Spiritual Reasons Why I’m a Vegetarian


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!

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How to Smudge

Hola gorgeous Goddess!

A lovely goddess asked me a couple of days ago if she was smudging the right way.

With all these things – just trust your beautiful intuition, and set the intention to clear your energy or space, and that’s perfect.

Here’s just one way you can smudge yourself…

How to Smudge Yourself : A Goddess Guide from Goddess Leonie on Vimeo.

Begin with a smudge stick – you can purchase these from new age bookstores, health stores & online. Smudge sticks are made from dried herbs – common herbs include sage, sweetgrass, lavendar and pine.

Light it with a candle until one end is fully lit. Then blow gently to extinguish the flame until the smudge stick is smouldering.

Using your hand or a feather, waft the smudge stick all around your aura. Smudging helps to release negative energies, clear away anything that is old or stuck, and bring you into the present moment. SO beautiful!

Keep smudging until you feel cleansed and clear. Remember to smudge around your hands, head and feet as well.

After finished, I like to give a prayer of thanks.

When extinguishing, use sand or a terracotta bowl to ensure all the burning embers are extinguished.

Hope this is helpful, precious soul!
Big love,

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The Beauty of Away.

Holidays are holy days. They are days and nights of journeying and learning. They are going away from home in order to return home to myself. 

Holy-days are not one neat, small story bundled into one. They are a cornucopia of the little stories, the little blessings, the tiny miracles, the shifts and the moments.

What if I just told you some of these little stories? Would they all thread together so you might know just a little of what it was?

Sitting in the tree with my big sister. Talking and laughing and getting each other. Her laugh makes me feel like she totally and utterly gets me. When we were kids, we were so connected we were more like twins. It kinda feels the same now.

Waking up in the morning to the most beautiful dawn in the world – there is always a soft fog over the paddocks and between the trees. The dog and horses are always outside waiting. It is quiet and heavenly.

Little sis & her lil pony, Storm

Having a huge lunch beneath the trees. Large, mismatched tables with white tablecloths. Twenty brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles. Family.

Just some of us.

Sitting out by the campfire every night. Perfecting how to cook a marshmallow. Talking. Laughing. It’s my very favourite thing in the world to do at night.

Planting a crystal grid all around our farm house with my sisters, cousin, niece and nephew. My niece and nephew showing everyone in their pure, precious way how to listen to crystals through your ears and heart. My beautiful, intuitive nephew planting the generator crystal, blessing it, breaking a stick over his leg, and cleansing the home with his clapsticks. Sacred wonder. Hawks dipping down, circling to watch over us.

Finding a hippie healing+crystals+bookstore opened up in my small-town home town. Walking in to find one of my friends from school is the owner. It’s been twelve years since we were adventuring in astral travel and spell-creating. So beautiful that she’s still doing her journey and living it… and that I’m still doing mine. (Yay! I can move back there now, knowing my kind of store+people are there.) Going back again and again for talks and healings and chai tea. Best.ever.

Waking up in the morning to go climb my favourite tree. My Dad drives up to the house on his motorbike. “Where are you Leonie?” he calls. “Up the tree!” I call back. He comes out to stand beneath the tree. Some things just never change. And I like that.

My little sister and I giving my grandmother and nan a spa day in the sun – using gorgeous moisturisers to nourish their skin that’s been living for ninety years. Holy and blessed.

Mamma-kins!

Not being Goddess Leonie for a while. Not even being Leonie. Just being Boney – my childhood nickname. Stealing bear hugs from my dad. Playing “four in the bed” with my mum and sisters in the morning. Climbing my favourite tree. Just being quiet and still and not working and not thinking. Making campfires the most important part of the whole day.

Motorbike riding with my 15 year old cousin Lokkie up into the hills. Only slowing down to give each other a big, happy grin before careening off again. I remembered just how zenned out I feel on a motorbike, feeling the wind all around me, and the grace of the earth beneath me, and the flowing movements like a fish swimming.

Missing my love like a bear misses its cave. I don’t want to be all crazy love song, but he really is my starlight.

Going crystal shopping with my sweet sister-in-law Sharne, and her full moon belly where  her daughter is growing, getting ready to bloom. Taking photos of her floating in her pool, the sunlight dancing all over her like stars on a night sky.

My beautiful big brother taking Sharne and me to a secluded beach. I photograph them together, laughing and holding each other and the belly where their daughter lives. They are all white and drenched with blessings. A dog swims out into the sea beside us. 

Crystal gridding the land with my mum in the sunset. Rainbow colours of calcite beneath trees. Making a labyrinth on my family’s farm with cousins and siblings and children. It sits by a rainforested creek bed, beneath white gums. We are undoing all that has passed, and blooming our beautiful new tomorrow. Feeling the energy shifting, changing, blooming.

Going to a beautiful, secluded beach with my big, beautiful tribe. My dad has organised a surprise lunch date for us all there. We sit beneath leafy fronds by a swirling turquoise sea, blissed out and happy. I photograph my tribe. How is it that family teaches us how to love so utterly what could be complete strangers? Family is not just my kin-kin: it is the people they love too, and the distant threads that weave us together. All the ways that our cells could light up at seeing each other.

Playing the “who is my cousin” game with my cousin Sherrin. She has the most beautiful laugh in the world that warms me up like cumquat syrup. I am teaching her that in Proserpine, the town named after a Goddess, we are all related. We are all cousins. To prove the point, another cousin pulls up a chair to our table at the airport. As we walk through security, a security guard is a cousin. We take bets on the air host being our cousin. And the reason we know our cousins here in Proserpine? Because our elders are still here, still remembering, still knowing all the ways we are connected and intertwined.

And maybe if we still had the elders of this planet around, they could teach us too how related we all are, how we actually are all each other’s family, how our genes sing to each other too. How at the end of the day, you are my cousin too.


I think everyone in the world should have a big brother like mine…

I’m not kidding, cuz. I don’t think we’re really that far apart. Proserpine is just a microcosm of the world.

The End.

{The End is a Leonie Trademark of finishing up a story. I say it all ze blinking time. It all started because of Chris. I’d tell him a hilllllarious story (to me), and finish it… and he would say “Is that it? Where’s the punchline honey????”

So now, it’s all about saying The End so he knows when he’s supposed to laugh. Because he’s awesome, and always does. As long as he knows it’s The End.

The End.}

And home again. But this time with this little dream in me that has remembered who I am when I’m on the farm. The parts of me that wake up at sunrise, because the sun is calling me out to play on the dew-kissed earth, playing with the animals. Playing.

I remembered how to play again, like I always have.

The child inside me is not so far away.

For all these gifts and more – I am crying as I write this.


Thank you farm. Thank you Proserpine. Thank you for teaching me who I am.

Love, as wide as the Proserpine sky.

xoxoxo

P.S. I’m slowly adding more photos to my Facebook album if you’re up for more holiday journeying goodness.

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Goddess Allsorts: Brought to you by poo edition

Hola gorgeous Goddess!

It’s that happy day of the week… Goddess Allsorts day!
This is the day I share with you all kinds of scrummy inspiration I find around the place & want to share. Allsorts that don’t make much sense together, but are perfectly perfect. A whole smorgasboard of delight for you to nibble on!

You Digest = Me Smarter

I always feel smarter after watching You Digest. It’s a videoblog created by the lovely and brainy and throughtful and shiny Kirstin. She pours through all the interesting things that are happening in the world (i.e. news) and makes them into digestible, absorbing thoughtnotes ripe for consumption.

It’s kinda hard to explain, but whenever I watch You Digest, I feel like I’m smarter.

Plus, I adore Kirstin.

The End.

Kiss The Paper

I found Kiss the Paper through my lovely friend Artizen Jenn. Jenn coaches two sisters to explore their relationship and lives through creativity. It’s mesmerising and heartful and beautiful.

Colin is so popcorn right now

I totally adore my dear friend Penelope. She’s one of those girls I’d be pony-tailed friends with when I was 12. She’s an amazing illustrator, mama and soul.

But my new link-adore is for her holy-awesome hubby Colin. He’s a brilliant writer, but no, that’s not why I’m linking to him. My link-glory goes to his Flickr stream – because I can and have spent hours going through it, giggling my head off at his commentary.

Favourites are his I Saw The Sign set, this photo and this photo.

And now for something completely different…

It’s a story about poo. No, really.
This Pee Poo Bag story about changing the world had me completely riveted.

How can I top the Pee Poo bag?

It must be with this spellbindingly beautiful sound maker.

On following your heart & making a movement

And finally…

Some days, to follow your own heart, you have to dance a dance nobody else is dancing. You have to be brave. Be positive. Dance joyfully. Make movements that haven’t been made before. And you will feel silly doing it. You will also feel unstoppably free.

And for those moments when you feel lonely doing it…

I just want you to know…

The tides will turn. Your dance will show others how to dance.

Your laughter, freedom and beautiful spirit will enlighten others so they can live out theirs.

I believe in you. Just remember this video.

Yay!

Keep dancing your crazy dance, button.
The world will catch on.

Lovesicles,


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