Relax

I have a “spiritual running buddy” as Gabrielle Bernstein likes to put it. It’s a friend of mine, with whom we’ve been through a lot together. Our sisterhood started in high school, but not for the purpose of our supporting each other to be good to ourselves, so much as the exact opposite. We both had eating disorders at the time and were basically giving each other pep talks on how not to focus on eating, but exercising. Fast forward thirteen years, we found ourselves back on the same path, this time towards self-love, personal development and spiritual journey. And I couldn’t be more grateful that we are in this together.

This morning we talked about keeping that intangible connection to ourselves when the times are a-trying. She recently went travelling to this dreamy tropical destination, and being off work for three weeks, she was certain how she could really practice her presence over there. In the end what got in the way was her own mind, constantly asking: “Am I present now? Am I present now? How about now? And now?” Giving in to our thoughts is what keeps us from being in the now, right? Her mind was so obsessed with the idea of being in the moment, that she actually missed being in the moment because she was thinking about being in the moment. Absurd, isn’t it? And yet it happens to all of us.

It happens to me, too. The only difference is that I’m not pushing myself to be more present (although it might be good sometimes) but – happy. I come from a family where complaining is the norm. Complaining brings forth unacceptance of current conditions, which pushes us to fight our lives and the Universe, rather than accepting and cherishing it. We end up being cranky most of the time, and in that we forget how it is to be happy, thus accepting and cherishing of all no matter what. So I often find myself checking up on my happiness, and when I establish I’m not as happy as I could be, the very fact of not being happy as I could be makes me – unhappy. A circle, a vicious circle! This is not freedom. It’s like being anorexic and obsessively thinking about food all the time, even though you’re not eating it. That is not freedom.

Now what?  

Relax. Celebrate. I mean it.

Let’s celebrate our showing up for ourselves no matter what. The next time we find our mind being a total control freak, not letting us experience what we set out to experience, let’s thank it. Let’s really thank it, because it’s trying to help us. And then, let’s put the mind where it belongs: into a safe little nest, where it can watch over all of the experiences that enrich our soul, only speaking up when the soul gives our an S-O-S.

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Being You and really Being It!

I don’t think I have much to say today, but whatever I do, it’s going to be real. Count on it.

Being authentic is a new concept for me. I’m talking about being YOURSELF in any given moment and owning it.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I was faking and trying to please others most of my days up until now. Well, almost. Well, it actually might have been … and it started out when I was a kid. A chubby one. Who loved to eat and sing and talk and read encyclopaedias (my mind was very active very early), but who also felt that chubby wasn’t what was required of her. It wasn’t ok. So she started dieting at age eleven, because she thought that being skinny would make her ok. The dieting thing turned into anorexia at seventeen and to bulimia at nineteen and followed her into young adulthood. All she ever wanted was to be ok, really. But she never was, so long as she relied upon the verdict of well-meaning others. Once she was too fat, other times she was too skinny. Because she was never quite ok, the particularly sharp rebellious spirit living in her woke up and took the reins. Sure, she was a rebel, but was fighting against herself. Not knowing yourself brings you into the position where you’re not sure whose side you’re supposed to be on. So you take the hard way, because you read or and heard it one place everywhere that if you want something, you have got to fight and suffer for it. “No pain, no game,”, right?

Eating disorders are the hard way to authenticity, self-love and self-assurance. The day that I decided I was better than my friends because I didn’t give into temptation and eat the cookie like everybody else, I could have decided differently. I could have put on my bikini (we were in Sicily for a field trip) and look at myself into the mirror and I could have decided – there and then – to see beauty and youth; to feel love and shiny golden hair falling down my shoulders; to appreciate innocence, intelligence, humour, stubbornness, beautiful singing voice, a gift for writing, or anything else I could find. That would be the easy way, wouldn’t it? Think about it, being aware of all your talents and attributes surely makes for a good day, a good life, doesn’t it? But then again – how to you come to me aware? Doesn’t awareness have much to do with disciplining your mind into focusing on what good you can find, not what bad you stumble upon? So what is in fact the easy way?

I have come to the point in life where I believe loving yourself for all that you are is the easy way. It means appreciating yourself when you’ve taken the steps to rise, and it also means appreciating yourself when you’ve done something that’s not of the highest good for all and everyone. I’m talking about being whatever I’m being at the moment, and having the nerve to be it, the nerve to speak up.

This very moment, for me? What’s up is that I feel really tired. Even without Svarun I’ve been waking up at the exact same time as I do when we wake up on weekdays (nobody ever needs a watch) and I’ve been going to bed pretty late. Besides, I feel like I spent way too much time behind the screen today, working on a project with a friend. And my stomach is complaining about the lot of cheese and rice crackers that I ate half an hour ago, not out of hunger, but because I’m gently stressed out about something I need to do tomorrow morning. But I’m happy because my and Svarun’s home looks so nice and feels so clean; I’ve been moving furniture these past few days because I feel that our home needs a change. I’m grateful because I  got to start the day with yoga, meditation, sun and breeze in my favourite place in the world, the meadow, where I’ve been going since I was a little girl. I’m grateful to receive all of the inspiration that I receive daily; I’m grateful I can see it as inspiration. I’m grateful that my fears are weaker than my calling. I’m grateful to have a week for myself, but I’m even more grateful that my son is coming home soon.

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