July 2009

How to survive work meetings and courses

by Leonie Dawson on July 19, 2009

Hola gorgeous Goddess!

I made you a little something special. To help you survive (and bloom) during work meetins and courses. Created (of course) during a particularly spell binding work course I was on.

Feel free to download, print and paste in your special “Work Meeting Doodlefest” notebook.

 

 


And to my work bosses reading this: I swear, I was totally listening when I wrote this. 

Even TIME says doodling helps us pay attention.

Meeting-goddess love to you,
Your goddess-correspondent on the ground,

____

Goddess Project: Create your own Permission Slip

by Leonie Dawson on July 17, 2009

Hola gorgeous Goddess,

Today, you have a goddess project to do. Do you accept this mission?

Ba-ba-background

A couple days ago, my sweet cubicle-buddy Artemis (from The Happy Go Round) and I were talking about the things we felt obligated to do that felt so heavy. Like we needed to do this and that in order to feel like we were “nice”… and meanwhile our sweet spirits were craving something else.

And at some point I said… “you know what? I give you express permission to NOT contact people unless it makes you happy.” And her whole face lit up. And she said “You know what Leonie? I’m giving you permission to not always be available!” And my sweet little heart felt so very relieved.

Like we’d just put down some very, very heavy loads.

And then we got some office stationery and made each other permission slips to remember.

So your task today…

Work out what you need your permission slip to be.

Check in with that beautiful soul of yours, and find out what it is craving.

If everything was possible and easy, what would you give yourself permission for?
Do you need to stop doing something?
Do you need to start doing something?

And then…

Write it in the comments here. Or in your journal. Somewhere. Just put it out into the world, like a whisper of a wish. It will come back to you, riding on starlight. I promise.

Double deluxe project

What would it look like if you actually made your permission slip?
And popped it where it could remind you?
You.can.do.it.
I believe in you.
Would it go above your desk? In your sacred corner? On your altar? In your journal? In your diary?

Go for it

I’m totally supporting you in giving yourself permission to do what you need to do.
I believe in you.

Love, your cheerleader with ra-ra pom poms spangled in glitter and magic,

____

Spiritual Reasons Why I’m a Vegetarian

by Leonie Dawson on July 14, 2009


This is supposed to be a photo of me meditating with my beloved broccoli. Instead, it ended up being the puppehs photobombing, trying to eat my broccoli, and me trying not to piss myself laughing. Perfect!

Hola gorgeous Goddess!
Three and a half years ago, I made the decision to become vegetarian. I’ve been vegetarian most of that time since then, except for some holidays and a period earlier this year when I was iron-deficient. I’ve written before about accepting all those incongruous parts of myself: the vegetarian and the sometimes-not-vegetarian.

Today I wanted to share the spiritual reasons *why* I’m a vegetarian, and the differences it has made in my life.

First, some disclaimers.

Disclaimer: The Ancient Ways

I am well aware that many ancient (and modern) traditions not only meat, but include it in their spirituality, including Native American and Indigenous Australian. These are also traditions I am inspired by and have learned deeply from.

If I lived in a culture where animal-killing and meat-eating was integrated into daily and spiritual lives, I may not be vegetarian.

But for me, right now, with the disconnect between the animal being killed, the meat being eaten, and the lack of soulful consciousness around it, vegetarianism is the right spiritual choice for me.

Disclaimer: What’s good for me might not be good for you

I have many friends who are not vegetarians, and consciously choose not to be vegetarians. Some choose this for health reasons. Some feel they become ungrounded when they don’t eat meat.

I have no idea what is right and good for you. However your spirit calls you is perfect for you – and I’m not wanting to change you. All I wish to do is offer my story of my spiritual journey through vegetarianism, and share about what gorgeous gifts it has brought to my life. It may sing to you – and it may not.

And that’s utterly perfect.

I trust in your intuition, and doing what is beautiful for you.
Yay!

And now… onto my story!

Why I decided to go vegetarian.

I can pin point the exact moment I decided to become a vegetarian. I was reading Ram Dass’ glorious “Be Here Now” book. In it, he talked about why his Indian gurus were vegetarian: they believed that when an animal died, it experienced a whole lot of anxiety and fear, with testosterone and adrenaline coursing through its blood. And when we eat the meat of that animal, we intake that energy too: of anxiety, fear, testosterone and adrenaline.

And in that moment, it all light-bulbed for me.

I knew that it was true. I knew that I really, really did not want to intake any of those chemicals or energies anymore.

A little background.

Many of you know I was born on a cattle farm. My childhood was big on meat-eating. My family are meat-eaters. Meat has always been a part of my life.

I also know that it’s true that animals are experiencing anxiety and adrenaline when they are slaughtered.
If you think they don’t know what’s happening, consider this:

A cow spends most of her life happily eating grass in a field. About every six months, she is rounded up for a day in the yard for weaning, branding, needles, drafting and moving around. It’s a stressful day for them. It’s way out of their comfort zone.

And then, if it’s slaughter day, they are loaded up in a truck (which they’ve usually never been on before), and driven along the road at a speed and height they never usually experienced. Then they are herded off the truck and into the abbatoir. If you haven’t been to an abbatoir, you’re missing out on something totally disgusting. The smell is absolutely horrific. There is mud and blood everywhere, cattle are freaking out and nobody in their right mind will live near (or downwind of an abbatoir). Holy dinger, it’s gross-kies.

I’m not telling you this because I’m an animal activist. I’m not trying to be all doomsday conspiracy theorist.
I’m trying to illustrate for those who don’t know about the process what it is like for cows. Just how far out of their comfort zone a cow is before it is killed. It might not know it’s going to die – but it doesn’t need to. It’s already got adrenaline and testosterone being flooded into its blood. It’s experiencing fear and anxiety.
Just on an energy level – you are eating a cow’s most freaked out, terrified, anxious day in its life.
It’s not thinking about love and flowers and grass and goodness.

What thoughts would you rather eat?

The Big Change.

So I read those words in the Ram Dass book. And thought about my life on the cattle farm (none of which I regret, or feel traumatised by.) It was just adding 1+1 together.

I wanted to live a peaceful life.

It made sense to eat food that didn’t have adrenaline and testosterone chemicals in it.

I rolled over to Chris.

Sweetie, do you mind if I become vegetarian?

I expected some resistance from him. It would mean changing all our meals and cooking – and he would be affected dramatically by it.

But there was none.

That sounds fine hon.

I paused.

You do realise I won’t be eating or cooking meat anymore at home, right?

Yep. I know. That’s fine.

And as simple as that, I became vegetarian.

A word about partners.

I know not all partners would be as fine about that decision as Chris was.
I know there can be strong resistance to making such a lifestyle change.
I also know we all need to make the right decisions for us.
We can’t live our lives not listening to our spirits, even if that means making some fairly minor inconveniences for our partners.

Are there ways you can make your lifestyle choice work for both of you? 

Can you create a tasty vegetarian meal, and they can add meat if they want it?

Can they get their meaty protein intakes while eating out or during lunch?

Chris honours my choice in vegetarianism – but even if he didn’t, I’d still make that choice for me anyway. He still eats Macca’s burgers when he likes. He occasionally buys lamb or chicken to cook at home. He has a stash of frozen burger patties in the freezer if he wants some. When his body tells him to eat meat, he does. Most of the time though, he’s vegetarian. He gets to make his choices, and I get to make mine.

What happens when you become vegetarian?

There have been some significant changes in my life since becoming vegetarian.

Detox dreams

I gave up meat cold turkey (ha! punny!) that night I read that book. And over the next two to three weeks, I had the most violent, fear-filled nightmares. I talked to a lot of vegetarian friends, and they had all experienced similar things when they gave up meat.

It felt like all the built up adrenalin, anxiety and fear was leaving my body, and those awful dreams were the result of it.

After those few weeks though, they stopped. And didn’t return.

Nightmare-less

Ever since I was a kid, I have had pretty horrendous, scary nightmares at least once a week. The kind you wake up in a sweat from, ones that kinda put you off kilter for at least the next morning. They were all about being hunted, running away, fear and anxiety.

Chris was so used to me having nightmares, he’d wake up when he heard my breath getting laboured, and wake me up from them.

They were bad. Uck. Awful. And I hated having them. Especially so often.

But after I became vegetarian? And had all those detox dreams?

They stopped. Just like that.

I can count on one hand the amount of times in the last three and a half years I’ve had nightmares since then.

That is absolutely *huge* for me, and I’ve got tears in my eyes writing this. Tears at how much those dreams tormented me, and tears at the relief, gladness and joy of not having them any more.

I don’t know *why* exactly I used to have nightmares when I eat meat – and none now that I don’t – and I don’t know if it’s the case with all vegetarians. I wonder if that build up off yuck-energy-and-chemicals from eating meat manifests in nightmares. I do know it absolutely, categorically works for me.

As a case in point, recently I went back to my family’s farm for holidays. And for the first few days I was happily munching away on light, mostly raw, vegetarian foods. And then a little meat got thrown in here and there from everyone else’s meals. And before I knew it, I was hunking down on meat lasagne. And I didn’t think it would make much of a difference. Then I got the nightmares again. The ick, awful ones I used to get – the ones that made me wish for the night to end and dawn to come.

The next morning, I firmly decided meat was not worth the nightmares they brought me. And went straight back to vegetarian happy land.

Anxiety and peace levels

A month after becoming vegetarian, I was talking about the changes I’d felt with a friend who turned vegetarian before me.

And I realised that for the first time in a long time, my primary mode of feeling was peaceful. I just didn’t have the anxiety, panic or worry levels I used to have.

I just felt kinda calm. My energy felt clearer, my mind felt clearer.

And that’s remained constant since then. I have emotions and pain like everyone else – but my primary mode of feeling is usually just peaceful and easy.

When I do eat meat, I notice my anxiety levels soar again. I wonder if it’s the added chemicals from the meat… and as Ram Dass says – when we consume another animal’s meat, we are taking in their energy too.
Simply: I feel *way* more peaceful and easy-going when vegetarian. And more prone to anxiety, fear and worry when I eat meat.

Living a spirit-led life

For me {and as always – you need to make the right choice for your spirit} – I always feel a bit sad when I eat another animal. That’s just me. That may not be your experience.

When I do eat meat, I apologise to it, give thanks for it’s life, and hope for it to be a sacred rite. But I always feel that twinge of guilt, of sadness, of not really wanting to think about it.

It’s incongruous to my values, and to my spirit and emotions.

And it always feels a thousand percent better when I’m living, doing, being, speaking and eating from that place that fills me up with delight.

And for me, vegetarianism sings with my values.

And that feels mighty fine.
That feels like coming home.

Spiritual clarity and enlightenment

I feel clearer and healthier physically, emotionally and spiritually when I’m vegetarian. In the months after I became vegetarian, I received spiritual insights and healing at a way more advanced rate than I had before.
It felt like eating meat had put kind of a misty, mud-brown guard over me. And when I stopped eating it, it was lifted. I felt brighter and shinier and happier.

It was – and is – glorious.

Quite simply, vegetarianism is an integral part of my spirituality, and what lifts my essence. I’m eating food that nourishes me, fills me with good chemicals, and loves me right back.

And that, in itself, is life changing.

Moving further on down the track…

There are other ways I’m still exploring to optimise my diet and change my energy. Vegan, wheat-free, gluten-free and raw are all part of the parcel for me that I’m still integrating into my life. Every time I eat foods which are as close to the living source as possible, I feel shinier and shinier than ever before. Maybe in a while, once I’ve become more of a raw goddess, I’ll be able to share those differences too.

For now though:

Vegetarian is the greatest physical gift I can give to my body, mind and soul. It’s brought so many changes, blessings, gifts and miracles in my life. Even if it just got rid of my nightmares, it would have been enough. Instead, it helps me be shinier, happier and more peaceful than ever before.

More resources to help you get started:

Gone Raw: website of vegan, raw recipes
Losing your Pounds of Pain by Doreen Virtue
Eating in the Light: Making the switch to vegetarianism on your spiritual path by Doreen Virtue
Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen by Ani Phyo

Questions?

Do you have any questions about vegetarianism and its spiritual benefits, dearheart? Want to share your own experience of how your diet affects your spirituality? Comments circle away, gorgeous one. I’ll be happy to help. Anything to help you live that beautiful Goddess life of yours.

Love and gladness,
Big broccoli-shining love,

 

P.S. A gentle reminder: The Making Space for your Goddess to Shine e-course on divine decluttering & magical space clearing is starting today. So if you need some support to create a home that supports you and inspires you, sign up like now. Big love you!

____