A Family of Butterflies

butterflies
Image by iammi-z

I love Leo Babauta. I love his blog. I love his book. I love his rockin’ uncopyrighted awesomeness. And in his book and blog, he offers the advice of laser-focusing on one goal at a time so as to not dilute one’s effectiveness.

Taking his advice, my one goal at the moment is Wellness. Wellness to me is a healthy diet, exercise, and an uncluttered home. Currently, my cluttered home, filled and spilling over with stuff, is causing me a lot of stress. I have a deep desire for an uncluttered, peaceful home. That’s why it’s on the Wellness List.

So for the past few months, and more intensely in the past few days, I have been trying to stay on the vegan raw food diet. Also, in the last few days, I have been getting up at 5:00am in an attempt to exercise.

And that brings us to the heart of this blog entry: It is hard! Gosh, I think I need to write that again because those simple words don’t seem to do the act justice:

It is incredibly — in a soul-wrenching, punch-in-the-gut kind of way — hard. I feel like a drug addict trying to give up her dope. Passing by the donuts in the grocery store, not going to McDonald’s when I get hungry, getting up at 5:00am even though I’m still really sleepy — each one of these things requires an upheaval of the soul followed by industrial-strength commitment. And I’m tempted over and over throughout the day, and, needless to say, I do eventually cave into my old unhealthy habits that feel like my favorite pair of pajamas on a Sunday morning.

But, you see, those pajamas are not quite so comfortable anymore. In fact, they’re kind of itchy and thread-bare and don’t feel very good at all anymore. So, after giving into my old habits and eating that lunch at McDonald’s and then feeling incredibly sick afterwards (if you eat lots of healthy food and then eat fast food, you feel really sick afterwards), I pull myself up off the ground (clutching my stomach which, of course, is cramping now after all that poisonous non-food), dust the dirt off, and start working doggedly, decisively, willfully on my new habits.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: I know it’s hard to change yourself — your habits, your routines, your personal comfort zone, your personal culture. I’m in the middle of it right now too. It’s exhausting, frustrating, and unfortunately, sometimes even depressing. After a long day of standing up against your old unhealthy habits, you crawl into bed feeling like you’ve been in the ring all day with Muhammad Ali and all you have left is maybe a shred of dignity because you went up against such a strong and unrelenting opponent and you’re still able to move. I just don’t want you to feel alone on your difficult journey. There are a lot of us — an invisible but tangible family bonded by the desire to each be a better person — quietly (or sometimes quite loudly) encouraging each other.

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