'I am fat'

'I am fat'

There you go, I can finally say (or write) this in a way that brings no strong reaction or emotion within me. I see it as a simple neutral statement that describes my body. My body is fat. I am fat.

This has not always been like this. Not so long ago, I would have cringed, felt deep shame, denied it, or chosen whatever other words I could think of, that felt more soothing to my self-perception.

Read More

'What about me?' The Before - part I

'What about me?' The Before - part I

‘What about me?’ This question popped into my mind several times in my life.

I am giver. I spent a lifetime giving my love, attention, energy, to work and people. I gave, again and again, and there would be times, when I would somehow stop and ask myself: ‘What about me?’

——

This is the first part of a two part post. A before and after account of what has changed in me. How I became aware of the many aspects of being me and what it means in practice to become aware, the transformation and the benefits.

Read More

My energy, my mood and the Moon

My energy, my mood and the Moon

This post will be a mixture of the ‘Books that changed my life’ posts I have shared on my social media (check Instagram or Facebook) and a longer reflection on this subject and my experience.

I read ‘Code Red: Know your flow, unlock your monthly super powers and create a bloody amazing life. Period’ by Lisa Lister back in 2017. I don’t quite remember how the book came to me but when I read it, it changed my view of my menstrual cycle quite dramatically. What I once saw as a painful and uncomfortable monthly nuisance, I could now see as something different. I could see that by understanding my cycle I could understand myself better. My moods, my energy and how to harness this knowing into making time to honour the different stages of the cycle.

As I read the book, for the first time in my life, I actually had the time and disposition to observe my body better and try and identify all the phases of my menstrual cycle. As time went on, I started getting confused and then frustrated, because my cycle seemed to not conform to the descriptions in the book.

Read More

How to be a Scientist of the Self - an example

How to be a Scientist of the Self - an example

 ‘Being a Scientist of the Self, means that you take a separate role within yourself and become an observer of your own living experience. After all, you are the most absolute expert at being you. No one else has a clue of what it truly means to be you. You do you in a way that no one else can.’ Pelagia Pais

This piece is an example of how I use this concept for my own self-inquiry and growth. The better I know myself, what motivates my actions and reactions in daily life, the easier it gets for me and for those around me, ultimately, having a bigger impact through ripples into the bigger world. 

Read More

I walk in beauty

I walk in beauty

I was walking back from the seaside, noticing how light and relaxed my body felt when suddenly this line came to my head: ‘I walk in beauty’. It made so much sense and that sentence fitted perfectly with how I felt in that moment.

I felt beautiful because I could sense my body walking following its natural relaxed movement, I felt super soft inside, my legs had a relaxed certainty about them, my arms were dangling in what felt like the perfect movement, I was standing tall without any conscious effort, I had a smile on my face and I felt beautiful.

Read More

Body wisdom

Body wisdom

The other day I noticed something in my body. As I was walking, I noticed that my hand was closed and my thumb was tucked in with my fingers holding it safe. The first time I noticed and realised the reason for walking with this hand position was back in 2016 and I realised, through a series of events, self-enquiry and what was happening then, that this meant I was feeling anxious. To notice my body doing this again after a few years of not doing it, raised alarm bells for me. What part of me was feeling anxious and why was I not aware of it?...

Read More

Postponing life

Postponing life

Even though I have read about this many times, I have recently came to the realisation of how much I keep postponing in my life.

I have been focused on self love and care for quite some time and it has been a continuous journey and practice. I feel like I have come a long way yet, there is more to do. In particular when it comes to loving my body

Read More

Outside of the herd

The beginning of 2017 came with a new start of my professional life. For the first time in around 20 some years I was not going back to a 9-5 job. In the first week of January I took some time to take notice to how I would feel not having to go back into work. I wanted to acknowledge the change. It turns out, that on the 3 January I had a doctors examination at 08.15 in the morning and this meant that I actually had to get up early and at a similar time to when I was working. I thought this was funny and slightly ironic. 

As the week progressed, I took pleasure in taking an afternoon nap, just because I could and also I was responding to what my body was asking of me. It felt good. 

Further down the week, I had a dentist appointment in Covent Garden at 08.30 in the morning. This would mean me doing exactly the same route as I would do for getting to my former job. I had to consciously  remember I was not going to work! And then, when I had to come back to Waterloo after my appointment, it all felt slightly surreal. I was walking in the completely opposite direction of everyone else. 

I don't know about you, but some times, I had fantasized getting to Waterloo to get to work and get myself on the next train back so that I could go back to my bed and sleep. It felt indulgent to be able to do such a thing, but it never happened. Walking back over Waterloo Bridge, it felt strange. It felt like I was the only person going in the opposite direction, while everyone else was going back into Central London and to work. I felt I was outside the herd. The 9-5 herd. I was part of this group of people for so long and all of a sudden, in that moment, I felt a bit of an outsider. I was somehow questioning myself:  'Am I valuable member of society if I am not part of the group of people who go to work every day during those fixed hours'. I know I am a valuable member of society, but this moment on the bridge made me suddenly question it. 

When I got to Waterloo Station, things changed. I suddenly was able to make true my desire of going on a train back home so early in the morning and while most people were coming into work. It felt exciting and I had a buzzing feeling in my body. It was a pleasurable experience. 

Hibernating

I dragged myself over tha last days of work. Had to complete one final report and I did so just in the nick of time. My body felt so tired at the end of the day that I got home and had a nap. Yes, that's right, you heard it, a nap. After that nap I was able to do what I needed to do for that evening. 

All the art making stoped and so did the self-healing with Reiki. It all got put on hold while I just used the energy I had for the essential.  

After the last day of work, which was equally a relief and very sad, I had to travel to Portugal. Once there, the most important thing was to rest.

It feels like I am hibernating. I have only been here two days and they have been very similar. I'm loving and acknowledging the luxury of naps in the middle of the day; whenever I feel like it, I draw and create the art I love; I'm reading fiction 'The Mountain Shadow' and it is the first fiction book I have read for what feels like years, it feels like a treat; and I move to a song or two every day, so that my body gets some attention. I guess this can also be called self-care in action. 

Tiredness and self-care

I feel tired, my body feels tired and so does my mind. We are all tired.  

This has been an incredibly busy year for me. A year of learning, processing and most importantly of change.  

And now, the year is coming close to an end and it feels like I am so close to the finish line but not quite there. The tiredness increases with this awareness.  

A big part of my life is also coming to an end. Back in September I resigned from a job I was doing for 6 years and from a University I had been working for 9 years. It is a long, long time.  

The job is still interesting and challenging but I have done all I could do with it and I now want to invest my energy on something I am passionate about.  

If only I did not feel soooo tired... Self care in the coming weeks will be my priority above everything else. I've instituted a nap as soon as I get home from work. If I manage to do other things, great, if not, also great.  

I'm thinking of going to that restorative yoga class again this Friday. I'll be doing my Mandala Wednesday tomorrow and see what other creative design comes out. 

Right now, as soon as my body feels tired, I rest it. If I have energy I'll move it or do something creative.  

Do you prioritise self-care? What things do you do to take care of yourself?

Restorative Yoga and My Body

Tonight, I was invited to try a class of Restorative Yoga. When I hear the word yoga nowadays, I always think about the 12 poses and how I could never do some of them and how my body hurts just thinking about it.

I somehow got myself out of the house. I was curious about the place where it was taught, Battersea Yoga, as I know someone who works there. The location is lovely, the room where it is taught brings you immediately into a *sigh of relief* kind of mode. The mood lights were set in blue, I like blue. It looked very different from the place I last did yoga in.

I have a lot of pain in my body generally and I have been hosting a lovely cold for several weeks now. My body feels tired and depleted of energy and I really did not feel like a yoga class at all.

The most difficult part, I had already done, which was to get out of the house, so after being reassured that we don’t even get up from the mats, I was in!

Since I have done Nia Technique White Belt, back in April, I try to be as aware of my body as possible, particularly when in movement. So, I made sure I remembered to take care of my body, to listen to it and not push it into anything that gave it uncomfortable pain.

I learnt straight away that we were only going to do about 5 poses in the next 75 minutes, that we were going to hold it for 5 minutes each and allow our bodies to relax deeply in each one of them.

A lot of different panicked thoughts flashed through my head. I could see myself in excruciatingly tangled positions I might not ever be able to get out of or even hold.

I carried on, I surrendered my body, made sure I supported my body with props that allowed for that surrender to happen in comfort and for my body to breath in relief and relax in places I have forgotten existed. My mind was quiet.

One of the only thoughts coming to my mind was: ‘how come I do not do this more often?’ It felt indulgent in the right way, it felt loving towards my body, it felt caring and delicious. I felt mellow and energised at the end. And most of all, I felt grateful for my body, for myself, for friends, for life.

Thank you Gemma!

Battersea Yoga, I shall be back!