Losing weight, changing how I ate and exercising were great but the real deep change happened when all the little actions that led to those changes became true reflections of how I wanted to live. Most of my life decisions are made now in the pursuit of trying to live closer to my true self. I certainly mess that up fairly often, give into peer pressure, a sense of obligation and fear, but I can see my path meandering toward the intended direction.
Most of my fear is based on public perception of my actions, or being afraid I won't be able to provide properly for myself and family. Resistance to change often exists as a reflection of a desire to please others, not a lack of wanting personal change. At least for me it does. Eating a plant based diet allows me to live in a manner that feels peaceful and aligned with my thoughts on how we should treat animals. I appreciate sustaining myself without taking away from other living beings. Running is a primal activity that allows me to stay fit but satisfies my desire for quiet contemplation at the same time.
My career is often a struggle for me as I try to line it up with my actual value system. As a photographer I desire to photograph people and food in a way that feels authentic and yet I'm often torn away by what is marketable. My social service agency that I own is often a tug-a-war between a desire to help people and navigate the needs and wants of government, employees and families. Yet intellectually I understand that running your business in a way that reflects the true soul of your personal intent is incredibly attractive to others. It can do wonders in drawing people toward your business. It's the fear that holds me back, the need to play it safe and feed my family.
Listening to and witnessing the most successful people in my life I can see them not always being amazing, but overall leading their lives in a way that aligns with their true values. When asked at times why I've chosen a certain path I give hesitant answers that aren't the whole truth and not because I'm lying but because giving the real answers leaves you feeling rather naked. But that is the whole point of my journey, to live naked and truthfully.
If someone asks me why I'm vegan I'll often say it's for health reasons, and thats true but I will avoid talking about my passion for not hurting animals. Partly because I want to avoid debate and hurting others feelings if they do consume animals, but also because it leaves me vulnerable.