New Year’s Rulins, 2016

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So, it’s a brand spanking new year, time to take a closer look at the ourselves and our journeys…if we are so inclined.

These are my guidelines, fuzzy goals I’m going to try to keep in my awareness, not things I use to make myself feel bad later. If it turns out that any of these are not right for me in the coming year, or I completely lose interest in pursuing them, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to let them go without a fuss.

1. Move away from Facebook and toward WordPress, Instagram and Insight Timer (an online community exploring meditation, spiritual growth and Buddhism), if I absolutely must have social media.

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, but what it boils down to is that I spend too much completely non-constuctive time with it. My blogs need attention, and if I can channel some of that energy into actually writing, that will be very cool. And I might even catch up on reading other blogs that I like. I’ll still post an inexhaustible stream of photos of my dogs and my Daily Cup, I’ll just do it on Instagram and my blogs, Animal Dreams and Puddle Dive.

2. Re-commit to a cruelty – free lifestyle.

I’ve been committed to this for a long time now, but I’ve noticed lately that I’ve gotten a little sloppy and lazy about it. Chicken stock in the soup? Leather on these boots? Oh well…

I’ve been a vegetarian who eats seafood (pescetarian, such a cool word) for 23 years now. I’ve eaten chicken occasionally, but no red meat. Lately, I’ve been thinking again about the impact factory farming–even of fish, because that’s where most of our food fish comes from, and it’s destroying some of our coasts– has on the environment, not to mention the constant fear, pain and misery the animals live in, and I find it sickening. Literally. It makes my stomach hurt. I don’t want to participate. Or, at least, as little as possible. So, I no longer want to eat any animal, ever. No more fish for me (I’m  not even going to mention that the FDA just approved a GMO salmon…).

And I want to make sure that the animal products I do eat/use have been produced humanely. I’ll continue to buy only products not tested on animals, also, because that’s just freaking horrible. I’d eventually like to make sure even the food I feed my pets has been produced as humanely as possible, but that’s more complicated (and expensive). That’s part of what ahimsa– a guiding principle of yogis and Buddhists– means to me. It means causing as little harm to all beings and the earth as you possibly can.

3. Establish a formal, daily meditation practice, and continue a daily yoga practice.

To start with, I’m committing to 40 days in a row of mantra meditation with my mala. I’ll go from there! I already have a daily yoga practice, but it can’t hurt to re-commit.

4. Commit more time to yoga/Buddhist/dream work/self-growth, reading, practice and study.

Pretty self-explanatory– devote more time to things that are totally gratifying, but now inexplicably takes second place to goofing around on Facebook; so this one will hopefully work in conjunction with #1.

5. Be more social.

I let a lot of relationships that I care about stagnate this past year. It was just what I needed to do, to keep all my energy for my own ailing self, but I feel better now, and I miss people.

[It’s been a few days since I wrote this, and I’m waffling on this, because I still don’t have the energy to go out even when I really want to, (and I still dread phone calls), but I don’t expect that to last all year, so I’m leaving it on the list.]

6. Appreciate the little things that make me happy.

It makes a real difference, on a lot of levels. It goes hand in hand with paying attention, because if you’re not paying attention to the little things, how could you appreciate them? It makes me feel happier all around to acknowledge little things; it helps me remember how lucky I really am. Maybe I’ll designate a day a week on Puddle Dive to write about the little things I’ve noticed and appreciated.

Here’s to 2016. Namaste.

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