I am not saying that in a: “I know what is causing me to gain weight” meaning,
What I am referring to, is:
“that, which I am consuming, which I know to be not a good product for my overall wellness”
( Just so you know what I mean! :P )
Emotionally you may want to change your diet to improve your health and fitness, to change your dress size, (more often than not); but mentally if you are not in the right space, it really isn't going to happen. You may dive head first into deep waters many a times, but you will only ever stay and swim when truly you are ready to.
“Comfort foods” is the biggest factor with most people, that is the cause for our wellness's down fall. We rely on “comfort foods”, when are body is longing something; that something that you can't really put your finger on. It's this feeling inside, which is gasping for air that draws you to open that larder door and hunt. You don't even often know, what it is that you are hunting for, all you know, is that your body is longing something. You dive for the first thing that may induce a fulfilling of this feeling of want. But truthfully it wasn't that snack your body wanted nor needed, it was something that induced a comfort one gets when they feel “loved”.
This desire of love is not an outward desire, it's not a reflection of the people and situation around you. It's an internal cry from within, for a love that is at a different space then that, that your family can provide. It's a cry for self love, self forgiveness, self peace, self contentment and self admiration.
We often spend so much of our time and energy loving all that are around us, spreading so much love outwardly, that we forgot that the body giving, needs some loving too. We forget to love ourselves, take care of ourselves. Admire all that we are and do.
There is often this stigma with taking care of ourselves, especially with women and more so those who are mothers. There is this fear, that we can’t say we are tired, or hungry outside of meal times, or we would like to do a self indulgent, pleasurable or luxury activity. In some cases, even be seen to be eating “expensive” nourishing produce, that are important for our own personal well being, is “tutted” upon. This fear of society looking down upon us, condoning us, is paralysing even those of us who do want to indulge in self care from achieve a very basic and simple human right!
This type of self neglect, is what is the root cause of not being able to look after ourselves. It’s kind of a vicious circle really, the less you love the more you substitute with “alternate” comfort generators, the worse your health gets, causing you to even more love your self less. In order to break this, we need to consciously make an effort for ourselves. We need to look at ourselves, in a proud, admiring way. Until we do not admire ourselves and feel we are worth our own personal time, love, care and attention, it will not happen! You can jump into diet plans, after diet plans, it will not “heal” you! Healing only occurs when we allow ourselves to heal.
At the end of the day, your dress size is not a judge for your well being, we are all very different, our body needs and requirements are all very different. A person who is a dress size 12, maybe more healthy than that who is a size 8; but equally another person who is a size 8, maybe more health than a different person who is a size 12. Everyone’s metabolism, height, shape, genetical make up of body type, diet, lifestyle, daily routine, emotional and mental health are all so very different, there can not and should not be, a one size fits all with anything!
What is important for your well being, is your emotional and mental wellness. If that is at a healthy place, then the body automatically will fall into its right space!
To look after the physical, one must start the with the mental and emotional, that is what controls the physical. Put that to right first, the rest will slide into the right place.
Every visiting soul to earth must clock out,
Tides come and go but leave an impression on earth of their presence so.
Some impression stand strong the test of time, whilst others quietly dissipate away, leaving but a sweet memory of their existence in the harmony of their moment.
But each grain of sand that is visited by the tide is washed by its love, nourished by its offerings and assisted with its journey, for however long their companionship tis meant to be.
You are but a grain of sand in everyone's story, but a tide in your own, be the tide that rolls in with affection, full of nourishment, not the tsunami to cause chaos and disruption.
Be the grain that supports in unison the weight of every passing tide,
Be the grain that stands witness to the love and grace of every story in which you part take.
The sea is salty no doubt, but remember not the taste of the salt but the replenishment that it provided to your thirsty soul.
Sometimes all they need is a hug...
Doesn't matter who it is, hugs have a huge part to play when it comes to healing matters of the heart.
The hug doesn't have to be an actual one, it can be metaphorical; but more often then not, a real one is the ticket.
WHEN ASKED WHAT IS MY ONE ADVISE THAT I WOULD GIVE TO NEW PARENTS, I DO NOT HESITATE TO SAY HOLD THEM, HOLD THEM AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!
It is quite a contradictory piece of intellect especially from what we are brought up with in the indo-sub continent, but most probably in being so, is most likely why it is my go to advise for everyone, because I truly believe in it and want to change the general ruling on it.
We are always told "don't hold them too much they will get too used to being held, they wont leave you to let you do anything else". But truthfully you should not be needing to do anything else in those early days anyway! This stage of the baby, of wanting to be held, last all but 6 months by which time they are crawling and literally they are like "seeya" then you will be left craving to hold them and they will not want to know you, as they will be more excited to explore the new world around them.
People think that this stage will never end, but it ends far sooner then you are ready for it to end in the end. However if you do let them live out that time as meant to be, in your arms, literally, then you too will be more than ready for the progression of growth as the child. Yes you may feel "strapped" to the bed for those 6 months but honestly, enjoy it! cherish it, that time never comes back, that one to one time that you get with your child, that bonding lasts for a lifetime, this bonding if far superior to any bonding you may try to do in the future when they are teens or adults and you wish to be "closer" to them. This is the time they need you, the house work will always be there, but they will no longer be a baby for you to give that time when it counted!
If you are worried about cooking, if you have no support you can do a little cooking while they sleep, if you can get away or do some cooking once your other half is home when they can hold the baby and you cook. Try not to go too over board with complex food during this time, cook simple nutritious meals that are quick to put together. Encourage your partner to cook! During this time all you both really need is just full on nourishing food not gourmet! Don't experiment, just prepare foods that you can prepare in bulk and mix up with. For example, we make this boneless chicken handi curry dish in bulk, first night we eat it with boiled rice or chappati/nan bread, then second night mash up chicken and make chicken stuffed bread (chicken puri) then third night we throw in rice in the now more masala than chicken curry, and cook it as a pilao rice! One dish cooked three ways! Honestly work smart, not hard! (but that is a "in general advice" btw and not just for those early mommyhood days!)
I find people in general who miss out on those cuddling days are often craving for it afterwards in life and hence you find middle aged women craving to hold a baby, its quite sad really, don't deny yourself, only you will suffer!
Enjoy each stage of your life, you don't get second chances....
Take it from me, I celebrate and applaud every grey hair... after all I worked damn hard to earn each and everyone of them! I am proud of them, they are each a silver feather in my cap!
Experiences is what makes us the people we are, don't be afraid or too busy to experience experiences, appreciate each one you have had the privilege to let into your life because they truly are a privilege!
to be privileged is not to be resourced, but is to appreciate everything you have and are is worth appreciating....
appreciate that you have today to live and tomorrow to correct, today to dream and tomorrow to hope, today to hug and tomorrow to heal...
hug to hold so that you can heal...
Thunderstorms, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and volcanos all are notoriously know for the destruction they leave and the lives they claim, but how many of these do we ever try to harness or control or "re-direct". How many people who live in these high threat areas do we think to rehouse, out of concern and safety of these imminent threats? Hmm let me think. NONE!! I REPEAT NONE!
Why do we spend fortunes on building "earthquakes proof" and "flood proof" housing in these area instead of simply un-inhabiting them? Would it not be more wise and cheaper to just live somewhere else?? Yet we don't do that? No, we stand and we face these natural phenomenons head on?!
So why, may I ask, are we so fixated with controlling this current "natural phenomenon"? Infectious disease, is it not a "natural phenomenon"? Then why, I ask, are we so fixated with "controlling" it, "manipulating" it "re-directing" it, why are we causing more problems than solutions?
Why, may I ask, are we not letting life and people be? Why are we suffocating both the lives and livelihood of humanity?
Is it not MUCH BETTER to empower the people with knowledge of how to keep themselves "safe", how to keep themselves healthy, so that even if they do get a hit they can stand up and shake it off with relative ease?
Why are we not empowering people with self empowerment?
Is that not only much more efficient and effective in the long run, but also a better, more wiser course of action, than to try and dictate actions of the masses for unknown lengths of periods at a time for unknown amounts of times?
Actions that not only are crippling the economy, robbing the masses of their livelihood, proving to be detrimental to the future of the youth and their mental/emotional health, but also detrimental to our elderly and vulnerable, the very people whom we are thinking we are protecting through these very dictated actions? In actual reality what we are doing to our elderly and vulnerable is signing away their life to a fate worse than death of seemingly endless isolation and alienation from the living breathing life of society!
How? How, I ask, is this helping anybody!!! How!!
People who are meant to die, WILL DIE!!! you or me doing anything is not going to prevent every life that this or any other illness or natural phenomenon is destined to claim! Now you may not believe in predestined or fate or any of such things and I am not asking you to, but as a human you must at least understand that their is NO CHEATING DEATH! You may think that you have "out lived" your life expectancy, or cheated death if you have a narrow escape, but sooner or later it will catch you, it always does!
Now I appreciate all that said, no one wants to see their loved ones go, especially if they go in natural disasters or unnatural incidences or "pandemics", we feel as if they have been cheated on by life. And I fully understand and resonate with that sentiment, I do! That is exactly why I say, educate, educate, educate! empower, empower, empower!
You do have what it takes to take back the reins of your health and life in your hands! Take it out of the hands of others, you don't need multitudes of tests and drugs. What you need is to understand what YOUR BODY needs, how much sleep, how much exercise, how much fat, protein, carbs, vitamins, minerals, fun, inspiration, intellectual and creativity activity, its all unique to and for you. You are not a car battery out of a box identical to every other car battery out there ever made under a certain "type cast", requiring the same amount of acid and alkaline balance, needing to be wired up in the exact same way, needing to be looked after in the exact same way. NO!
You are an individual, a living and breathing individual, who needs to look within to see what you yourself need. No one lives your life, walks your walk, deals with the people and environment that you do or have to in the way in which you do.
So how can what you need in your life, to make your life better, healthier and happier be the same as what anyone else needs! It just can't! It does not work that way and SHOULD NOT work that way!
Mainstream medicine is now understanding this and trying to work at understanding and implementing it, but it's a long long way from being "freely" available.
Why not instead of spending billions upon bring the country to a crashing halt and then billions to kick start it again, only to keep doing it again and again, we actually spend the money where it can benefit not only the medical units across the world, but also the people that they serve?
Why not pour money into spreading this knowledge, deepening this knowledge and implementing this knowledge?
Maybe if we do so, you may actually find that some people who were "vulnerable" actually liberate themselves from said vulnerabilities and survive a hit that they otherwise would not have? Maybe by improving peoples health and healthcare instead of just delaying a deadly inevitable exposure to the a virus, we empower and equip them to face it head on, fight it and defeat it?
I don't want avoidable deaths to happen just as much as the next person, but what I am saying is that I don't think the way we are going about it is necessarily the most efficient and effective way of achieving said goal.
The way forward is not "locking in", but locking out and unleashing the power of true health and healthcare!
Learn and understand your body, for when the "war" begins, it's not what you have on the outside that matters, but what you have on the inside that sees you through to win the fight!
Build your body, mind and self, not fear!
To true health, happiness, knowledge and empowerment!
For it is not ignorance that prevails, but empowerment that perseveres!
To knowledge, because for knowledge there really is no substitute!
Across all my social groups I hear but one call, “overwhelm”. Why is this so? Does this not trouble you? The fact that so many people feel overwhelmed over our current state of reality really is disturbing on so many levels! Some people are overwhelmed by the amount of work that they have to do because a) their house help is no longer there and b) their family is at home so there is too much to do. Now I don’t mean to belittle anyone by saying chill you should be able to do all that, because no, it is not right for anyone to say that, no one knows the other’s situation, commitments, restrictions or abilities. But what I will say is the solution is actually simpler than you think!
This current life we are living is not normal! We are not going to be in this state forever, nothing is ever forever, that I can guaranty you! No one is coming into your home, no one is there to judge you, if you can’t manage to do everything you think you should do in one day then relax, there is always tomorrow! What you couldn’t get done today, can get done tomorrow, if it doesn’t get done tomorrow, then there is always another tomorrow! We put too much pressure on ourselves to live up to our own unachievably high standards! I am not saying lower your standards, its good to want to strive to becoming your ideal, but let’s ease off the pressure shall we! These are not normal times, so let’s leave those standards for normal times shall we. For now live how you can, make do with what you can do and for heaven sake get this message firmly across to your family, (for those that this concerns) you are not on holiday, you are not in the midst of a celebration, you are in the middle of a crisis!!! Food is on ration world wide! So stop acting like you are in a 5 star hotel and demanding for fancy dishes 5 times a day!! Come on you people wake up and look around you! There are families who have lost all income and have not enough food to get by, so let's stop pretending this is a very long public holiday because for a lot of people it definitely is not! (breathe breathe breathe, sorry I had to get that out of my system first!)
Now I do not mean to say by the above that we should be all worried and it’s doom and gloom, but I keep reading wives being demand upon to cook 5 times a day fancy dishes! That is outrageous if you ask me! Now is not the time to be living like a king, but a time to be living smart. Spend less time and ration on cooking; cook healthy, cook smart, cook fast and maximise your produce to its full capacity!
Suddenly parents have to do a lot more than their daily “normal” lives like being their children’s teacher, nanny, best buddy, fitness instructor, IT whiz, and heaven knows what else more! So at a time like this having to spend more time cooking than your normal daily routine is really not helping! Unless you are teaching your children to cook and using that as the day’s lesson plan you should really be spending the least amount of your time actually in the kitchen cooking. So let’s get this straight with our families shall we; don’t be a tart, cook smart!
Now that is just one pebble on the beach, there are far more pebbles to be touched upon.
Some people are being overwhelmed by their children and how to cope with doing right by them. Firstly, what is doing right by them? What you may think is doing right by them, might not be what it actually entails! Remember what I said above, these are not normal times so we need to let go of our “normal standards”. What do children need: food, warmth, cosy home, a whole lot of love and time! Once you have food ticked off, warmth and cosy home for most are thankfully already set. That leaves the two most vital ingredients for children, love and time! Yes children need to be educated, and they will be, trust in yourself, trust in them and trust in the act of education!
Education doesn’t come through books, books are limited to imparting precise and one dimensional knowledge, education is not dependant on books, it is dependant on the mind developing through all senses, processing all that it absorbs and deducing conclusions from it. That is learning! Once they learn, then they act on what they have learnt, then they learn some more from those actions and reactions. Retaining all of that learning and using it to aid one in life is what is called education! Education has no limits, subjects, restrictions, qualifications or quantifications, it just is!
You being present with your child not only teaches them that they are seen, heard, cared for, loved and safe; it teaches them how to live life, how to act when there is trouble brewing in the air, how to look after loved ones, how to manage the daily grind… how to be human.
For young ones your presence is all they need to learn so much! For older ones who you struggle to keep occupied with yet another game of monopoly, give them things to learn either with you through life skills or with you through researching a hobby, old or new, then either mastering it or compiling a presentation on it or otherwise. Or if they are into their late teens, allow them to manage daily life and it’s strings, which not only gives them a chance to experience it, but gives you a much needed helping hand in living through it. Or again motivate them to learn about something new that they may have always shown an interest in, remember it doesn’t have to be “intellectual”, it doesn’t have to be a part of the national curriculum. Learning is all around us, there is no limit to what, how and when you can learn something; embrace the act of learning! Don’t stress about what they might be “missing out” on, don’t stress over what they should be learning, take advantage of this unique opportunity life has just given them to learn something new, something completely different and unique to them and you.
Always remember we are not in a race against anyone, each individual brings to the table what they are, which is what “wins” them each opportunity in life. Don’t loose this opportunity to strengthen the beautiful uniqueness of your children, for that is who they are, that is what will carry them forward in life, that is what they need. League tables mean nothing in an interview in their dream field, passion is what shines through and sees them through!
Another thing I hear through the grape vine, lack of peace causing overwhelm. Some people are not worried about their children’s education or being demanded upon for too many meals, but they are struggling to find peace. Whether it is inner peace or outer home atmospheric peace. Either too many arguments are taking place or there is inner frustrations of being “cooped up”, or feelings of grief or loneliness due or restrictions on family contact. Or of course the big fear factor that is eating people up from the inside. Fear of not having access to essentials or fear of loosing family or fear of one’s own health. All of these leading to again feelings of overwhelm.
Now if you ask me this lack of peace is actually a more deeper rooted and greater problem than any of the others, regardless of what the reasons for it be. This actually exists in our normal daily lives and is either now just surfacing or compounding and sadly although the other two mentioned issues may well disappear post lockdown, this problem is one that will live on if not dealt with. But the good news is, as mentioned, this issue is irrelevant of lockdown, therefore it can be tackled irrespective of lockdown. This is not a matter of the mind, this is a matter of the heart! It can be insha’Allah tackled through healing of the hearts.
As always my first and foremost advice is hugging and holding. Children get easily overwhelmed and frustrated as do parents with their tantrums and demands as well as life’s demands. Hug each other and hold each other as much as you can, if your children are arguing just hold them, hear them don’t talk to them, just keep them in your arms until they recover. Honestly I kid you not, it works like magic, it will not only clear their overwhelming feeling, but also any that you may have been having. When you argue with your partner despite who started it, or who was right or wrong, stop shouting at each other and sit either in each others arms or next to each other holding hands and then talk it out, skin to skin contact can not only save the lives of babies, but it can save the life in your relationship. The best cure for arguments and overwhelm is holding and hugging, it diffuses the fire inside! Trust me! You might be thinking phish phosh, but it is not, chemicals are released and reactions taken place inside your bodies that is what calms you down, its not a load of nonsense its biology!
Now coming to feeling “cooped up” or grief or loneliness, I have touched upon this before briefly on my lifeline page on FB, but I will contemplate it further here.
If you are living with a family, as in are not entirely alone in a house and still then you are feeling cooped up or lonely then this should be an indication to you that there is something monumentally wrong here! A home is where one should always look forward to being, a family whom we live with should be all that we need to survive, it should be with whom we feel the happiest and safest with. If one is not feeling these things then its time to do a lot of deep reflection and soul searching! It doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you or your family as per say, but what it means is that you are not feeling at home with them or in your home. Now this could be for a variety of reasons either you are longing something for yourself that which you do not yet have, like for example a job, a career, a direction, or you are longing a connection with your family that you do not have. The latter is actually a simple matter but a complex one to fix. The way to go about it is firstly self reflection, think about firstly with whom it is lacking and then what is lacking, what type of connection is it that you long for that makes you feel lonely even in your own home with your own family. Then the next step after you have diagnosed the problem is the bigger braver step of addressing it. Raise awareness to the individual(s) of firstly this issue then the root cause of it and how you think it can be tackled. This last bit is the most tricky one, because it no longer involves just you, it involves others. Now firstly the difficult part is getting them to appreciate that this problem is present in your connection and it is costing you, then once you get that sorted the actual bridging of this gap is going to take long hard persistent efforts on both(or all) persons’ counts. But it is not impossible!! If you keep working at it insha’Allah one day it will be accomplished. But bare in mind as it is something you need you maybe the one who may need to work extra hard for it, be extra persistent with it and maybe have to put in most of the effort for it, but to reap the rewards we must first put in the back breaking work.
Now the other side of this, sometimes we live with persons that no matter how hard we try with, a gap can not be bridged. They make you feel lonely and unwelcome, in this case if they are not your spouse or children, then maybe it is something that needs to be brought up and addressed, but if it is your spouse or your children, then things need more serious thought and intervention. Families come in all forms, shapes and sizes, only we ourselves can know the true nature of our situations and we must reflect deeply, but sensibly and with clarity not emotionally and seek a truly plausible solutions for ourselves.
Even if you feel that there is nothing “wrong” with your relationships with anyone, nor is your personal purpose bothering you and you think neither of those are the reason for you feeling cooped up, does not mean that they may well not be the issue, maybe it is just you not being able to pin point it just yet.
Emotions are complex, sometimes they show their source other times it may need a lot of time and uncovering to reach the actual source because it is covered up in so many layers. Imagine an onion, you have to peel back layer after layer to reach the core. Sometimes this can be achieved on one’s own, other times it may need professional intervention. Psychologists are great but sometimes we need a little bit more than just conversational un-peeling sometimes the helping hand of simple homeopathic remedies are needed to help us uncover deep hidden emotional upsets. Whatever the case there are avenues to explore this and reach peace insha’Allah. The first and most important step is to actually recognise that there is an issue to start of with.
I think I best leave it at here for the moment and let one sit with these thoughts, for the biggest leg of learning is done in the space of silence.
I wish you inner and outer peace.
May we all find our stride and learn to dance in this rain!
My aim has always been to avoid either extreme, to take an informed balance approach, now I have that semi down re the elephant, but its all the strings attached to it so to speak that I struggle with. This whole school closure thing has my mind and heart all up in a twist. For once I feel uncertain about what is the sensible approach.
Whether you believe this virus to be the threat they say or not, one thing is clear the government’s efforts are to contain it, and the only way inevitably will be to shut schools, no matter how much they appear to deny it now. Now whether it is the right thing to do or not, is not the issue for me here anymore. My issue is, if that is the case, that this will have to be the action and its just a matter of time, then why are we delaying it? (Apart from the obvious that its going to cost the government a packet and then some!) But on a personal level, the longer the schools are open, the more widespread it becomes, therefore the more chances of every school being infected increases day by day, its simple maths really! If you are going to take this action, is it not better you take it before you are infected, so to actually reap benefit from it? Even if one person is infected in the school, by the time it is confirmed it is to late and the damage done! Whether you believe it to be a threat or not, but common sense dictates if you are going to take an action for a certain result, should you not take it when you have a shot at attaining said result? You know that whole, strike when the iron is hot thing, ring a bell???
So here I stand torn between two pieces of my own common sense, I fail to see clearly what is sensible anymore? I mean it should be really very obvious shouldn’t it! I know the elephant, I can see the strings and yet I stand bewildered thinking am I the crazy in the room??
I don’t want to pull my children out of school and yet I can’t see the benefits of delaying the inevitable; when in doing so you only negate the result for which the action is to be taken for in the first place!
You can’t catch a plane after its has departed!
So alas I sit here as a person trying to live with common sense and as a mother who would like to make sensible and right choices for her children to the best of my mental, emotional and physical ability.
I think when one puts it in this way, there really is no choice, no dilemma, no confusion or doubt of the sensible!
In the war between a woman and a mother,
A mother is always right!
Here is to us all, to finding peace within ourselves, because at the end of the day when all is said and done and there is nothing but the quiet of the night, there is only one voice to be heard and to answer to, the little voice of reason within you!
To Self Peace!
Stay safe and happy!
This space features my reflections, opinions, ponderings and from time to time announcements of what I am up to. It literally is me in my corner on my soapbox.
Seeking some direction or motivation for your thoughts or life then look no further!
Cooking Is The Season
Finding The Way
Hire A Chef
Story Train Series