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Happy Saturday, friends!! I love starting my weekend with our little chats... It keeps me accountable and helps me keep an eye on the big picture.

In my new adventure into conscious eating & living, I am constantly reminded of how important community truly is. I'm so lucky to be surrounded by really great people like V and the PBL community (that's YOU!) to keep me on track and lift me up!

At home, I have an incredible network of friends in my neighborhood. This little neighborhood is a treasure from another era in many ways. It was built in the early 1900s on the outskirts of the city limits. Our kids play "Kick the Can" & "Capture the Flag", and have been known to drive neighbors crazy by jumping on pogo sticks late into the summer evenings. When the kids were all little, we would bring wading pools out onto the corner under the trees to jump and splash, while parents sat on the stoops or benches and caught up on our lives. We've seen each other through family losses, difficult pregnancies, cancer battles, and separations. We've celebrated birthdays, proms, graduations, & new babies as well!!

The great thing about a vibrant and thriving community is that it requires a cohesion in vision or purpose, and also a strong diversity of opinions, backgrounds and perspectives. Our little neighborhood group is made up of people of different ages and political opinions. Some come from money... some live on a really tight budget. Some are transplants, and some have been here for generations. We all love each other for what we bring to the table, and the joy we find in each other's company! We get into heated debates! We walk off in huffs. We cry in each other's arms. And we laugh hysterically... a LOT!! We also sit in silence sometimes. Just taking it all in.

When I told my neighbors that I was starting my "conscious eating" adventure a few weeks ago... it sparked quite a conversation!! Some people jumped right in with recipes, tips, excited ideas and strong opinions on how I should proceed... Giving up refined sugars isn't enough! Why am I allowing honey & maple syrup?! Why am I still eating grain?! It got passionate!! In the other corner were the neighbors who felt it was a bit extreme... What's wrong with a cookie or s'more every now and then?! Why does everything have to be all or nothing? Isn't there a way to be mindful, and still allow for occasional indulgences?

I love this dialogue, because it helps me to ground myself, and test my convictions. Differing opinions help me to consider things I may have missed. Similar mindsets offer insight into the challenges ahead and ways to make them easier to overcome. I'm loving the way this conversation is unfolding, and the way it is helping me to grow and center myself.

Thank you so much for being part of this conversation and for expanding my community from my little corner of the world, to a larger and more diverse group of souls!

Have a great week!! And let me know some of your small steps toward mindful eating & living. It will help the conversation to grow!

PS: speaking of community... I want to give a shout out to my beautiful friend Clair at Karma Card for the great graphic at the top of this post. Follow her on Instagram.  She's the bees knees!

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