and before we know it, we’ll have informed the masses.

Game on, everyone 😉

Taking back my baby-maker and cleaning out the drugs.

The final baby killer pill…

I’ve made a decision to no longer take birth control.

For many this may not seem like a big deal, and to others it may seem quite silly in the first place (the taking or quitting). But for me, it’s a decision that’s been long coming. For years (the past four or so especially) I’ve discussed quitting with my partners and doctors and have faced plenty of resistance. I’ve also been assured time and time again that there aren’t and won’t be any long-term side affects from taking the pill; it’s 100% safe for long-term use and it won’t affect my fertility in the future.

My intuition tells me otherwise. Ten-plus years of pumping daily hormones into my body with hopes of preventing my reproductive system from doing something it’s intended to do? No, I don’t think that can be healthy or without consequence when continued for that amount of time. And, as I’ve just written about, one of my goal’s for 2013 and beyond is to fully listen to and honor what I feel inside. So, that’s that. Enough of the birth control for me.

Just another step toward authenticity

I’ve recently cut out prescription drugs for my panic attacks and anxiety issues; I’ve stopped relying on Ambien as a nightly pacifier for my over-thinking mind and underworked body; I’ve drastically cut back on my use of Xanax and other prescription downers; And, I’ve slowed down on the drinking and caffeine. It hasn’t been just the obvious external stimulants things either — I’ve gone 100% vegetarian and choose vegan more often than not; I’m eating organic and locally grown whenever possible (which is super simple while living here obviously, but even back in the states I made this happen); I’m making time for silence, yoga, and meditation; and, I’m tuning in with my senses and my body’s needs to help guide my nutrition choices and energy use.

Basically, I’m making conscious efforts to make my body and mind as centered and healthy as possible. And now, I’m getting the opportunity to remove yet another major roadblock to being the natural me — birth control.

I’m also at a place where I feel ready for the responsibility of loving with intention. It might be time to say goodbye to one-night stands (let’s be real — these things happen), or relationships with men I wouldn’t dare raise a child with. Sex is a big deal, and it’s totally ok for it to be a big deal. I’ve had many moments in my life where I loved the freedom and fun that can come with sex and, having that safeguard of birth control definitely took the worry away and let me jump in (the sack?) whenever I wanted. Yes, as I grew older these moments became fewer and much, much farther inbetween, but the possibility was always there. I’m ok with squashing that — no more free love from me.

Prepping for the process

While I was withdrawling from the Lexapro I took for over two years (I completely finished this process about two weeks before I left for Costa Rica), I deliberately made myself focus on the fluctuations in my mood, reactions, energy, and physical health and sensations. I tried to never push myself into doing anything — if I felt up for it, I’d do it; if not, I wouldn’t. I ate meals intentionally prepared for what I felt I needed at the time and I chose physical activities and exercises that would compliment my energy stores.

I was tuning in, and that’s exactly what I plan to do over the next couple of months.

What better place to go through this process than in a jungle sanctuary where I can make time for whatever it is I need? And, who better people to be with than those who are willing and wanting to help me transition into a healthier, happier girl! I mentioned to several people tonight during dinner that I was finally stepping away from the pill and it was so beautiful to hear the words of encouragement and feel the love and support from the group. If I get crazy for a couple weeks, I won’t be judged. They’re here to help me with whatever I need, just as I’m here to help them… That’s what community is all about 🙂

So, goodbye little pink pills. I’m taking ownership of this piece, too 🙂

Update — found a great blog post about why we should pack away the little pink pills for good! http://culinarykarma.net/birthcontrol1/