The Very Vegan Caterpillar

I'm back in action guys and gals...

Well, sort of. If I'm going to be totally honest with you, Post-Italy-Withdrawal and the setting in of reality hit me like a ton of bricks today, my first weekday back from a joyous three-week hiatus. A fitness bootcamp (with rockin' vegan trainer Damon Valley of La Vie Physical Fitness) started the day off right, tons of delicious veggies, legumes, and tea, tea, tea filled it out quite nicely, but the challenging (to say the least) new year's prospect of finding supplemental income to aid me on my quest to work on behalf of hens in Southern California caused a sea of anxiety, worry, and dread to settle inside of me today.  Nothing like a Monday in January to really shake you out of the ease that accompanies a good, old-fashioned vacation. 

As if all of this weren't enough, I also happened to sign myself up for an acting class (just to shake things up even more), which I started tonight. While waiting for the class to start, I found myself walking into a bookstore next door, casually perusing section by section, until I stood right in front of self-help. Fate? Hmm...

A book stared back at me called Loving What Is by Byron Katie. Intrigued and moved by the title alone, I opened it up, read a few pages, and chose to buy it on the spot. On the fourth page was a quote that ultimately became my deciding factor for purchasing the book. It read:

To realize your true nature, you must wait for the right moment and the right conditions. When the time comes, you are awakened as if from a dream. You understand that what you have found is your own and doesn't come from anywhere outside. 
Buddhist Sutra 

We each have inside of us something so special, something that is uniquely our own. At this early point in 2011, I am finding myself a bit lost in the all too familiar sea of "What do I do with my life?" and "What should I do for a living?", and the voices within me trying to figure out the answers have grown ever more adrift. I'm sure many of you can relate to these feelings, and I think it's high time to share with you the silver lining in all of this. 

Back in 2007, when I had been out of drama school for a little over a year, when finding paid acting work was nearly impossible, and when the time in between doing a play became endless, I found myself completely lost. Yet in that moment, an experience fell into my lap that would forever change me - an experience that may have not occurred had I had been too busy with the work I was so desperately seeking. In that moment, my husband shared with me the end of Fast Food Nation and thus my journey toward veganism began. What a beautiful, magical, blissful thing to behold!

And ever since I chose to commit fully to this lifestyle, life itself has never felt the same. All of a sudden, my eyes opened to a wider world, a world in which there were countless possibilities for me to help make conditions for animals and people better. I learned how much I loved writing and keeping a blog, I learned how deeply animal welfare meant to my life's journey, and my relationship with Steve grew stronger when he chose a vegan lifestyle a year after me. Bottom line - life got better. And all from an experience that may have not happened had I been too busy, too productive, too focused on my life's mission to see it.

I try to remind myself of this today, because when you're feeling lost, the last thing you usually think about is the light at the end of the tunnel. But if you are present enough and patient enough, you may just find that the light is already within you. No matter how lost you may feel. 

So, I guess if I had to give myself a New Year's Resolution, it would be this - to enjoy the chrysalis of feeling a little aimless, a little stumped as to how to proceed next in life. It would be to remind myself that the very thing I have found that is my own (as the quote above so beautiful says) is something that the very act of being lost led me to - a loving, joyful, abundant vegan lifestyle.

I hope each and every one of you amazing readers had a restful, fun, delicious holiday season, and even more so, I wish you the most blissful 2011, whether you are in a place of peace or your own state of chrysalis. We have many kissable posts coming up, including interviews, a jam-packed Italy round-up, and more. For now, I leave you with the hope that you will enjoy wherever you are at this point in your life, and that you will use veganism (or whatever step of it you may be at on your journey) to help guide you to the best life possible. Remember the simple things: ahimsa, healthful and present eating and living, love, awareness, joy, and compassion toward beings large and small. I really feel that if you place those at the heart of your life, the answers will come to you. 

And as they say in Italy - Buon anno!

 Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.


debaug said…
Welcome back! Really loved your post; what a wonderful message. It definitely spoke to me. Thank you for being such a positive spirit amid all the sadness & craziness!
Molly G said…
Lindsay, my love, did you write this for me? Welcome back! The U S of A missed you! (though you flew about 3000 miles too far to the west! Come back to me!!)
Myra Wolf said…
Not only did you bless me with this post to see this morning but...I got to chat with you! My life feels so happy at this moment....
It is the moments that matter most...when we look too far into moments we have not lived yet......IT SPOOKS US :) LOVE YOU FOREVER!! xoxoxo
Melissa said…
What a coincidence - I JUST finished that book! It's great. Another good one is You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. Glad you are back!
Minette said…
Lindsay, I think you were talking directly to me with this post! I'm at work (cough) reading this and I'm welling up a bit. This is just what I needed today! Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU~

Love you, Lindsay!!! Welcome back! I am SO looking forward to your posts about your adventures in Italy~
CurlyLocks said…
Welcome back, Lindsay! I enjoyed today's post and am so looking forward to reading about your belated honeymoon in Italy!
If you were right in front of me I'd give you the hugest hug. How beautiful to embrace the present even when you feel lost. So beautiful! You're an amazing woman. What an awesome journey and adventure you're on!

Welcome back to the two of you :D
JME said…
your sentiments at the end are also my core beliefs. i adore you, lindsay. this article was so touching and fitting for me, as well.

i am so glad that we are int he same city, both in a chrysalis state, with so much love and compassion to give.

hope to see you soon, let's discover something beautiful together. :)

i sent you something on FB before i even read your blog post... kismet?
Angela said…
Lindsay, this is such a lovely post. I appreciate your honesty, optimism, and demonstration of how to embrace moments of uncertainty in life. I think you are reaching out to a lot of people in a positive way with this message and the ripple effect of your words have so much potential. As someone who has grown up in an Italian household, I'm happy to hear you enjoyed your time in Italy and got a (vegan) taste of the culture. Thanks for sharing your "vita bella" with your readers....
Welcome home Lindsay! Can't wait to hear about Italy -- Your tender years belie a deep abiding wisdom. You are learning already what takes most of us a lifetime. Of course we should work hard to reach our goals, but paddling upstream is an exercise in futility. When you seem to be getting nowhere, sometimes it's best to lift the paddles out of the water and let the current turn the boat around in the right direction. We all have moments like the one you had yesterday. The best we can do in times like these is to become hyper-aware of what is going on around us so we don't miss the learning opportunity that will likely fall right into our laps. I also say a little prayer, "Please help me find what I'm supposed to be learning," It works like a charm. The path you are on is right and valid. Embrace each beautiful moment, and if it is ever too hard, just try reframing the situation. That will get you through until things are clearer. Lots of love and light to you!
Lindsay said…
What beautiful responses you have all given me. Thank you so much - it's clear that I'm most definitely not the only person feeling this way about life sometimes, and that's super comforting. Cheryl, your words have touched me so much this morning (I'm actually tearing up a bit right now as I write this), and I value your guidance and wisdom so much. To everyone else, thank you for continuing to support my blog, and I will will continue to share with you everything I can in order to help us all on our compassionate journeys! xoxo
lauren said…
I am new to this blog and really do enjoy your writing and passion for life. I started reading your post and couldn't stop. It really did hit home because I got goosebumps at the very end. Happy New Year!
Liz Longacre said…
What a beautiful, uplifing and authentic post Lindsay. I'm learning more and more that everything in life happens for a reason... our biggest obstacles can be our biggest gifts and our greatest weaknesses are usually our greatest strengths. Your story is the perfect reminder of that. Welcome back!
Anonymous said…
Lindsay, you're words ring quite true.

Keep exploring, keep working, the next challenge will reveal itself to you.

You have accomplished A LOT, personally, professionally in the past couple of years and, I think, the "now what?" feeling you have is simply the natural feeling that comes after achieving goals and experiencing mega-watts of excitement in your personal, ethical and professional life.

Take time to savor the peaceful plateau, search, explore, and the next mountain will come into view. Have fun. I know we preach that often, but how many people actually do it? Angst gets in the way. Don't let it.

You are getting back in touch with one of your passions-acting. Good for you.