Here it is, the middle of July and I am writing my first post of the month. Not that I am making excuses, but grad school is HARD, yo! The past few weeks mark the most challenging and inspiring season of my life; essentially every spare moment has been consumed by reading, writing, discussing, planning, watching, more discussing, more writing, and when time permits, eating and sleeping. Oh, and I’m in Germany now, specifically Frankfurt, to live out the last three weeks of my first year as a student in the MFA program in Dance with Hollins University. My body is tired, my mind is blown, but I finally have a moment to breathe, reflect, and catch up on this thing called life.
So.. remember that time I said that my intention for July, or Saucha (purity), would be to not drink alchohol? Ha, well let’s recap: 1) I am in grad school, 2) I am in Germany, and 3) I am in still in a place of self-care and enjoying the moment in front of me while it lasts. All things considered, I mindfully dropped my original goal and decided to shift my intention… to not wearing deoderant for a month. At the suggestion of a friend, I gave it a try for a few days. Honestly, it was really easy (I just omitted one step from my morning routine), but given the near triple digit temperatures and lack of air conditioning at Hollins at the time, I felt that this just wasn’t fair to my collegues. Continuing with my new intention would, in the end, help no one, proove nothing, and perhaps only create distance between me and the very people I have come to love and, sometimes literally, lean on for support during this incredibly trying time. So… next!
My new intention for July (and beyond, given my late start) is to eliminate processed food from my lifestyle. (I use that word as opposed to “diet”, as this is not a plan to fix anything, but to implant shifts in my conciousness and actions.) But, what does that mean? “Processed” is a tricky word, as basically nearly all food is processed at some level these days, even frozen vegetables and organic milk. So, to be clear, here are some guidelines I am (trying to) stick to:
Don’t eat anything:
1. If it has more than five ingredients. In general, stay away from anything in a box or bag with a label.
2. If it wasn’t grown or living at some point. This means meat is sometimes the better option than, say, “cheese product”.
3. If I can not make it (theoretically). I could grow corn and freeze it. I cannot make Lance crackers.
Other things to keep in mind: Cheaper is not always better, although more higher-priced food is not necessarily worth it (vegatable are, in general, inexpensive). Sometimes fresh, organic produce and protien are not readily available and sometimes I won’t know every ingredient of everything I am consuming. Like all my monthly intentions, this is a practice and I am not perfect. I will just do my best. This means being more concious of what I put in my body, remembering that it really is a temple (as is yours) and needs to be tended to and cared for with respect and mindfulness. Purity does not equal sterility; I wil eat, enjoy, sip, and laugh. But I will do so with the intention of only putting in what I want to put out – in my speech, thoughts, pores, and waste. This is not about weight, calories, restriction, or finality. This month of Saucha is a reminder that we really are what we eat (as well as what our food eats, but let’s save that for another post). So… lass uns essen!