Monday Tarot Message: Reconnecting mind, body and spirit

I have come to see self-compassion as a primary building block of feeling at peace with oneself. That sense of wholeness — it comes from establishing a connection with one’s true self. And that in turn, is the primary building block of alignment and harmony in relationships with others.

Ten of Cups reminds us that discovering who we really are, coming home to ourselves involves looking at the sum totality of our lives. The pain as much as the pleasure, to rejoice the highs and grieve lows, make space for losses as much as we have our triumphs. It is a meandering, life-long journey that isn’t linear, uniformly happy and often goes back and forth. But the promise of wholeness and returning to ourselves, is rich.

Disconnection from the self is one of the first coping mechanisms we adopt when dealing with difficult experiences. When our feelings and thoughts become too much, we cut off from them. This means cutting off from the body, from sensory cues, from physical and emotional feedback itself. Along with it, we cut off from the capacity to also feel joy, love, healing and move further away from wholeness and harmony.

Healing begins with learning all the ways in which we habitually disconnect, when we feel broken. And bringing the parts together to cohesion comes from re-connecting the mind, heart and body back together to work as one. In doing this, we grow the capacity to look at the pain in our lives, we build resilience to stay, with kindness and self-compassion. And we develop a deeper sense of who we are.

One year ago: Small changes, big feelings
Two years ago: Stoking the friendship fire
Three years ago: And so it is the shorter story
Five years ago: Time bubble

Sunkissed

14 degrees out these days in the morning. Deceptive bright sunshine with biting cold kind of weather that has been making it super hard to get moving to exercise every morning.

Frigid muscles, stiff bones, dry and burning nostrils, heavy breaths, everything taking longer to ease up. I have to admit this has been harder this year than every before. I notice, my body is getting older. Perhaps these are natural ways my body reminds me to payheed to how it is changing. And for a change, I have been listening, not trying to force it to action, whip it into shape, force it to move in ways it is unwilling. I am mostly going the way it is taking me, only gently pushing some boundaries. Largely really steering clear of even trying to push those that I know won’t.

It takes longer these days, but I still crack a sweat and get my heart racing within the first 30 minutes. And by the end of the hour, I am always glad I gently pushed through that starting trouble. That’s how good R’s routines are for me.

Post workout, I go right back to the balconies at the east side of our home to bask some more and stay warm. Then a leisurely hot bath, warm clothes and back into the sunshine for a while.

One year ago: Bombay meri jaan
Two years ago: Weekend highs and lows
Three years ago: May your feet always be swift
Five years ago: Blush

On play

At one of the lowest low points during the lockdown last year (jeez, it still feels so weird saying lockdown last year —  how has it been a year already?!) when loneliness was me, I noticed that what I was really lonely for, so desperate for was actually, tacticle, tangible togetherness and intimacy with people, other bodies, activities, experiences. It struck me how much I missed play.

I use the word a lot lately.

I want to play. I miss play. I want more play in my life.

I know now that what I mean is levity. And that’s a much more rounded, wholesome word for what I mean and want. Because it’s not so much about the doing, or the actual activity at hand, but a feeling I have been missing.

Lightness. Silliness. Fun.

And so I began to wonder about the feeling around fun. How does it feel to have spontenity? What does that make me feel? How does my body respond? What memories come up when I think about lightness, play, frivolity, intimacy, joy.

One thing came up strongly: a need to note the moments, in the moment they occur. To witness exactly what I feel when I’m having fun.

I don’t know if I’ve ever made fun a focus in my life. It always was a byproduct, a happy happenstance of everything else I did — whether work, life, travel or any other pursuit. I have had plenty of fun in my life, just never made an effort to cultivate it. To make a dedicated space for it, go at it with intention and method.

It sounds a bit counterproductive, I know. To want spontenity and fun, but to talk about going about it with method. But what it means to me is, after years spent looking inwards and dealing with the loss of people and experiences that come with that choice, I am ready to step out some. To embrace people and experiences again. This time, from a place of intention and knowing what I want.

It’s a big difference for someone like me.

In all this thinking about fun, I recollected (unsurprisingly) my childhood — possibly the only time in anyone’s life where making fun happen is a focused chase, with near zero distractions. I remembered weekends from my years before age 13, where I would spend all day at play mostly by myself in imaginary worlds that were amalgamations of select fragments of my real life mixed with fantasies from a world I inhabited in my head. Having playmates or company wasn’t a prerequisite. I think I was pretty self-sufficient, and I used pillows and toys as alternative characters and playmates hahaha. Later in my adolescent years, I know fun turned into spending time being lazy, soaking in a book to such a degree that I’d forget to shower and other basic everyday things. I know fun took on a different colour when I was later on in my teens, when buddies, going out, socialising was a whole new world. It was also when I realised, quite gleefully, that I also thoroughly found fun in doing things like cleaning my room, redecorating it, building a space that reflected who I was then, where I’d spend a lot of my time.

If there is one element that was consistent through all the memories that came up it was this: an endlessly dawdly space of time that lingers with no end in sight. That feeling of ease that comes when there is nowhere to be, nothing really to do. When there body relaxes and literally occupies the hours that lie stretched out ahead of me. A full body feeling of enjoyment from being unhurried.

It hit me then. That is what I want to cultivate. Spaces where I can be unhurried. Where time may slow down in my head enough so I can relax within, even if my day is busy.

It is of course a very rare indulgence in an adults life these days. It is certainly an indulgence in mine. But truth be told, I have a life that affords the privilege of making some time for it. Cultivating it, if need be. I remembered osmething N has said to me years ago that I haven’t ever acted on: pencil fun into my schedule. Tread that thin line between organised, yet spontaneous fun. There is a space in there — where I can slot out time for this meandering exploration of nothingness, but also allow for it to organically open up.

I have been shedding the “should do’s” of my life for the last many years. I am so much better today than I was in the past when I would compulsively fill every hour with things to do, and even the fun I had felt hurried, limited and like I had to grab at it before it ran out. I don’t want fun to feel like I’m cheating, or like I’m eating into a limited resource. And I am finally in a space where there is enough empty time in my life to do as I please.

I can have fun. I can drop my ideas of duty for some hours in the week to just indulge myself. And the fun and play can look different every time. I don’t need to plan it out.

I want to play, not plan. I want to operate from instinct, not obligation. I want to follow delight over duty. I want to be surprised more often.

And so this year, I am consciously going to invite, make space for, honour and receive fully, opportunities for spontaneity. To use my very flexible schedule and lifestyle to make space for as much unscheduled fun as I do for scheduled productivity, work and duties. And I’m going to try my darndest best to chase the opportunities, grab them when they come, as they come. Whether I am in the company of those who will participate with me, or I am alone.

I don’t want to sit around waiting and watch fun pass me by because I was playing too safe, or being too busy, or feeling too lazy.

Like the drive out to my parents last week. When I knew in my bones I could and had to do it all on my own, and not wait for the perfect alignment (and safety) of a co-passenger. Like the hours spent lying down on a mat in the sun in Cubbon Park, with no plan.

***

I cannot ignore that there is a voice in my head judging me even as I write this. Look at me writing about pursuing fun when the country is blowing up in flames every hour of every day. Personal joy feels so unimportant. It is something I sit with a lot these days — the vast chasm between the personal, the political, the context I exist and breathe in. The guilt has been thawing though, and I see that moments of lightness are probably what I need more than ever before. To recharge and align within, to feel able and willing again. To constantly remake the kind person I want to be in the world — someone who can hold the two spaces lightly, together. And gently flow between them as necessary.

Some questions that alsoc ame up along the way:

  1. Who gets to decide how much fun is appropriate or necessary?
  2. Why is fun always equated with a frivolity not extended to more “serious” things?
  3. At what point in the ageing process does fun lose the novelty that makes it unworthy of being pursued as we did as children?

One year ago: Regular programming ensues
Two years ago: Waking thoughts
Five years ago: Orange is the new black

Eating the sun

That’s the thing with time, isn’t it? It’s not all the same. Some days — some years — some decades — are empty. There is nothing to them. It’s just flat water. And then you come across a year, or even a day, or an afternoon. And it is everything. It is the whole thing.

— Matt Haig

This year, like the last couple, I made no resolutions. No goals. I have some aspirations, but they’re broad and loosely held. What I did pick instead are three words that I want to live by. Words that represent things I want to incorporate more of in my life. One of them is levity. Lightheartedness. Casual, carefreeness. Spontaneity. Lightness and play.

And today was about that.

A morning spent in the sunlight in the park. In silence, but also with laughter. With no agenda, no “activity”, no real plan to do anything but lie back and bask in the winter light. With black coffee and music for company.

Light. Chill. Full.

That’s the thing about time. Especially time spent looking inwards. Most of it is flat. Uneventful. Nothing to show for it. Seemingly empty, even. Suddenly a moment, a day, week or month suddenly comes along with an intensity you don’t see coming. A coming together you couldn’t have envisaged.

This is exactly how it has been. I have spent so many years looking inwards for what it is that has kept me from this kind of levity. All the forces that got in the way, the self-made inadequacies, the limiting beliefs, the old hurts and everything in between. I have craved connection. Longed for fun and play. Done so much to invoke good, fulfilling experiences that lift me up. I have had them in fits and snatches. All the while, somehow, somewhere things have been clearing, making way for more, for what is yet to come. It’s like I’ve been climbing and climbing upwards for the last so many years, not knowing what lies ahead of the peak. And suddenly I find myself here, over the summit and now looking down, the vast, gleaming world lies ahead, luring me. Promising, full of life and light.

I had some preconcieved notions of what the good times will be. What levity might look like. And this is nothing like I imagined. Yet, it is everything.

One year ago: Monday Tarot Message: Suspend
Five years ago: Every day

Drive

The mountains or beaches question always felt like not enough options for me. What about forests? Woods? Jungles? Treelands? I’m mildly obsessed with this forest, and the drive through it. That’s probably a good chunk of the reason I was prompted to drive back on a lark last week. Something about the birdsong, the animals calling, the rustle of the trees, gently dropping dry leaves, a subtle breeze, the drone of nature vibes filling the air has a tremendous capacity to fill my being up, reset my energy and bring me back to the here and now.

Eternally, eternally grateful for these opportunities. 

Two years ago: Slice of life
Three years ago: Fields of gold
Five years ago: January

Unbridled joy

Barring the boost of forced optimism that January usually brings, the month hasn’t been a particularly good one for the last many years now. Pockets of sunshine aside, I have had deep, brooding Januarys for the last 4-5 years now, where the energy has been more downwards, into the depths than otherwise.

This year, I daresay, I feel distinctly different. Optimism feels like too shallow a word tod escribe how I feel. There’s a deep, deep rootedness that I feel firm in the soles of my feet, that has enabled a sort of springing up. An ascent, a growing out, a maturing, a heart-opening that I have been witnessing slowly come together since the beginning of December.

I have been afraid to acknowledge it, or fully revel in it so far. Wondering when the January sheen will wear off, and the real colour of 2021 will begin to show. But today I said, fuck it. I’m here. I feel really good. And I’m down for it. I’m going to own it, in whatever shape or form it has arrived. Because God knows, it has shown up very differently this year. The joy, abundance, happiness and contentment in my life looks nothing I have come to expect or I have experienced it before.

I’m here for it. With every cell in my body, I’m here for it.

One year ago: Maximum city
Two years ago: Mini thoughts make incremental change
Three years ago: January
Five years ago: On creative hapiness

The heart wants what it wants

I clearly didn’t get enough of the forest this time around. Or the family time. Or the extended holiday. So this morning, I did a mildly loony thing. I woke up at the crack of dawn, packed a bag and drove out all the way back to Wayanad at 5 30 am. Just this time, all by myself.

I have journeyed alone before. By air, by bus, by train. Explored places and spaces on my own. I’m very well-versed with travelling alone and being in my own company. But I’ve not done a solo trip in a long while now. And I’ve never done a road trip all by myself. Perhaps with good reason — it isn’t the safest thing to imagine myself doing. And yet this morning, I weighed the pros and cons and even the prospect of any of the cons striking suddenly seemed very manageable. And so I went, grabbing a moment of spontaneity with an energy and vibrance I haven’t felt before. I’m usually very quickly rationalising, being logical and moving to “doing it right”, focusing on efficiency and sensibility of any impulse or desire that shows up. But also, this has been shifting lately. There’s a lot more give for me to play with, room in my mind to expand and relax into, and move towards such impulses quickly.

And so I went. When it was still dark out, but with signs of life creeping out. Morning walkers bustling about quietly, street dogs still splayed across the middle of the streets, headlights on. And here’s the best part: a full goddamned, bright as hell moon hanging low, kissing the horizon. Illuminating the highway for me.

I was practically high on having set out by myself. My car was as light as I felt inside of me. One little tote bag with two days worth of clothes, a packed lunch, bottle of water. It felt like a picture of agility, lightness, play. All the things I wish for more of this year.

For the next 5.5 hours it was just me, eyes on the highway, hands on the wheel, foot on the pedal, music in my ears. Being alone, without having to think about a single other soul has its advantages. You get the be the boss of your own time and agenda. And so I drove at a steady speed enough to reduce my drive time from previous trips home by nearly 2 hours. I got to listen to entire playlists of my choice, and I got to just be free.

I surprised my folks and family already there, by walking through the door at 11 am. I’d said goodbye just 4 days before and driven back to Bangalore with VC, with not the slightest intention or hint that I’d be back there all over again.

The look on all of their faces made it all worth it.

***

This felt like a culmination of a series of events that have led to it. From weeks and months of learning to listen in, keenly. Making space for true desires. Understanding what I need in order to listen to my heart. Giving myself priority. Allowing my intuition to guide the way. Choosing from a place of strength and autonomy. Being in the driver’s seat of my own life.

My heart feels wide open and full, because of it.

Some things I want to do more of, to facilitate joyful, heartful experiences like this:

  • Listening to my heart more often than my head
  • Nourishing my heart’s wants, even when I have to choose what my head says
  • Ask myself “so what?” more often

One year ago: The body keeps the score
Two years ago: On duality
Three years ago: I’ve been reading books of old
Five years ago: Emptying my cup

A home in the clouds

I had a dream a few days ago.

Soft, cotton candy clouds, holding me up.
Like a nest, homey and gentle.
Warm, blood-filled, veins criss-crossing,
a bed of pulpy membranes.

Inviting. Full of life
coursing through them.
Raw, like inside a skinned slice of orange.

Circular, round. Humming.
Unending, life-giving. Enduring.
Of give and take, of ends and beginnings.
From birth seamlessly to death and back.

An eternal nest of life.
Soft to touch. Vulnerable, fragile, delicate.
Strong to hold.
So I lean in, lean back.
I stay, and I look up into the vast blue above.

Crows circling gently, rhythmically.
Ancestors, looking over, protectively.
I am held. I am born.

One year ago: On blooming
Two years ago: Sparks of joy
Five years ago: So, is this a blogathon?

Light and dark

Bangalore is doing a full on delayed, extra dry, extra-nippy-mornings winter. Our home is super well ventilated and gets plenty of light through the day, but not directly flooding through the windows. It’s well positioned, so well lit, but not bright. In winter, the cross breeze is insane, it actually howls while passing through the apartment is all balcony doors or all strategic windows are open. So of course, since we;re back form 36 degree humid weather, we’ve been cooped up at home with everything shut. Which also means less light, and somehow that does make it nippier still.

But, Bangalore also puts on a great winter sunlight. I mean, top-notch. Glowy, iridescent, warm sunlight that sits just alongside the winter air that is so crunchy it might crack if I could snap it in two. Biteable.

So, this morning, after a good two hours of chores, a workout and a super hot shower, I went up to the terrace to lie in the sun. I don’t know why I’ve never done this at home before. I lay there for a full hour, listening to a podcast. And I might have drifted off to sleep.

***

If someone had told me five years ago that the answer to feeling free, comfortable in my own skin, happy with myself and where I am in life lay in looking deep with the abyss of my darkness, I probably wouldn’t have wholeheartedly dived into this journey like I did.

I took a soft and easy approach, but eventually came to The Darkness. The shadow. The duality. The contradictions. The parts of myself I found unbearable and wanted so badly to remain in denial about.

Because that was my training. To always be positive. To be determined to work it out. To triumph at all costs. To be put together always. It’s very hard to be all of these things while staring down at the darkest parts of who I am. The two don’t go together. And slipping into the darkness and owning it meant letting go of the veneer that I was trained to keep up.

For years the work simply involved shedding the idea that The Darkness is bad. Or that I must overcome it. Not let it show. Long and painful work of creating an internal container that could withstand the steep drops that looking into this abyss, was th hardest part. But with enough of that inner strength, I’m finally able to see that The Darkness simply exists. As it does in all of us. I am not worse of or lesser than because of it. And its existence is not a marker of how much I have healed and grown.

If anything, being aware of it, acknowledging it, bringing it into the light, holding it lightly even when it often makes me feel like diving into nothingness, actually liberated me.

Yet another if life’s contradictions: to have tasted freedom in the depths, to have found lightness in the dark.

I told someone the other day, I feel like five years of shoveling the dust and grime in the dark seems to be paying off now. This, today, here, is the most comfortable I have been with who I am, where I am, just as I am. This is the free-est I have felt in all these years of seeking it.

What a ride.

One year ago: Monday Tarot Message: On receiving
Five years ago: Finally moving

The deep relief of being in presence

I’ve been in a near eight week-long social bubble. Diametrically opposite to the isolation bubble that was the greater part of the year gone by, most of which was spent experiencing and confronting abject loneliness. It hit me somewhere in the midst of hanging out with my family, that it was a circumstance I had willingly, actively, enthusiastically chosen. A circumstance I would previously not go out of my way to make happen. Mostly letting my busy schedule and other preoccupations take precedence.

So what’s changed?

In the before time, so long as I had the option, the choice, to choose connection over isolation, I reveled in dipping in and out of it. Since I had the privilege of creating and protecting my personal physical space, I dug my heels in and made the most of it, often at the cost of connection. When I felt lonely, often from my own making and of my own choices, I turned to things like books, my handful of friends (also loners), therapy and smaller groups of my liking to bond over a set of interests and pursuits that we had in common. Anything outside of that felt like too much.

The vast disparities that extended families usually present have felt too much for me in the last many years. Being physically isolated in Goa (in the years between 2010 and 2018) unconsciously made it easy to remain in my mental bubble, and reinforce the idea that I was on a different page and we could never find commonality. The already glaring differences grew wider still and it felt physically impossible to commune over anything at all.

So what’s changed?

2020 turned a switch in my brain. Something about my craving for connection and touch coinciding with a time when I was forced into physical isolation and distance, did a real number on me. Where I’d once hold my personal space, my boundaries and my solitude hard and tight, I have been watching as the edges have melted slowly away, and I’ve been finding a midway that emerges quite organically, without effort. A way to connect without losing myself or my sense of personal space and identity that I build around it.

2020 made me see how much I wanted to tap into the collective experience of what was a global emotional crisis. That so much of what we experience anyway is collective, wide-spread and shared, and that it shouldn’t take a pandemic to finally see that. Isolation somehow made my radar for what is held in the collective super sharp and I felt desperate to create physical space for our collective experience. At a time when I…couldn’t.

My emotional/spiritual journey has bene largely private until last year when I threw the doors open and put myself in the thick of things by beginning a practice. Until then, I prided myself in processing everything on my own, in my meticulously developed capacity to detach. I wore my ability to walk away, draw hard boundaries and remove myself from situations and people, like a massive badge of honour. And yet, at a time that forced that upon me, I felt glad that I had a heads up on this moving away from the tangible world, but felt a deeply heavy sadness about suddenly having to process it all alone.

2020 was a googly I didn’t see coming, but that in retrospect I can’t thank enough. The isolation, the strangeness, the collective death and grief, the incessant handwashing and germophobia of 2020 has turned upside down on its head, what I thought was my “natural instinct” when life gets hard. I thought isolation was my normal. I convinced myself it’s what worked for me, what I loved and needed. And I was so absolute in my resolve around it.

But 2020 with it’s forced isolation and distance, in repsonse to my desire for connection and intimacy, that was deeper than it has ever been; it’s denial of any collective experience and shared spaces to process the mammoth emotional toll of it all; it’s default mode of detachment from all things real and “normal”, leaving everything uncertain and up in the air; made me see that even sadness, fear, loss and grief made me want to come together. All the thigns I would once take away into private, shut the door in on myself and sit with all alone, convinced the world couldn’t help me, now convinced me I needed to be out and with people. Specifically the people I love, my family and some chosen friends who have become family.

Something about being forced into being sanitised, and in that way less human, I found the very crux of what makes me alive and human.

That’s what changed.

I spent most of 2020 feeling feelings that I believed were rather uncharacteristic of me — craving the warmth of company of more than one body, the comfort that only comes not from the intimacy of shared physical spaces, connection from spening time being with other people. This was all very strange for me considering how much of a self-made, self-declared introvert/loner/not-more-than-two-people-for-me person that I have been.

The last eight weeks though, I have felt a profound relief from sharing spaces, conversations, bodies and warmth in communion with friends, with Goa, with the sea, and with my family. There have been several moments where I felt that relief. That comfort seeping into my cells. That internal settling and relaxing that comes from a bone-deep consolation and reassurance that only someone’s presence can give.

What a ride. WHAT A RIDE.

Two years ago: This too is Bangalore
Three years ago: You can taste the dishonesty
Five years ago: Pain

Monday Tarot Message: On self-compassion

As a culture that places such a huge premium on happiness as a goal, we often forget how important it is to experience pain, distress, things not working out, feeling like we’re falling apart, the discomfort of tedium and monotony, disappointment, rage and grief, amongst many other discomfiting circumstances and emotions, in order to grow and evolve as people.

We talk about self-compassion a lot, but we save it only for the parts of ourselves and our lives that are happy, healthy and easy to access; while looking with judgement at our pain and difficulty. Healing often hurts like hell, before it begins to change your life in ways that feel good. But in holding all that is painful is the opportunity to reflect on what you want to change in order to evolve. This sometimes looks like a “breakdown”, like you are falling apart. But without it, there is little opportunity for growth. By placing a negative value or label to this part of the process, we disconnect from true self-compassion.

Self-compassion isn’t about brushing all that’s difficult or challenging under the carpet and moving quickly on to the happy stuff. It is about finding ways to hold yourself kindly and fully, even through what is difficult. Accepting your sheer humanness — messy, flawed, awkward, frail, difficult — as complementary to all that is wonderful and easy for you to acknowledge.

Learning to hold feelings that scare you is a powerful act in developing love and care for yourself. Dropping labels around what’s difficult takes practice.
It’s a stepping stone to building inner safety that will matter when the going is tough, or you misstep. It’s will help you see yourself wholly, love yourself unconditionally, so you can show up authentically, anyway, no matter the circumstances or perceptions of others.

The Star reminds me of self-compassion, and how it involves giving yourself permission to feel terrible sometimes, to sit with the unhappiness, to fall apart, to face failure, shame or grief — and to learn to do it without judgement. It is necessary, to build a safe internal container that can hold you as you shift your internal landscape, release and rearrange your world within, let go of the old and make way for the new — all very important steps in becoming more authentically you.

One year ago: Awaaz do
Two years ago: Full moon magic
Three years ago: Gravity is working against me
Five years ago: Love

This past week

I’m hanging out with my extended family this week. And it’s been an interesting study in how love doesnt always have to hurt.

I am giving myself 100% credtcredit for shifting whatever it was that needed to shift within me, to feel this way. To be able to see my family for who they are — with their individual idisyncrasies, our collective dysfunction — and receive all the love they have to give, to bask in it, to enjoy it.

It is in seeing and accepting all of the above in myself, in seeing me as imperfectly human, that I am able to see and accept the same in people around me. This has made an astounding difference to how I can relate to my family, and in finding ease, comfort and love without a struggle.

One year ago: As within, so without
Two years ago: Little pieces of magic
Three years ago: Pretty lights
Four years ago: Because I want to remember
Five years ago: Saaru-anna

I am small

I have been so, so, so lucky to have so much opportunity for safe retreat while much of the world is still indoors, and our country is outdoors, but dangerously so. An oddly soothing message that I have been getting over and over these past two months (not surprisingly) always while being amidst nature:

I am small. The world is big.

It has been humbling, fulfilling and very, very comforting to thaw out and find my own place, shape and size in the world, in this gentle way. And in doing that, to acknowledge the place of the larger natural world I inhabit.

I cherish the pockets of quiet and nourishment that I’ve had in the latter part of 2020, going into 2021. I’m so grateful for how much I am able to be in the natural world. And I am so amazed at how much that regulates and brings in to balance everything within me.

One year ago: Fitness in 2020
Two years ago: An inalienable joy of meeting grief
Five years ago: Bengloor-life banter

Happy with me

It occured to me yesterday, while I was working out in the morning that I am happy with who I am. That an essential part of how I see and love myself has shifted. There is so much fluidity and agency in choosing to, or not to do, what I want for my body, as far as fitness and exercise goes.

I don’t feel the need to do something to my body to feel accomplished or as a reason to feel happy with who I am. My body, my eating habits, my resolve has fluctuated so much in just this past year that it has loosened something up inside me.

I am interested now in taking care of myself. In focusing on what makes me feel healthy and good in any given phase, and looking at it more wholeheartedly. I’ve learned that fitness and health is important, but it’s only a very minor part of the overall whole that is my self. So while I’ll make it to my morning class every day, it’s also important to enjoy that piece of cake with a friend. Delay dinner if it means spending time without someone who uplifts me. Skip a workout if it means listening to my body when it asks for rest. Sleep in when I need to.

I didnt realise it before, but it is in what has changed now, that I realise what I have moved from — I have never known what it is to not be afraid fo food. Until now.

To eat food fearlessly, is a gift. It’s hard to feel love myself and my life when my tummy isn’t full, or happy or I’m physically tired. And so I want to love myself as I am, wherever I am, more often than not. Without wanting that smaller butt, flatter tummy, ideal weight, etc etc.

I think I have finally found reasons outside of my body to feel proud and happy with my fitness and where I am physically.

One year ago: On being
Four years ago: 2017 book beginnings
Five years ago: Perspective

Doséy

VC and I ventured into CTR today. It was our first CTR dosa since March 2020. And certainly our first in the last six weeks of being away.

We sat side by side, as opposed to across from each other, because of the plastic partitions that now separate oppsite sides of every table.

Socially-distanced CTR felt absurd and amusing. I chuckled through most of it, devoured more dosa than I usually do, in the bargain. Follower by a coffee, also something I havent done in a long time.

N, PK and I have a Whatsapp group called “Doséy” on which we literally only exchange pictures when we’re eating beautiful dosas. There is little to no other discussion that happens on there, unless it’s about dosas. This momentuous occasion of returning bravely to CTR deserved sharing. So I sent them a picture, and got into a discussion about said dosa and our willpower in staying away for 10 months.

All in all, I was so overwhelmed from the experience, and the deliciousness of the dosa and the need to share it all immediately, that I did not mindfully, quietly eat the dosa. I did not savour every bite slowly like I could have.

I guess I’ll just have to go back.

Two years ago: Learning to let go
Three years ago: Sorry seems to be the hardest word
Four years ago: Work, but also life
Five years ago: Hope