How I found heart in New York

Some of us have experienced NewYork’s fast-paced rhythm, perhaps even numerous times. I certainly have, although it was only on my 9th visit that I learnt just how hard this city’s heart really beats.

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 8.42.35 PMI can’t attribute my enlightening experience to a travel agent’s ingenious suggestions nor an activity-driven article, unearthing a new ‘top 10 things-to-do’ list. To the contrary, the city’s new beat came from within me, then abundantly fed and shared among others. A collective heart beat.

This pulsating city was venue to an opportunity I couldn’t resist nor miss. The Main Street Vegan Academy offers an entirely unique vegan teaching programme. Count me in! Filled with fun, fact and further education, I made friends with courageous, like-minded, like-hearted individuals who were just as keen to learn what makes being vegan so irresistible.

Aloft HarlemSo there I was, congruent with my open-minded approach, setting up short term residency in Harlem (this in itself is surely evidence of positive change), to learn how to guide others in becoming, healthy, happy, lifelong vegans.

5 incredibly busy days later, and certified as a vegan lifestyle coach and educator – yes it’s a mouthful, but what a delicious taste all-round – I’d learnt and shared in an entirely active commitment to compassion towards human and non-human animals.

Left to right; Leah Jacobson (MSVA student & raw chef), Victoria Moran (our wonderful host) and Marty Davey (LaDiva dietician) enjoying their participation in Victoria's live weekly podcast
Left to right; Leah Jacobson (MSVA student & raw chef), Victoria Moran (our wonderful host) and Marty Davey (LaDiva dietician) enjoying their participation in Victoria’s live weekly podcast

My goal and plans in attending Victoria Moran’s Main Street Vegan Academy (MSVA) were long in the making. The seed was instantly planted the first time I heard Victoria Moran, via a podcast interview, co-hosted by fellow vegan stylist Ginger Burr. Victoria, academy founder and 11-time book author, shared some of her insights derived from 3-decades of living an abundant vegan lifestyle.

Joshua Katcher (designer, editor and ethical fashion expert) and I, Lynette Cowie
Joshua Katcher (designer, editor and ethical fashion expert) and I, Lynette Cowie

Hearing about the MSVA was around the same time that I began my informative journey into veganism. An unforgettable moment when I boldly, and full of trepidation, challenged my own beliefs of why, as an animal lover, I was wearing the skins of sentient beings and didn’t give a thought to those who kill on our behalf, nor to the unsustainable burden animal agriculture places on our planet’s dwindling resources. Even my personal sense of well-being was an after thought to my habitual omnivorous ways.

Fortunate enough to have then met Victoria in July of last year, she again spoke so passionately of her New York- based academy, which offered vegan enthusiasts the opportunity to interact, learn and share with renowned nutritionists, fashion designers, culinary and specialist dessert chefs, lecturers, dieticians, historians, journalists, authors, animal rights lawyers and vegan activists.

These professional, intelligent and knowledgable individuals each brought their area of expertise to our intimate table of 10 students. What a feast was had!

Left to right; Mariann Sullivan (professor of animal law and program director at Our Hen House), Lynette Cowie and Jasmin Singer (animal activist and executive director of Our Hen House)
Left to right; Mariann Sullivan (professor of animal law and program director at Our Hen House), Lynette Cowie and Jasmin Singer (animal activist and executive director of Our Hen House)

Talking of expertise, being a vegan lifestyle coach (VLC) means we don’t diagnose nor treat disease, so it’s a good opportunity to begin building a resource list of healthcare practitioners who understand and subscribe to the vegan ideology, ensuring one is supported by those who offer sound and informed medical care guidance.

As a vegan lifestyle coach, having gained such valuable information, resources, new friendships and worthy acquaintances among the international vegan community, I’m well positioned, and all geared up, to help guide those who have so much as wondered about how they can live in accordance with their compassionate beliefs.

Coupled with my personal styling expertise, I offer guidance through the often overwhelming thought of finding a sense of sustainable style in everyday life. And quite honestly, where better to start developing a true sense of style than from the root of peace, love and full compassion?

I so envy this vibrant display and choice of whole food goodness! Qatar retailers, are you listening?
I so envy this vibrant display and choice of whole food goodness! Qatar retailers, are you listening?

I believe style can be revived and revitalised through our daily choices; from filling one’s shopping basket with life-giving choices, to re-sorting the fridge and pantry, re-organising a wondrous wardrobe, refining personal care product choices, all the way through to selecting compassionate soft furnishings for a comfortable home.

Through my vegan stethoscope I feel a sustainable sense of style flows freely by expressing a healthy, happy heart, for all.

Thump, thump, thump!

5 thoughts on “How I found heart in New York

  1. Wonderful write-up Lynette! I love how you spoke about your *heart*, which is truly the core of all this. Beautiful, and I just can’t wait to see what you do next! Lots of love from around the world.

    1. Hey Sayward, always such a pleasure to hear from you! I remember so well being the one who began the journey, eyes brimming with tears and then you being the special one to end this divine experience with wet eyes! Two of a kind!
      Lots of love from sunny South Africa

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