Happy Friday, friends! I hope some of you have enjoyed reconnecting with people as things start to open up! Life is starting to feel a bit more normal, but I’m missing your faces oh so much! I’m taking every opportunity I can to get outside and stay busy, and I hope you are, too. A few of my highlights from this week…
Went to beach yoga – My own yoga practice has really taken a backseat the past few weeks, and I really, really miss going to class. Zoom just isn’t the same, and while studios are still closed, I’m so happy that outdoor classes are starting up. My amazing friend, Lori, hosts multiple classes weekly on Wollaston Beach in Quincy, and yesterday I had a blast soaking up the morning sun with her. If you live locally, treat yourself to a class! If not, I’m sure you can find one in your area. It’s so good for the soul!
Built a vegetable garden – I started nursing some seedlings several weeks back, but last week Matt actually built me a little raised bed in our yard. We had a bunch of old wood from a broken fence, and he used the pieces to construct a little rectangle for our vegetables. Hopefully I’ll have some tomatoes to share with you all in a few months!
Made dinner reservations – Matt and I have a dinner date tonight and I’m SO excited. I purposely booked it at a restaurant overlooking the bay, and the sunsets here are magnificent. Our seating time is at 8 PM, just in time for a romantic sunset and some delicious seafood. If you’re ever visiting Hull, check out Local 02045.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how we all grow and evolve at our own pace. Since then I’ve really been reflecting on my own journey and all the things I’m doing now, many of which I never would have imagined possible. While I learned so much in my first 28 years of life that shaped who I am today, I attribute a lot of my growth to the teachings of yoga. Learning to love myself unconditionally, listen to my body and find bits of joy in every day are all major life lessons that have really clicked over the past five years. I’m living a healthier, more fulfilled life, I’m more open minded and I’m genuinely pretty content with life.
Looking back, a lot of the shifts happened so gradually that I don’t even remember making a conscious change, and I think that’s the key to self improvement. We don’t like to be pushed out of our comfort zones and routines, and while sometimes it’s necessary, we don’t always have the willpower to make those moves on our own. It’s like trying to quit smoking cold turkey. On the other hand, if we keep our day to day relatively the same and make small tweaks, they are less detectable and can fit more snugly into our lives.
For example, a few years ago I started buying almond milk instead of cow’s milk, an easy transition considering I don’t drink milk by the glass or eat cereal. It was one small tweak that didn’t have a huge effect on my daily routine, but over the years I’ve learned to use it in recipes, and it has piqued my interest in experimenting with other plant-based options, like cooking with coconut milk, or using coconut cream instead of whipped cream on desserts. Now we go through at least one box a week. It was like my gateway kitchen staple that opened the doors to finding other healthier options. More on my adventure in plant-based foods below.
But evolution doesn’t just apply to your eating and exercise habits. You can also change your values, inspiring you to make other changes in your life regarding who you support, what organizations you engage with, etc. You were likely raised on your parents’ beliefs, and they may not align with your life anymore (don’t worry, Mom & Dad. You did a great job!). If you used to believe one thing and now your views have changed, that is 100% ok. I used to roll my eyes at my friends for little things like abstaining from alcohol for a month or trying out a new healthy eating plan. Now I barely ever drink, and I’m the person I used to make fun of.
I also used to believe that racism wasn’t a big problem in our country and didn’t exist where I live. Because I wasn’t a racist myself and never saw acts of violence before my own eyes, I thought it was ok to just “feel bad” when I saw things on the news without taking any action myself. I understand now how completely wrong I was, but it doesn’t make me a hypocrite when I say I want to be part of the change. How is the world supposed to evolve to become a better place if WE don’t evolve to become better human beings? No matter how big or small the issue, how personal or how global, how mundane or controversial, you can always change your mind. No one is going to call you out, and if someone does, maybe you should consider whether or not that person is having a positive effect on your life.
You can fight against climate change even if you’ve spent the last ten years working in the oil industry. You can choose to spend your Friday nights cooking healthy dinners and going to bed early even if you used to shut down the clubs and eat pizza slices at 2 AM. You can decide to show your support for a cause even if it has never come up in conversation in the last 30 years of your life, or better yet, if it has and you’ve had a negative conversation about it. Embrace the inspiration to support yourself and the greater good. Embrace the change. It’s all part of the process of growth, and we’re all evolving together, one step at a time.