Importance on Being Positive

I used to be very negative, especially in my early teen years, because I could only see the bad in things. I never thought on a deeper level. I never used logic, my emotions, and I never connected with my spirituality like I do now. I look back on the life I had then, and I was actually what I’d consider depressed. I could only focus on my image, and I hardly worked on my personality. If I think about it, I had no idea who I was. I had no originality. I followed the latest trends in fashion, I spoke the way all the other teenage girls spoke, and I did things only a typical teenage girl would do. And I was unhappy. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was not living a real life. I always aspired to be other people, and I never truly liked myself. I hated my voice, my nose, my height, my weight, I constantly picked myself apart. Little did I know that I was perfectly healthy, (actually underweight, even getting comments such as “don’t be afraid to eat a burger,” or “you look a bit anorexic”) I actually saw these derogatory terms as a compliment. Simply put, I hated myself. Why? The truth was because I was so negative.

I would look at a girl walking down the hall in school and think “Wow she’s ugly.” or pick apart other girls in my mind to make myself feel better. I had friends that would constantly gossip and make jokes about other people. At the time I thought it was okay, but now I know that it is most definitely not. Picking apart other girls will never make you truly better. Comparing “beautiful” girls you aspire and want to be will also not make you better. It will pull you apart. I was so negative and naive, but if I’m being truthful, I blame it on the media and society that we live in. We think these things are perfectly okay and acceptable to do.

The reason I’m so happy now is because I’m positive. When I became vegan, something that I can’t explain came over me, and I had what I call a spiritual awakening. I finally realized my purpose in life, and thought about others rather than myself. I also saw the world for what it truly is. While the society I live in is not perfect, if I look at everyone individually, I can see everyone’s struggle to just be loved, to be cared for, and their genuine need to be happy. Everything people do, good or bad, is in hopes that they will be happy. Sometimes I think that this can be a little selfish, but that’s how we were created. We were created to want things, to need things, and to be satisfied in life. That doesn’t mean that I want it to be this way, but I’ve accepted it. I’ve accepted the fact that my hopes and dreams are almost impossible, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t do anything or try to make a difference.

I try to be mindful in my day-to-day life, and I try to enjoy the little gifts of nature. A beautiful rose outside of my window, a pure blue sky, the shimmer of the condensation on my glass of water, or the slight breeze in the crisp mornings. I am so happy that I can see these things now. The old me couldn’t. One of the most important things to me is being mindful. I try to be mindful every day. I try to enjoy my surroundings, look up from electronics, smile at strangers. I want to go places without makeup, without my phone, I want to be true.

I hope to inspire people with my veganism, and I hope for others. I also hope that one day people will realize what they do to animals. I know that some things I wish for are impossible, but being positive is amazing. I see life with a whole different set of eyes. I see people differently.

When I was so negative, I never appreciated the things I had. I never noticed my surroundings, and I couldn’t grasp reality. I never understood the beauty of sunsets, or sunrises, and would scroll past them quickly on my Instagram. Now I realize the beauty in nature. When I was younger, I didn’t know what beauty truly was. I thought it was something nice to look at, something pretty, but now I know it’s something more.

However, I am not perfect, and I am not always positive. There are many negative things that I can dwell on, and sometimes I can’t stop myself if I do. But sometimes I just remind myself of the good things, and why I’m here. I used to get so angry about the way animals were being treated, and of course I still do, but I’ve reached a deeper understanding of what I can do instead. Being vegan alone saves one animal’s life a day, and that is enough for me. Sometimes I get angry of how women are being treated around the world, but then I tell myself that some injustices are never justified, but that doesn’t mean that it’s right. I can’t help every single person on this earth, even though I’m sure everyone wishes they could.. Positivity will keep me motivated, it will get me closer to my goal, it will help me, it will push me further, and it will guide me through my life.

Many people like to complain and whine about what they don’t have. That’s our society. I’ve accepted that people are greedy, stingy, and that they will always want more. But I just know that that’s not me. I don’t want a car, a husband, a big house, or tons of money. I don’t want to be a part of this superficial society. But hey maybe that’s just me.

Being positive changed me, and that’s why it’s important.

My Love for Languages

When we are kids, most of us dream of unrealistic or superficial jobs. Ballerina, President, Firefighter, etc. Not saying that being president is superficial, but is it realistic? My point is that we don’t really put much thought into why we want these jobs. We just think they’re cool. When I was in 1st grade, I wanted to be a ballerina. When I was in 5th grade, I wanted to be a lawyer. When I was in 8th grade, I wanted to be a property manager. What do I want to be now?

I have a love for languages. Languages fascinate me. They shock me and I admire them for their beauty. I never really paid attention to different languages, and just passed them off as gibberish. But to think that there is a COMPLETELY different way of speaking, actually, more than 100 different ways, it astounds me. Constantly. And that made me realize my passion and love for languages. With languages you can connect to different cultures and people on a deeper level than you can with a translator or electronic device. Learning a different language opens up a whole new door of possibilities in your life. Suddenly you can visit and actually fully enjoy other countries, immerse yourself into their culture, and even LIVE there (if they permit it).

Why was I talking about jobs in the beginning? Because I feel like for the first time in my life, I finally know what I want to do. I want to learn new languages, experience new cultures, and connect with new people. It’s going to be hard to get there, and it’s going to take a lot of patience and hard work, but I want to get there. Do I know what jobs I can have with languages? Not exactly, but what I do know is that I’ll be happy.

I love learning languages. Many people find it a chore, frustrating, etc, but I find it fascinating. I love the sounds, the letters or characters, and how the people speak. And because of this, I know for a fact that I’ll be happy when I grow older. I know that I’ll have a job I enjoy and get excited to wake up and do it every morning. Currently, I am learning Japanese, French, Chinese, Korean, and starting Dutch soon. This may sound like a lot, but I like to work that way. They say that once you learn a language, it’s easier to learn a new one. In my experience this is definitely true.

I might be a translator, linguist, or even work for the FBI. Who knows. I’m excited to see where my love for languages will take me.

Being Shallow or Genuine

What is being shallow? Is it only caring about your looks? Only caring about someone else’s looks? Focusing on materialistic things, things you want? Only caring about money and success?

I look back on the only me, and I realize that I was shallow. I only cared about my wants, my looks, and I wouldn’t be friends with anyone if they were considered weird or unattractive. And then I noticed that back then, I was so unhappy. I didn’t really have many friends, I always wanted things like makeup or clothing, and I didn’t TRULY care for others.

I feel like a lot of teenage girls are like this nowadays. They only care about themselves, and friends or family, or what they look like. They care about social media, the newest iPhone, and never look up from their screens. I wish I could break this trend. The overuse of Instagram and Snapchat. It seems like those are their favorite things now. It can effect them negatively too. Seeing picture perfect Instagram girls that look like basic Brandy Melville model copies. Girls that overline their lips to look like someone else. (Kylie Jenner!) This makes me sad. Girls like them don’t truly know who they are, nor will they find out as long as they keep focusing on shallow things. I know this because I used to be one of those girls. I wouldn’t leave the house without makeup, I couldn’t have my natural hair color as it was “boring.” (I’m finally dying it back to my natural color now!) and I had to follow the latest trend in fashion. Because of this, I struggled with my hobbies, and what I really liked. I spent so much time watching Youtube that it was considered my hobby. I got to know the people in the videos more than my own self.

When I finally asked myself, “What do I want to do in life?” I couldn’t come up with a clear answer. I was stuck. What had I been doing so far in my life? Had I wasted my entire teenage life trying to be someone I’m not? Distracting myself with Youtube videos and Netflix so that I was escaping reality?

To be honest, I still don’t know what I want to do. But that’s okay. I’m still young. What I do know for a fact is that I’m no longer going to waste my life on social media, be shallow, or force myself to wear makeup or certain clothing items. I want the freedom to be myself. I don’t want to conform to society’s ideas of beauty because I know now that that is impossible.

I want to be genuine. I want to look back on my life and see that I was real. I wasn’t trying to be another person. The one thing missing in my life was patience and mindfulness. I was never mindful of my surroundings. Without my phone, I didn’t know who I was. I thought this was normal. I now realize that this is inexcusable. Nobody should waste their lives on technology. It won’t help you, nor will it help you.

I must admit, without social media, I probably would’ve never found out about veganism. My life would be drastically different without it. So for that, I am grateful. But I don’t need to live online. I want to experience life for what it is.

I don’t want to be shallow.

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My Thoughts on Children

I am going to be honest. I never really liked babies or children. I used to think there was something wrong with me, or that I just wasn’t born with the “motherly” instinct. Later along the way I realized that there is no point to having children.

Back then, women felt pressured by their parents or society to have children or they would not be considered successful in life. Once they had children, their main reason to live was to take care of the family and clean, cook, etc. When I really thought about this mindset, I felt really uncomfortable. Sure there is more to life than children and cleaning? Why are women so okay with doing this? Don’t they know they have other choices? After I thought about this, I realized… that is not what I want to do in life. I don’t want to be a boring stay-at-home mom, watching reality tv, having no friends, or being driven insane from children. Their daily life consists of chores, and their life revolves around their children.

Why do people still have children to this day then? We don’t need to increase the population, in fact, there are (too many) people in my opinion. Some people may say “They’re cute!” or “They are a symbol of love between the father and mother.” Yet these people don’t realize that children (in most cases) pull apart the parent’s romantic relationship. Their main conversations consist of “Did you take Tommy to soccer?” or “Miranda has a ballet lesson at 3. Take her please.”

“Honey, can you take out the trash?”

I also feel like the mother and father have to dumb themselves down (baby talk.) It drives me insane to hear these mothers “goo” and “gah” to make their babies laugh. Then, after a while, that becomes their actual voice. They don’t know how they used to be before children.

Of course I am grateful that my parents decided to have me, but I am unsure of the reasons. Every time I ask my mom, “Why did you want children?” She never has a clear answer. It’s almost as if it was expected of her. Getting married and having children was her main goal. That and getting lots of money. I feel bad for so many people who have this mindset. Honestly, that is not a good goal nor is it something you should do in your life. I am not trying to bash people based on their lifestyles, personally I just feel like they are worth more than that; they have more meaning in their lives.

On another note, I have never enjoyed the company of children. “Oh Maritza don’t worry, you’ll change your mind later.” “You’ll want children soon enough.” Do I really? I just don’t see a point. I feel like I would have a much happier life if I lived it with friends, or just a husband.

When I notice the way a child talks, how they think, and how they act, I can’t help but notice the naivety in their voices. It makes me sad that these children literally know nothing. They learn from others their entire childhood, but are suddenly crashed with the reality that life and the world is not what they thought. I don’t know if I would be able to raise a child knowing that they are going to be subject to this (honestly) terrible world that we live in, and that they are totally unaware of what is going on around them. Children only think of themselves and don’t develop a sense of caring or compassion until their early to late teens. It’s honestly sad but true.

For example, I was raised my whole life that meat was good for me, that I needed it to survive, and all of these myths that go along with eating meat. Little did I know that these were simply not true. (Refer to my vegan post for more information.) Only one month ago, my world came crashing down when I realized what was happening to these animals, and that I could do nothing to stop it. It really crushed me. I am happier now, but this just proves that just because your parents told you something, it doesn’t mean that it’s right. I learned that. I would never want that to happen to my child if I had one. Thinking the world was one way, but once they reach maturity, see the world through a new set of eyes.

What happens when they grow up? Simply put, they leave you. You spend most of your adult life taking care of a child/children, and in the end, they leave you. They thank you, they are grateful, but then what happens to you? You live every day raising your children, and suddenly, it’s all gone. They are gone, and now you are forced to reconnect with your husband/wife again, and because you haven’t really had one-on-one time in a while, that may be strange. Scary even, because what if you truly get to know your partner, and find out that he/she’s not what you thought?

Honestly these thoughts just occur to me randomly. I have no idea if other people think of children this way, but all I know is that I hope to never have children. But that may be just me.

I hope you enjoyed today’s deep and thoughtful post.

Good Vibes

I don’t know if it’s just me, but there’s a certain thing that happens to me when I’m in a place or doing a certain thing that makes me incredibly happy. These things are what I like to call “good vibes” moments. When I’m cuddled in bed sipping some tea reading a good book, my body just gets so happy & comfortable and I never want to leave that moment. I think it has something to do with me being more mindful, and I get happy by the little things nowadays.

I’ll walk outside and just notice the beautiful sky that’s incredibly blue and clear. I’ll see the perfectly puffy and white clouds, and of course the tons of trees (I live in Portland, Oregon). In that moment, something I just can’t describe comes over me and I just inhale the beautifully serene and calm moment. I love it the most when I’m alone (not that I don’t like people) so that I can just enjoy the moment without talking or thinking about anything.

I walk into my backyard on a slightly breezy morning, smelling the fresh and crisp air. The trees and plants smell so fragrant. I walk, not noticing if the air is too chilly, and just breathe. I don’t know but something about early mornings are my favorite.

I see the tall and bright green trees in Downtown Portland, bronze autumn leaves falling on the ground. The friendly people, the sound of cars, the sight of a man with square glasses, drinking coffee while typing away on his computer. Another man with an undercut; drinking fresh coffee, reading and taking notes on a small notepad. Sidewalk cafes, bookstores, and clear glass windows. Girls with long flowy hair.

Reading in the library by a fireplace. Cozy in a warm and soft chair. Reading about ancient mythology.

Drinking tea.

Smelling coffee.

Hearing French jazz.

Tasting creamy rich dark chocolate.

Watching couples smile and hold hands.

Feeling soft cotton blankets.

If you like, leave your “good vibes” moments in the comments.

Buddhism and My Thoughts on Our Society Today

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When I was 14, I discovered Buddhism. I’m not sure how, but I remember finding stuff online. (Buddhism also led to me becoming pescatarian/vegatarian/vegan) I then started researching and checking out Buddhist books from the library. I was so fascinated in how true and logical Buddhism is. It really opened my eyes and helped me to realize how materialistic our society is today. When we grow up, we want to have a good high paying job, lots of money, big house, nice car, kids, a husband/wife… the list goes on and on. We grow up thinking about the future. We never stop to be mindful and grateful of what we have now. I am truly grateful to have a roof over my head, to have delicious foods, clothes, a bed, and a family. Isn’t that enough? Without food, a shelter, and a family, I wouldn’t be alive. When people get things, they tend to want more. That’s why you see so many rich people become greedy and stingy as the amount of money they have grows. However, I learned that suffering and pain will always exist. It is inevitable. But what I learned is that in order to relieve my suffering, I must give up attachment to items. Think about this logically. You are given an item that you adore. You love it and cherish it (and even become attached emotionally.) Now imagine this item taken away from you. You may be angry, sad, upset, or all of the above. The reason why is because you were attached to them. You created your own sadness. You chose to be sad. The item is just an item. You are still alive. You are still well. Attachment causes suffering. Now that does not mean to get rid of everything you have, but it simply means that if those items were taken away from you, you wouldn’t be attached unnecessarily.

I also started to get into a minimalist lifestyle in terms of living. The only pieces of furniture in my room are a bed, drawers, and a desk. I don’t have all of these unnecessary tables, couches, etc. Sure they make it more livable, but my point is that it’s not necessary. I would actually love to get rid of my drawers (because I hang all of my clothes up) and trade my bed for a Japanese futon so I could create more space. (My room is tiny.) But I don’t have anywhere to put the bed right now so I have to deal I guess.

I get so upset when I see people getting unnecessarily sad or angry over materials and items, or certain ideals. Girls resorting to calorie restriction to get the perfect body, boys having to act “manly” all the time or they’re gay, young high schoolers pressured into getting into a college, etc. And then getting a boyfriend/girlfriend and eventually having kids. Personally, I’d be totally fine being single. I understand the want to have someone by your side, but if you’re truly comfortable and confident with yourself, you don’t need a companion to prove that.

Of course it is natural for humans for feel sad or angry, at least at first, but what I do is simply remind myself to be calm and mindful because getting angry withholds you from nirvana.

The last part of Buddhism that I wanted to discuss is dukkha. I see this as suffering, anxiety, etc. Your dukkha increases if you harm living things, so that is why I wanted to become a vegetarian. Later I became a vegan because I learned about the ethical side of eggs and dairy, so yeah. I hope you enjoyed my thoughts. Please leave your comments below so we can have a chat! 🙂

Maritza

From Vegetarian to Vegan

If you remember my post from last year, you would know that I was a vegetarian (that ate fish.) Obviously from the title of this post, a lot has changed since then. I am so happy to share with you that I am vegan! I am going to talk to you about why I did it, what I experienced, what I eat, and how I feel. This post is in no way shaming others if they do not eat the way I eat or trying to make you turn vegan. I just want to simply say that I’ve never felt better and I really want to share it with you.

acai bowl (Here is a photo of this delicious acai bowl that I made. Comment below if you want the recipe!)

Why did I become vegan?

I remember when I finally cut out fish and became a full vegetarian. I actually had thoughts such as “Well, at least I’m not vegan.” or “Well I’ll never be vegan. That’s too extreme.” What I didn’t realize is that I saw veganism as a negative thing. That really hurts me today that a lot of people see veganism as so negative and extreme. No one becomes vegan for one thing. In fact, there are plenty of reasons why I became vegan. I guess I’ll just bullet a few.

  • For the environment. Did you know that vegans save 1,100 gallons of water, 300 acres of rainforest land, and 1 animals life a day? I definitely did not. If you want to know more, DO RESEARCH! You will be surprised at the shocking numbers of how much we are damaging the earth by eating animal products. We eat almost TWO TIMES our ENTIRE human population in animal lives per year. 12 billion animals. That’s insane. Watch Cowspiracy on Netflix and you will see the staggering amounts of meat and animal products that we eat and how it affects our environment. The number one cause of deforestation is animal agriculture. This just pushed me into veganism further.
  • For my health. We all know that cholesterol is bad for you. But did you know that only 1 egg is almost your entire days worth of cholesterol? And that the number 1 cause of death in the U.S. is heart disease, which is caused by the high amounts of cholesterol in meat? America eats a staggering amount of meat. And this is simply not good for us. Many vegans believe that humans were first vegans when we started to roam the earth. When it got harder to find fruits and vegetables, they looked to other animals for ideas. They looked at what carnivores were eating. Do your research if you are interested and you will see how terrible meat truly is.
  • For the animals. Animals are not ours to distribute, buy, sell, exploit, torture, or kill. They want to live just like you do. They feel pain. They feel fear. You can see it in their faces. But we turn a blind eye because this is “natural” this is “what we are used to.” …. It doesn’t have to be like this. We do not need animals to survive. Relying on other animals for protein is actually kind of pathetic. Vegans (with the proper diet) get enough protein, calcium, vitamin D, iron, and b12, contrary to popular beliefs. I love animals to death. I love cows. They are gentle and sweet. Pigs are smarter than dogs. Chickens are friendly and calm. They all have lives. I would never think of harming any of these sweet animals. And the fact that some people take pride in it (trophy hunting or farming) makes me a little sick to my stomach.
  • For logical reasons. We were born with small teeth & small canines. We do not have sharp teeth because we are meant to tear plants, not animals. We have long intestines that represent an herbivores, while a carnivore has short intestines so it can pass through the body quickly without absorbing your body’s water. We were not born with sharp claws or strong muscles like a lion. Also, we are part of the primates category, and as we all know, we have a lot of similarities to chimps, gorillas, and apes. Why is diet the only difference? In fact, we are the only primates that eat meat. All of the other primates are herbivores. Kind of funny, don’t you think? What were we born with though?  We were born with a heart. With logic. And we need to use it to realize that eating meat is more than just food. That meat is an animal.

So after reading some of these, I hope you understand why I am vegan. Feel free to leave your thoughts and questions as I would love to answer them. Remember that I am open to all opinions, no matter how much they differ from mine.

twister wrap native foods

After 1 week of being vegan I started to notice differences. I had INCREDIBLE amounts of energy. I actually have the energy to exercise every day now. When I was vegetarian I wasn’t getting any energy from my food sources. Plants have an amazing amount of energy that can really get your body moving. For the first time in years my acne cleared up. I have tried literally everything from topical treatments, to pills, and nothing worked. Veganism cleared everything. Why? Because I cut out dairy. If you want to know more about dairy and eggs, and honey, you should watch 101 reasons to go vegan on youtube. It’s an amazing lecture.

Lastly, you may be wondering, “What the heck does she eat?!” Well I started off watching tons of videos on Essena Oneill’s channel. There are actually so many vegan youtubers. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this post and now know a little bit about why I’m vegan.

Maritza

vegan burger nice cream