I went to my local supermarket today and turned up the usual aisle for veggies, salads and what-not and instead found myself surrounded by endless packets of meat. Of course, they’ve rearranged again! And because it’s nearing Christmas all the meaty stuff has made its way nearer the front of the store. Curiously I felt slightly affronted by this! It surprised me as much as it did all those months ago when I found myself suddenly in the vegetarian section of the store — I hadn’t even known there was one! Then I was full of relief as I was tiptoeing into veggie-eating and discovering so many new things to eat; now I’m irritated by how meat-oriented the wintry seasons seem to be. Funny how things change and my perception of what is a legitimate foodstuff has shifted so much!
But Christmas is looming now and bringing with it a host of unwelcome choices and social dilemmas, all centred around food. At work I’m in dialogue with the chef about vegetarian cheese and what Parmesan is made from, trying to figure out if he’s serving anything I would happily eat or what compromises to make for the sake of team harmony; at home I’m trying to negotiate the menu for not one but two family Christmas dinners (neither of which I’m cooking) and how to manage some vegetarian-friendly options for me and Hubby without causing extra work for everyone.
I told a friend recently that I was finding vegetarianism hard right now. Not because I’m giving up anything I’d still like to eat; this way of eating has chosen me, not the other way around, it’s just my taste that has changed. But one thing follows from another and suddenly Parmesan cheese has become a minor issue for me. I’m not sure what my ‘rules’ are right now. Everything is so fluid, I flow along somewhat helplessly. No wonder those around me also feel at sea!
Asana practice flows too and I’m just trying to keep up with that also, measure my breath with where my body is asking to go. More exploration, more curiosity than I would ever willingly ask for. It pours through me. Sometimes it feels like a tidal wave of new sensations and new possibilities. There is no firm ground, I’m just trying to keep my head above water. If you’re drowning the best advice is to relax, isn’t it? To stop fighting and allow the water to support you.
The ebb and flow of water and of breath. Necessities for life, both of them. So many similarities and so much rich metaphor. I’m awash with it.