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Who wants to be deprived? Cheated, bored, unfullfilled?—Not I. by Seth Branitz

The mere thought of adjusting your habits for the betterment of health or the welfare of others immediately activates resistance and rationalization, doesn’t it? Check your internal response to “eat better,” “exercise more,” or “break the addiction.” We resist change. We are afraid to improve. We kid ourselves into destructive sameness because it’s familiar.

And we believe the lie that “discipline is hard” or will result in deprivation. The truth is that when we are engaged in acts of intentional healing or are acting from a place of integrity (where what we know is right and what we do are one and the same), we are EMPOWERED.

In other words, exerting our self-love muscles doesn’t leave them sore, it makes them stronger. Remove one “bad guy” (i.e. regular or diet soda) from your routine and insert one “good guy” (i.e. freshly squeezed apple-celery juice) and be ready to experience an upward spiral of open-mindedness, enthusiastic experimentation, and results.

Peer pressure, organized misinformation, and insidious marketing by purveyors of the standard American diet pose diversions, and an easy out. Or so it would seem. Be aware that the barrage of diseases that reportedly shadow our destiny aren’t necessarily inevitable. The choices we make, day by day, year by year are the main factors that will result in a body riddled with stress, disease and war wounds, or one that is internally clean, resilient, and energetic.

But where to start?
Right here. Right now.

Are we ignoring the fact that we’re fat, lazy, allergic, sick, or stressed?

STOP. Make your next breath a little slower, a little deeper, and then let it out very slowly. Stop reading and do it once more, then return.

Did that take too much time? Did you get sore? Are you second-guessing whether this was too much of a life change for you to incorporate? Did you even do it?

While most unhealthy habits (limiting thoughts, for instance) become fairly automatic, practicing self-love requires attention, intention, and action. Pay ATTENTION, and we will always be able to identify beneficial choices. Have the INTENTION of healing, of growing, and of feeling better, and the choices will be easier to see and easier to make. ACTION requires us to DO SOMETHING.

Do nothing, and you’ll get more of what you’ve already got.

In order to counter the abundant aforementioned external influences, we have to safeguard our integrity with as much good information, support, and activity as possible. Books, magazines, and websites that exemplify the results you envision should be on hand at all times. Immerse yourself in change. Find the people who seem to manifest the improvements you desire, and interview them. People are thrilled to share their success stories, however small.

Spend more time in nature, reading good books, eating fruits and vegetables, and moving your body, and a little less at the bar, on Facebook, and in front of the television.

The point here is that making healthy changes is not about deprivation. On the contrary, taking even a little responsibility for one’s health and happiness is about ABUNDANCE.

Eat, think and behave in a way that supports your ideals, and prepare for an abundance of energy, an abundance of health, and a great deal of healing.

Do something. —R

Seth Branitz (a.k.a. songwriter/singer Seth Davis is a vegan chef, healing foods educator, father of two small boys, and co-owner of Karma Road Organic Café in New Paltz.

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