While I was in Montana, I had a lot of time to reflect on what to do next with my life. On Monday night, I went down to the Leaf & Bean for a soothing chai drink and some open-mic performances & poetry (I even read 3 of my poems, just for fun!). A warm espresso drink to go, then I took a walk down the streets of Bozeman to find a bar to hang out at for a while. It was actually really nice just to sit at the Rockin’ R, sip my double Amaretto sour and analyze recent events and think about the future. After that drink, I headed down the street to the nice new wine bar for a glass of red (ironically, a Californian Pinot Noir!). I had some small chit-chat with the bartenders at each bar, but the real benefit to me was allowing the alcohol to slow my thoughts enough for me to order them somewhat.
“I hope you find what you are looking for,” was the closing statement from the last bartender. And by the end of the trip, I had thought and researched enough to decide the next course of action for me was yoga teacher training and going back to school in January 2008. I found a wonderful yoga institute in the city, whose website, philosophy and energy seem to jive very well with me. I started attending classes there on Sunday, and I plan to go 3-4 times a week for the next 4 weeks, and hope to be admitted into the teacher training that starts mid-August.
My second day there (yesterday), I bought a book written by their founding yoga master, Swami Satchidananda. See my Favorite Books section for a link to his book, To Know Your Self. It has already made my list of favorite books! I am about 3/4 done with it, and I have found it to be the most truthful book on religion/philosophy that I have associated with. It has the simplicity and beauty of Khalil Gibran’s masterpiece, the Prophet, and many points of ponderance. It is the kind of book I hope to compile one day far down the road, when my understanding of existence is more solidified. Something of a gem you could leave to your children, and children’s children.
Looking back I realize that if I had been keeping up with my Yoga practice all along, I may have not found myself in the suffering I endured in the last month or so, and I wouldn’t have had to resort to running away from my problems and using alcohol to help clear my mind. I had been so busy working, eating, sleeping, and not taking time to reflect, meditate, or take care of my body, so I did not handle the challenges I faced very well. I blamed others for my suffering (boyfriend especially, among others) and missed several opportunities to rise above my difficult situations because I had allowed my mind to become chaotic, and neglected my health.
But now, with renewed dedication to becoming a better person, I feel hopeful about the future and much less worried. I’ve even decided to jump on the vegetarian train for a while. I’ve been watching that Discovery Channel Show about the guy that skydives into remote wilderness areas and shows you how to survive. Last night I watched him find a dead frozen sheep in the Icelandic tundra and cut a legbone off to eat (and the eyeball too!). It was interesting to learn that you can’t eat raw meat because our stomachs don’t digest it well…which is the reason we cook our game and domestic animal meals (he ended up boiling the sheep leg in a natural hot springs).
My yoga book postulated that herbivores are less aggressive and more peaceful when compared to meat eaters, that you can see this by going to a zoo. That herbivores have flat teeth and carnivores have pointed teeth and claws for tearing flesh, so that we are closer anatomically to herbivores. So I think it is an option worth exploring, and I’m going to observe the effects on my body and mind. I do think it’s an interesting point that if you had to kill all the meat you eat yourself, you probably wouldn’t eat so much. My young nephew was very concerned the first time he went fishing and had to kill the fish. He didn’t like the idea at all. I admit I thought to myself, great, he’s going to be one of those over-sensitive sissies.
But maybe there is that reluctance to kill another beautiful creature in all of us, and if we must sacrifice lives of plants and animals to sustain ourselves, and we are not in SURVIVAL mode, why not choose to cause less suffering by taking the abundant fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and dairy products, rather than killing something with a nervous system and capacity for pain? So, I thought I’d never say it, but I’m going vegetarian for a while. Not crazy fanatic vegan or strict vegetarian, but making an effort to sustain myself more responsibly.