What are YOU the product of?

November 3, 2014

We are all, to some extent, the product of our upbringing.  For the most part, it’s what our parents teach us, especially at very young ages, that we retain and believe as fact.  It’s also what we learn from others we’re close to when young, what we see on the media, and what our society in general teaches us.

A great example of this is religion.  While some people do decide at some point ranging from the rebellious teen years into adulthood to change religious beliefs from what they were raised with, the majority stick with – or at least return to – what they were raised on.  This is even more true for those who grow up in a region or country that has one dominant religion.  It doesn’t even occur to most people to question that.  It’s all they know, and so difficult to try and imagine it from another perspective, much less alter their own!

The same can be true for basics that we don’t generally think about.  The little things.

I’ve been making a strong effort over the past few years to live more green, and finding new ways to do so.  I’ve had some shocked comments, though, about the manner in which I’ve done this.

For example, I have reduced the amount of trash I put into the landfill down to one kitchen sized bag of waste roughly every 3-4 weeks.  I’m quite proud of that fact, but many people who don’t know me that I share this with exclaim something to the effect of “doesn’t your whole house stink?”  or just plain “gross!”.

What they don’t see is that the average American is accustomed to putting everything and anything into a garbage bag, sending it off to the landfill, and never giving a second thought to it.  And as a society, we are wasteful.  We waste everything such as broken electronics that we no longer have repairmen to fix because we’d rather buy shiny new ones when they break, so the TV repair business has become obsolete.  And we waste food; hordes of food.  That’s what most people are probably referring to when I proudly tell them how little I’m wasting.

Do I ever waste food?  Yes.  I’m human, and I goof up at times.  I try not to, but it happens.  But on the average week, the only food I have that is not consumed are the stems of grapes, cores of apples, or trimmings of broccoli stems.  The broccoli stems my rabbit is all too happy to take care of for me.  The stems and cores go into a composting bin.  For many months, as I’m still an apartment dweller until I’m moved into my new home, I’ve had folks who want extra compost for their own backyard piles come and pick up a couple of times a month.  It’s a great arrangement – they get extra composting material, more than their own family can create (and my bunny creates quite a bit with his soiled hay and poo!), and I get to have those materials gone to good use rather than in a landfill.

But aside from those few items, I rarely have food waste.  I’m not dumping scads of leftovers into the trash each day, each week, or even each year.  When I do have waste, it’s because I forgot something in the refrigerator that has gone bad, and then that is added to the compost.

But most of us weren’t raised that way.

Anything we weren’t raised with has the potential to seem foreign, weird, even scary.  But if you really think about it, what we were raised with has created an identity for us.  That is great when we are kids, even as very young adults.  But there comes a time when we should be ready to create our own identity.  This should be a combination of some things we were raised on that work for us, truly, even after examining differing ways of doing things, and things that we realize eventually that don’t work or resonate with us deep down, after we shed the layers of doing it just because our parents did.

It’s not very easy to erase that conditioning, even with bad habits.  But it can be done!  Start examining your life.  Think about how you do things, from the bigger important things like child rearing, keeping finances, and where you live, right down to the small mundane things.  Maybe the way you do dishes is just like your mom did them, but you hate doing dishes?  Perhaps there’s a better way, one that didn’t occur to you simply because you were following the pattern?  Or anything else in your life that craves change?

Knowing WHERE you want the changes to happen is the first step.  Then, those changes can become a reality.  If you have difficulty implementing them yourself, I can help you to do so, using a combination of Reiki and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to help you let go of the old and embrace the new.  Often, change can be an amazing gift!

Please contact me if you are interested in making change happen in your life!

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