Embracing the Phases of Our Lives
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Certainly, I’ve broken every rule of blogging: Not posting regularly, not promoting myself, not figuring out how to drive more traffic, hits, comments, and interactions. So be it.
Life has thrown other things my way since my last post in August. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I still am doing everything I can to live as simply and deliberately as possible; still doing my best to be mindful in all that I do; still seeking every opportunity to connect with the living world around me. But I’ve been busy. Let me explain.
In August, I announced that I was running for public office in an attempt to try my hand at driving positive change from inside the system. Well, it was a LOT of work running my humble campaign, but in the end it paid off and I was one of seven people elected to our Town Council. Even now, after being sworn into office, I continue to be humbled by the support and excited at the prospect of being able to help move our town in a direction that can benefit all.
While perhaps the most visibly symbolic, this new responsibility has me thinking about the phases in our lives: How they come and go; what drives them; and how they can change our behaviors and call into question every aspect of what makes us who and what we are.
For instance, after three years of committing to a vegetarian diet, I ate my first cheeseburger the other night. Sure, this might sound trivial but for me it was a really big deal. For the past month, I’ve thought a lot about the reasons our family embraced this lifestyle (animal cruelty, environmental impact of factory farming, spiritual beliefs of not killing other beings). I’ve also balanced that with researching and understanding more about some of the local farmers in my area who are committed to raising cattle (and other meat animals) in ways that address the concerns I had originally (small herds, birthing and raising on the farm, 100% grass-fed, no hormones, using animal husbandry as part of a more holistic approach towards keeping the farm health and vibrant, etc.).
In the final analysis, I think such phases are natural, representing our own mini-evolutions as we grow and learn about ourselves and the world around us. We are not static beings, forever committed to a single path in life. There is far too much out there to experience and learn from. It’s like the natural cycle of the moon — waxing and waning between being “full” and being “new” again. This cycle should ground us and comfort us knowing that we can always change and continue to become the person we want to be.