Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Would you like some kindness with that?

In process... (look at that lovely purple color!)

All together now!

Blueberry(&&Strawberry) Oat Bran

What would a chilly morning be without my love? Yes, this is kindness in it's own way. Okay, maybe I'm stretching the title just a bit, but my mom did by these frozen blueberries for me because she knows how I love me some berries and my heart breaks when they're out of season... so I guess it counts? Either way, my tummy was happy and I was ready to spread some kindness of my own.

But what really is kindness?

I've been pondering this for awhile now and after all that thought, there's only one thing I'm sure of:
Kindness is not limited.

It's not limited to doing something nice for someone, like my Mom getting me blueberries because she knows how I love them (thanks!) nor me making time to do the dishes for my grandmother every night since she has been stressed with her husband in rapidly declining health.

What about choosing to eat compassionately, as is suggested by a vegan lifestyle? (This is not meant as a judgement but simply as a statement related to the nickname of a vegan diet and also in reference to the title of Alicia Silverstone's book.)

Nope, there's still more.

Sure, we can be kind to others and kind to the planet, but our actions seem to differ depending on our views. Either way, kindness is kindness and it's the intention that counts. If you put out a good vibe and honestly don't mean any harm, then there's your kindness.

I know this may seem weird in a society where we always think of kindness as outward, but have you ever considered kindness towards yourself? That may sound self-centered or selfish, but I honestly don't mean it to be. In fact, I think that kindness springs from within and many times it is important to help ourselves so that we may help others.

But that's not the point.

What I really wonder is are we really being kind to ourselves? I say that I honor myself, and in truth, I try to do so in all aspects of my life. I feed my body what I know works best for me (yes, this is vegan and usually unprocessed food, but that's just me), do yoga to condition my mind and body, and take time to relax when I see fit (but sometimes that's the same as yoga, haha).

Try is the important word in all of this. I'm not perfect and that's okay. Unfortunately, in all my happiness in how good I have felt lately, I have neglected one very important aspect of my life.

As you may know from my other post, I am still trying to gain weight. The calorie aspect is no problem for me, but I have developed a bad habit that is making me uncomfortable. When I was younger, I used to not eat after a certain time, preferably dinner at 5 or 6, and not much afterwards. I did this because it felt good. I knew what worked, and although it did get ridiculous at times because I made it a point to keep to this schedule, I know it was what was right for me.

Nowadays, I have found that I'm eating later and later, not even finishing all my snacks as the time ticks away. The result of this is eating loads late a night, before I go to bed, in a rush to get in my calorie needs. Not only does that make me restless, but it is also uncomfortable on my stomach since I take in so much. I'm not suggesting that I make rules or go back to my strict times of when I was younger, but I want to promise myself right now that I will not hurt my body in this way any longer if I can help it. I understand that sometimes life happens and I will have to do this so that I can meet my goal, but I will not make it a habit any longer. I promise myself that.

Now take a look inside. Is there something you're doing internally that is keeping you from what you aim to be? I challenge you to be kind to yourself (and of course others, but that's another post), starting now.

In honor of the first official "Vegan Thursday" announced by Katie of Chocolate-Covered Katie, that's my take on kindness. I'm already vegan so every Thursday is Vegan Thursday, and for the first Vegan Thursday, I will carry out my promise of kindness to myself, and hopefully have some great eats to share.

Unfortunately, I only have a few pictures for today since I ate leftovers from last night's tofu&&cornbread extravaganza (still just as yummy by the way!).

Here's a picture of my lunch for tomorrow (I bring my lunch to school, even though it's paid for in tuition):

I've made it twice before and it's exactly how I like my lunches: yummy and simple. Not to mention warm! That is a must for the winter in Michigan. Maybe that's why I've been big on the frozen fruit in the microwave lately... hmmm... (or it could be that I'm just obsessed with fruit. But hey, that's obvious.)

I hope you all have a lovely day and take part in Vegan Thursday. Remember, the first step is kindness towards yourself. Take tomorrow to access, if nothing else.


P.S. Sam at Merit to the Carrot is having a giveaway. Check it out here. I've gotta tell you, this girl's right on track. Carrots? She's after my own heart. I adore carrots, especially roasted with almond butter for dipping. Microwaving works well, too. If you have some favorite carrot ideas, click on that link. I'm up for trying new things and I'm sure Sam would love to hear them, too.

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