Tuesday, March 19, 2013

She Who Forgives

“I think this belongs to you,” a friend said as she handed me this small piece paper December 8, 2012, in New York City. I’ve carried dog eared tea tag in the right-hand pocket of my black jacket ever since, a reminder. 

A close relationship shifted significantly over the last few years. Rather than list how it changed, who said what, who failed to say what, I acknowledge the loss. And am prompted to forgive. 

The act is one of the "'five things,' topics that typically need to be covered in order to facilitate closure," says Dr. Ira Block. In Grieving Mindfully, Sameet M. Kumar, Ph.D., writes:
I forgive you. This can be forgiveness about anything and everything. Forgiveness can be thought of as a radical acceptance toward someone else. Forgiveness is not to be confused with forgetting. However, when you forgive, through the power of compassion, you release the hold that this issue has had on your life. Rather than feeling unresolved outrage or a sense of justice unserved, you take upon yourself the responsibility for living life on your terms.
I forgive you. Quarrel over. I wish you peace and happiness.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Classique Choices

Hardwick stove, circa 1950s, still in use today and 
The New Laurel’s Kitchen cookbook, first published 1976, 
reprinted 1986, and acquired in the mid-1990s, still in use today

The New Laurel’s Kitchen, a handbook for vegetarian cookery and nutrition, contains a dedication that, more than 15 years ago gently, quietly shifted me toward a plant-based diet:
For our teacher, Eknath Easwaran, who understood the appeal in the eyes of the glossy black calf on its way to the slaughterhouse many years ago, and inspired us, and thousands like us, to give the gift of life.
The cookbook was recommended by a dietician at Georgetown University Hospital and became the first of many such resources. 

At the time, and unknown to me, I was to evolve into a vegetarian. It unfolded organically, rooted in ethics. 

The eyes of the glossy black calf.

First, I eliminated fish and seafood from my diet. Gradually beef and pork. Finally, all poultry, after following a truck packedpackedpacked with chickens on their way to a slaughterhouse on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Can you imagine the chaos in a big a$$ truck rolling at 55 MPH for miles and miles and miles?

I vowed not to eat meat again. 

A part of my sunny pantry, circa 2013

My practice and study of yoga years later broadened my view of non-harming and nonviolence. In the eight-limb path of yoga, and specifically the yamas and niyamas, the sanskrit word is Ahimsa ... kindness. For all living beings. 

Yoga Sutra 2:35 says, “Being firmly grounded in nonviolence creates an atmosphere in which others can let go of their hostility.”

I embrace thoughts of kindness with choices I make, including the jewelry I hand knot with love {vegan all}. 

Malas of faux pearls and non-silk thread

Peace and love.