Monday, March 5, 2012

Lent and the art of inspection and introspection

Greetings, Spatulans, I have returned! I have of late been dealing with personal illness and illness within my own family, as well as issues with finding a job. Most of that is resolved now and I'm back to being your Monday poster.

For today I'd like to share something I have been thinking about. It's basically an edited journal entry actually.  Most of you know what Lent is, and for those of you who don't, it's a season between Ash Wednesday and Easter that you are to forego something in a kind of "fast". Whether or not you are Christian, though, I think it is a wonderful practice in general.

For Lent this year, I decided to become a pescatarian. No, that has nothing to do with John Calvin or predestination. It means I won't eat any m eat except fish. That's the ONLY meat I will consume. One big plus is I feel a lot better eating only lean meat and veggies and this mindset has bled over into other areas of my life, influencing me to engage in healthier activities. Also, I am forced to stop and think about what I'm eating and buying and why. Does this have meat in it? Do I really want to eat this? Am I really hungry if I'm willing to put this down because it's not a sweet? If I'm not hungry, why then? Am I thirsty? Bored? Why? Depressed? Why? Suddenly an entire cascade of introspection begins causing me to analyze myself and my behaviors that bleeds into more aspects than just what I eat.

That's how our lives should be in general. All too frequently we run on autopilot. We do the same things, the same few activities, over and over and over again, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. We never stop to think "Why am I doing this?" "Is this activity good for me?" "Do I really even want to do this or am I just doing it because I always have?" "What are the alternatives?". Lent, despite popular belief, isn't about self denial; it is about self enrichment. It is about foregoing those things that are fluff and that distract us from our purpose and finding the magic within us, our purpose and meaning in life. Get out there and make some magic!

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