Saturday, May 3, 2014

Moving toward a better sort of life

The more I learn about being gluten free, the more I stumble across all these other details about eating well and eating clean and living better. I mean, I knew the food system was messed up, and I've always sort of been a do-it-yourselfer, but I don't think I really knew just how messed up it was--or how easy, a lot of the times, it is to do stuff yourself. To just think about things beforehand.

Okay, I'm not going to be one of those creepy preachy sorts--I know what I want to do, and I'll be telling you guys as I go what's appropriate to whatever I'm doing, but I'm NOT going to harp on you. First of all, I have no business telling anyone else what to think when I'm trying so hard to just get my own thinking in line. Second, I really, really dislike being told what to do myself, so I'm not going to do that to you. And third, I really don't like that impulse of new converts to anything that goads you / tries to goad me into talking about it all the time while being super high-and-mighty about it, too. Nope. I'm avoiding that at all costs.

But I know that this life I have right now, though improving, is not the life I want.

So I'm working toward doing better--to building the life I want by:

  • Eating better--I'm continuing with the gluten free living, and figuring out how to do that without spending a lot of money I don't have, or going completely seedy-paleo, which seems too extreme.* I'm also slowly replacing white starches with whole starches or with non-starch alternatives, battery-farmed stuff with sustainable stuff, and fake stuff (like margarine) with real stuff (like butter and coconut oil).
  • Replacing weird chemicals--In my body-care products, my food, my household cleaning, my food-storage containers. This one is really hard and tends toward expensive or do-without-y, but there's only so much stinky-hippy-stereotype I can deal with, and I'm researching all the time.
  • Figuring out where my personal spirituality is right now--I went through all sorts of phases as a kid, and I was a happy neopagan for a long time, but I think I'm just amorphously spiritual now, and I want to define it better for myself so I can work and life closer to my spiritual core and my core beliefs. That takes sifting and weighing--and the space to do that on my own.
  • Getting back in shape--I'm still heavier than I want to be, and I'm still wildly out of shape, but I can almost always walk, I know enough yoga to get by, and I'm looking for movement classes I can take that won't break the bank or kill me or add too much extra stress.
  • De-stressing--so I can refind balance and peace and listen to myself and the universe more without getting all jammed up in that narrow tunnel of freaking out and worrying about EVERY SINGLE THING.
  • Figuring out my priorities--I'm damned sure of Travel, Peace, Balance, Self-Determination, Creative Expression...but the rest of the world and life is a little hazier. It's a start, though, and it's a thing.
  • Fully embracing DIY as a lifestyle--Especially in the food arena, because why should I spend so freaking much on store bought versions of things I could make my damn self with very little effort? Especially if they taste better and are healthier?? I'm also going to look into making clothes, get back to making accessories, I've already got the garden squeaking back into existence, and I'm going to make jam this summer if it's the only thing I do!
  • Looking for a better place--I'm going to start, little by little, visiting people and checking out their cities. Somewhere, there's got to be a city that clicks with me as well as the UK does without the requirement of selling my soul, leaving everything behind and giving up my cat, to get there. Somewhere that better fits what I think of as a city, as a climate, as a neighborhood I'd like to live in, as a scene with people more like me and less like idiots and jerks.
Most of this is just barely started, or barely gotten back to, but I'm looking. I'm trying to pay attention to myself, and to look where coincidence is showing me what I haven't really noticed yet**, and I've given myself deadlines for deciding and doing.

And that's a start.

How do you decide to change when change is needed? I'm really curious, if you're willing to share!

*Paleo itself is fine, and I've found all sorts of meals that are SO DELICIOUS LOOKING that are paleo; but when you're eating basically the same things that are literally in birdfood in basically the same forms, it's too far. And I don't like any diet that excludes whole chunks of available foodstuffs--I'm too poor to not buy the cheap options, and I'm too convinced that we're omnivores for a reason to not be omnivorous.
**I'm pretty sure that almost any form of divination, including Looking For A Sign, is just our conscious brains filtering what the unconscious mind is picking up because the unconscious already knows where it's going and it takes a while for the conscious to catch up. It looks like it's telling you a message because it's pointing out what you already know and getting you ready to admit it and face it.
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