I love the feeling of waking up, of surfacing. The mental state seems clarified by dreams and sleep. I love watching first thoughts bubbling up and popping. One caught me by surprise today inspired by listening to a podcast by a creative business coach. She unexpectedly found herself deciding she wanted to help one million people make a positive change in their life.
The question that came to mind as I lingered under the warmth of the duvet, disturbed only by bird calls in the trees at the foot of the garden was: what if I could inspire one million people to pledge one plant-based day per week? No animal products on the plate just for one day. And then, the free falling brain asked, what if those people then inspired just one other person to do the same?
The answer to that, according to my calculator, because I am not good with large numbers, is that one million x one million equals a trillion. That’s a far bigger number than the current population of the planet, which is somewhere between 7 and 8 billion. I realised with some relief that I wouldn’t need to directly inspire 1 million people, because heaven knows I’m an introvert and wouldn’t have a clue how to do that. If I downsize my aspiration to 1,000 people though, which feels a little less monumental as a collection of zeros, and then they all in turn inspired just one other person, the million would be more achievable, and then if each of those inspired good people inspired someone else then we’d be right back at the 1 trillion mark, or at least all talking to each other about something that could change the planet forever.
January is named after the Roman god Janus who is depicted with two heads, being able to simultaneously look into the past and into the future. Janus presides over transitions, over beginnings and endings, so it seems appropriate that it is at this time we make resolutions for change. However, I have found that when making enthusiastic statements of intent caution needs to be exercised if I am not to come unstuck by week two of a brand new year.
This is why I made my exploration into veganism an “enquiry” rather than a resolution. If I had signed up for one of the popular new year challenges I know for sure my inner critic would be giving me a hard time for lapsing at the cafe this afternoon. I caved in and ordered a steamy mug of hot chocolate rather than tea when I felt overcome by the gusty winter wind and a wave of grief. I could have asked for soy milk, I know, but I really dislike it. The barista, who according to the back of her t-shirt serves the best coffee this side of Milan, came up trumps with a beverage that was hot, thick, sweet and frothy. It was just the balm for frozen fingertips and tumbling emotions.
Sitting and spooning out the last sips, I reflected on the watchwords I had chosen to bouy me forward into the year, instead of resolutions on which to impale my year, and the world felt a much more connected and creative place to be in.
Image via nshrine.com
Something has been eating me for a while, nibbling at the edges of my conscience: how difficult can it be to switch from veggie to vegan? Admittedly, I have been known to make the odd lapse at the sight and smell of a dish of king prawns infused with ginger, coriander and lime, and the golden batter served up by our local chippie is about as good as it gets, but I can honestly say I have never wavered at that undeniably mouth-watering smell accompanying a toasted bacon sandwich. Eating out is never a hardship. Picking the “v” options is easy these days (they’re a lot less cheesy than they used to be) and most of the vegan cakes and biccies I have tried are delicious. So, it shouldn’t really be difficult to go with my conscience and live a more plant-based life, should it?
Follow me if you will, I’m going to take it one day at time, in fact one meal at a time, and chart the triumphs and the temptations of being the change I want to be. Diary entries will be short and sweet like the best butter pastry (oh dear, that’s going to have to go), but be warned, I will succumb to taking pictures of food, sharing recipes and blog links.
All pointers and encouragement gratefully received.
Picture credit: The Green Girl Next Door blog.