Grief. Here it is again.
It seems like I live in a perpetual state of grief these days. Right now it’s amplified. As I write this post, the tears stream down my face. I feel so much compassion for the American and World citizens who will be brutally impacted by a Donald Trump presidency—for those who will now feel unsafe and unwelcome in their own country/planet. Yesterday I felt numb, the news too heavy to absorb. Today I have many feelings emerging about this election outcome.
American voters chose a President who lives from the most profound fear I have ever witnessed in a public figure. He is deeply frightened of women, deeply afraid of people who look differently, deeply afraid of those who pray differently, deeply afraid of nature and animals, and terrified of being rejected. Bullies are always afraid. Bullies know no love. Yet more than half of the American populous who showed up at the polls voted for fear. Donald Trump is a perfect mirror for their own victim consciousness.
I feel today the same way I did when I was 23 years with a new career in policing. I was a fresh graduate from University with a finely tuned academic mind. I found out very quickly that my worldview was in stark contrast to 95% of the people I interacted with while in uniform. My naivety had me believe that everyone could have a post-secondary education and make a ‘successful’ life for themselves. This was quickly abandoned. I had to learn a new language so I could communicate with those who had either dialled 911, or those they had dialled about. It was not pretty, it was not uplifting and it was very real.
This population is prevalent in western societies, yet for the most part, they remain invisible. With Donald Trump as their spokesperson, they have risen to the forefront of consciousness. As a result, we now stand in shock as we witness how fear-based victim living has a powerful stranglehold on our culture.
This is not the world I choose to live in. I choose love, life, openness and courage. I choose to process my shit so I don’t smear others with it. I choose to own my life rather than be a victim to it.
So the question I now ask is, how do I choose to live in this new world? My answer: the same way I always have. For as long as I can remember I have had to constantly remind myself that the horrors I witness are not my choice. Nothing has really changed, it was always a mess. Dead animals on tiny foam trays, a sea of frozen dead turkeys wrapped in white plastic on sale for 99 cents a pound at Christmas, toilet paper made of clear cut forests, and a collapsing biosphere with the putrid signature of growth and consumption. The list goes on and on: the fear-based living machine has been hard at work for my entire lifetime.
Now it is amped up and more visible. It can no longer be denied. So I cry for those who are just starting to understand the deep trouble we are in. I cry for those who feel legitimate fear based on nothing other than a physical characteristic.
Yesterday as I was trying to process the election outcome, our neighbour struck up a conversation as I returned from a dog walk. He looked over at the canoe in our carport and asked me if I fish. I told him that I don’t fish and in fact, I don’t eat animals. He was stunned by my response. With genuine concern he asked me, “how do you stay alive?” I have been asked a lot of questions over the years about protein, calcium and B vitamins etc., but I have never been asked how I stay alive. I was stunned and speechless. The only thing I could muster out of my mouth was “its easy” as I quickly scurried home.
After a day of processing that strange interaction, I realize that my deeper answer would be that veganism is what keeps me alive. I don’t mean the science of plant-based nutrition although I am sure that helps, I mean the deeper significance of choosing to eat plants over animals.
What brings joy into my heart and feeds my soul is my connection to animals and the natural world. The thick soft ears on my puppies head, the stunningly beautiful waterfall in the park at the end of my street, the way a pig rolls over with a soft grunt for a belly rub, the gentle birds who seems to float in the sky, my new friend Chunky the pony (photo above) who captures my heart with his big horse personality stuffed into the sweetest, tiniest horse body I have ever seen. Witnessing these natural spectacles is what makes my life luxurious.
My daily food choices match my deep knowing that animals and the natural world were never mine to consume. They have always had their own life-force and their own reason for being here that has nothing to do with my dining preferences.
When I did choose to eat from the animal world many years ago, I was not nearly as alive as I am now. Being vegan continues to allow me the space to be a peaceful part of this magical earthy experience. Any choice that takes the life of another would only eat away at my own life force. I know this intimately now.
My neighbour’s question came from a place of profound fear. It was palpable. There was no opening for me to even consider discussing with him the science or joy of veganism. Fear is like that though. It shuts people down. I see the parallels to the situation in the US. Fear and confusion loom large and it looks like they have won. We always have choice though, and our internal state is ours and ours alone. I will allow the grief to move through me over the next little while, but I know nothing will actually change in the end for me personally. I will still go for amazing hikes with my family, prepare delicious meals and goodies, create joyous expressions of my creative side with reclaimed wood, and empower others to lead from love.
Be gentle with yourself right now, take the time to breath and allow the feelings that come with this big change to move through. Feelings never stick if they are allowed to flow, they only get sticky if we deny them or if we forget to breath.
Much Peach and Love,
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