Meg: Cutting Out Cane Sugar
I made it! I learned a lot about how I use sugar to overcome exhaustion–ironic because of course it wears me out! Now the trick is to keep myself from reverting to old, bad habits. Interesting that I don’t crave sugar now –I hope I can keep it that way!
Orelia: Local/Sustainable Meat
This weekend, even though the experiment was almost over, I was camping and succumbed to my meat cravings a couple of times. I was pretty sure that this meat was not locally or sustainably raised. I wasn’t wracked with guilt, but I was a little disappointed at my own lack of resolve and how easy it was for to justify the slip ups to myself. I think there’s a lesson here about falling off the proverbial wagon. I heard this lesson again in a yoga class I took while camping. The teacher kept repeating, “It’s not how many times you stop, but how many times you start again.” So at the moment, I’m just working on observing myself and my inclinations and desires, including my wish to live a life that is authentic and sustainable and satisfying. I’m grateful for the start that 40/40/40 has given me, and I am looking forward to continually starting again.
Rob: Fair Trade Coffee
What stands out as I reflect on my 40/40/40 commitment is the “pregnant pause” that came after I asked a business or friend if their coffee was fair trade. In that brief moment, it felt like everyone (including me) was evaluating the extent to which my request was legitimate and the extent to which it was annoying. I will continue to reflect on this dynamic, and especially how asking for justice can often seem “impolite”. There’s a place for decorum, of course, but perhaps I need to be more comfortable with creating tension for the right reasons.
Rowan: Saying Grace
It was fascinating to see how this played out for me–the messaging I told myself, the time it takes, and the effects of eating with others, and the impact it had on my buying habits. When I focused on gratitude for everything that brought me the food, taking the time was much more enjoyable. It was hard to enjoy my food when I was outraged about everything that I don’t know about the growing methods and how the workers were treated, or the fact that my banana coming from South America cost less than my apple from New England. I found myself paying more close attention in the supermarket about my food choices and growing methods. Sometimes, in a rush, I would think a grace to myself while preparing my food or running around, and I sometimes found it more challenging than I would have expected. Saying grace was a practice I most appreciated when sharing food with friends–good food and good company. I’ve learned that it’s only as powerful as the mindfulness I bring to it.
Susan: No Red Meat
My family gave up red meat for the 40-40-40 campaign. To tell you the truth I felt a bit guilty as I thought we were picking something very easy since we rarely eat it and even more rarely cook it at home. We were surprised to learn that the occasional times we have bacon with our eggs or decide to grab a steak sub rather than cook at all some nights were more frequent than we realized. The capper came when we were attending the local annual May Fair and decided not to get the Indian food we often get that contains red meat. Instead we went to the organic green food both and got falafel salads where we saw among posted factoids the statement that a vegetarian driving a hummer has a smaller carbon foot print than the meat-eating Prius driver. Well I went on the web to learn more about that and found out that particular fact is inaccurate but my research headed me towards a lot of other great perspectives. Here is one I’d like to share http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/energy/blogs/the-prius-driving-vegan-vs-the-meat-eating-bicyclist-who-is-the-better. My family can’t claim to be vegan bicyclists yet but the spiritual practice and mindfulness of participating in the 40-40-40 with other members of our congregation (First Parish Cambridge) led us to start being mindful in a lot of different ways about our environmental impact. We’re all biking even more and saying no thanks to the hamburgers!