making changes, risking hurt, living consciously

Last year, around this time, I saw an amazing set of posts on Steve Pavlina’s site on going “raw”. He planned to switch to 100% raw food for January 2008, and blog about it to share the experience every day, with details. Through January 2008, I read his posts every day and began considering whether to go raw myself. I saw him slip into cooked food the day the trial ended, then switch back to raw, and he is now a committed raw food eater.

I began investigating raw food soon after, more serious in my intent. I increased the component of raw food to around 50% of my calorie intake, even joined up a raw food forum to get community support and make a bigger shift. Somewhere a few months down the journey (at around 70-85% raw), I realized that the energy it took staying raw was very difficult because the amount of work and coordination required to buy fresh fruit regularly with enough variety was impractical for me given my personal situation. I switched back to the by-now-effortless 50-60% raw, with a promise to myself that I would aim for higher % raw as soon as possible.

Steve Pavlina’s method of deciding a focus for the year, and using January as a month to kickstart it, is a very interesting concept, and I suspect my own (sudden) decision to blog every day of January 2009 was unconsciously inspired by it.

Today, I visited his site to see which area he has chosen to focus on in 2009, and am still reeling from the impact of that click of the mouse. While describing his choice for this year (Intimate Relationships), he says: “If you hold very traditional, mainstream views about relationships and especially marriage, then you probably won’t like what I’m about to say.” He is planning to attempt polyamory, and it is a concept I have not heard before :-)I can guess at what it means, but I never knew it was a movement (albeit little known) anywhere. (I guess that gives me a topic to read up on as I keep in touch with his progress in his experiment.)

In India, most marriages — good, bad, or ugly– are for life. Divorce rates  are very low compared to, say, USA. I have heard from friends that people  here also have affairs outside marriage, but I personally know very few such case (possibly more a commentary on my naivete than on reality). It is uncommon to find partnerships where kids are born before or without marriage.  When people marry, it is not assumed that 50% of them will end up divorced. Steve’s post has had me reading and re-reading to grasp what he is saying and understand the cultural context he is in, which forms his starting point for experimentation.

I am amazed at the courage of a man who is willing to share what is obviously a journey of intimacy and privacy and possible one he expects people to be uncomfortable with. Even more so, I am amazed that his wife is also able to share her thoughts on this. If nothing else, I hope that reading this experimentation thread will show me how people can be brave and try out things they feel will help, that people can take risks that run counter to norms and openly talk of them.

What I am still soaking in is Steve’s statement: “Anyone who wants to live consciously must accept that getting battered and bruised is part of the game of life. It happens.” He talks of emotional hurts, and our tendency to stay away from them and be safe.

Steve also says: “If you live your life so as to minimize your potential hurt, you’ll endure a very dull, dreary, and cowardly existence.”

I think that applies to just about anything, whether it is standing up for a cause you believe in, or pushing your talents and skills to reach new heights, or trying out new things you always wanted to do but were scared about. It is about opting to experiment, to venture out into areas you want to, risking failure for the possibility and hope of success, as against staying stagnant and safe. It is a sentence worth remembering.

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About Swapna Kishore
I'm a writer, blogger, and resource person for dementia/ caregiving in India. I have also been a dementia caregiver for well over a decade, and am deeply concerned about dementia care in India; on this blog I share my personal caregiving journey, my experiences as a resource person for dementia care, and musings on life, aging, dementia in India, and such sundries. More about me and the work I do for dementia care. For structured information on dementia, for discussions, tools and tips on caregiving issues, for resources in India, and for caregiver interviews, please check my website (or its Hindi version, For videos on dementia caregiving (English and Hindi), check the youtube channel here.

One Response to making changes, risking hurt, living consciously

  1. austere says:

    That does seem a line to remember, but I dont see myself backpacking through the towns of Italy anytime soon.

    Did follow the raw food diet- this seems a new development and how is Erin taking it?

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