What do you think of when you hear the words “Plant Based / Organic”?
I believe most would correlate the words with food (some think of manufacturing plants). Food that has not been genetically modified and produced without the use of chemicals and pesticides. This could also be termed as clean, natural, and as close to the original form as possible or Non-GMO = Genetically Modified Organisms.
In America, we live in a fast-paced, productivity-driven society. Fast food, GPS systems, curbside garbage pick-up, supermarkets, Google fiber, and on-line shopping are just a few examples of how we have sped up processes to accomplish more. Efficiency is liberating. Without these wonderful manmade tools, we could be spending time simply sustaining our physical selves. But because of these tools, we are able to utilize that extra time to focus on the emotional and spiritual realms as well! But how do we really use our time? And is the efficiency of the food we eat contributing to greater health and wellness?
I’m going to advocate for a simpler life and how it contributes to SWB (spiritual well-being). If we could use the word organic and its characteristics to explain lifestyle choices, it might make more sense why we should actually spend MORE time doing some things rather than LESS. Sometimes being efficient comes at the expense of something else. For example, speeding home, stopping off at the fast food joint on the corner to make it to the next deadline or appointment seems normal and expected these days. But the stress of deadlines could cause high blood pressure, the speeding could cause a fatal accident, and the fast-food may have long-term or short-term health risks. In fact, if these sound all too common, chances are you are pushing yourself to your limits and simply surviving, and not thriving. And I bet you are justifying this behavior in your mind because it is what is expected and “normal” in our society.
Creating these efficient systems and processes that take us further from the natural state have not come without negative outcomes. Our society feeds and fuels us for greater output. So, the constant battle we face in our society is balance. Although there are wonderful benefits to these manmade advances, we must not become too far removed from our natural state because it contributes to greater SWB.
If you’d rather live a happier, healthier, and longer life, then some lifestyle changes may need to occur. You may need to foster organic experiences for yourself and those around you. Here are some suggestions:
1. Take time to understand the processes. Understanding more about your food, where it comes from, and how it gets to the supermarket may cause you to change your behavior. Learning more about your waste, where it goes and how long it takes to decompose might also be alarming. Visiting another country or studying other cultures where they spend most of their time growing and preparing food may also open your eyes.
2. Take time to be still. Ponder the complexities of life. Take time to contemplate why you are feeling a particular emotion or why you reacted in a way. Take time for yourself, because thoughts and inspiration come to you during still moments. And these experiences may bring tears to your eyes, and they should be embraced.
3. Take time for others. Listen to others, share your life and knowledge with others, and spend uninterrupted time with those you love. How often do others need you, but you don’t feel like you can come to their rescue? How often do you need support? A good rule of thumb: Give more than you get. It turns out you will get more than you feel you gave.
4. Spend time restoring yourself. Go outside. Certain activities, places, and people rejuvenate the soul. Take the time, take it often. If you take care of yourself, everyone will enjoy being around you more.
5. Cook. Take the time to obtain, prepare, cook, and eat a beautiful meal. If you find no satisfaction in this activity currently, find a way to make it more enjoyable. Get the whole family involved, rotate days, try new recipes. This is one of the best bonding activities for families and therapeutic activities for singles… to create something new. It hits the highest level of the pyramid. Learn all you can about food and how what you put in your body determines a great deal of your future ailments. A lot of current diseases are preventable by living a healthier lifestyle. Try whole and organic foods, then go gluten-free, then try vegetarian or vegan. Your body and your brain will thank you. I have several resources if you are interested…
6. Take time to exercise. Your body was made for moving. Another negative outcome for gadgets that complete tasks for us (even while I’m sitting here writing) is that we are not restoring our bodies and using the energy we are consuming. The biggest stress relievers are not medications… they are exercise, sleep, and a healthy diet.
These activities are muddled and confusing in the media today. Take the time to research and try out a few of these ideas and assess how you feel when you do. Assess how you feel when you eat something or don’t eat something. Use your body, mind and spirit as an experiment for better living. These ideas may not come easy at first, but once you adopt small changes into your lifestyle, they become easier. Start simple. Use the slogan as inspiration. What organic experiences would you like to have?