1:33h – Aufgewacht dank Jetlag. Normalerweise hätte ich es mir verboten, den Computer anzuschalten – macht doch nur noch wacher. Aber ich habe mir für dieses Jahr vor allem eines vorgenommen: ich möchte es mir leicht machen. So oft wie möglich. Und jetzt gerade ist es leicht, hier zu sitzen und zu schreiben, also … Das ist eine Lehre, die ich immer wieder im Rückblick auf mein Leben ziehe. Die Momente, in denen ich gelitten habe, sind allesamt Momente, in denen ich mir das Leben selber schwer gemacht habe.
In der Vergangenheit war diese Erkenntnis oft ein Vorwurf an mich selber. Jetzt empfinde ich sie nur noch als Erleichterung. Sie bedeutet nämlich, dass wenn ich den leichten Weg wähle, anstatt mich mal wieder durch irgendetwas durchzubeißen, werde ich irgendwann zurückblicken können und sehen: gut gemacht. Ich habe mir das Leben ja auch in der Vergangenheit nicht nur schwer gemacht.
Job gekündigt, Haus gefunden – was passiert, wenn man der Herzensstimme folgt
Ich kann inzwischen auf genug Leben zurückblicken, um zu sehen, dass ich zu beidem fähig bin, zum Misstrauen und zum blinden Vertrauen in meine Herzensstimme. Ich möchte wie gesagt öfter den leichten Weg wählen – de Weg des Vertrauens. So wie damals, als ich meinen Job kündigte, weil ich in mir die Gewissheit spürte, dass ich den loslassen müsste, damit das Haus auf dem Land, was Peter und ich uns damals so wünschten, kommen könnte. Und tatsächlich kam es auch so: erst kam das Haus. Wir bekamen den Kredit dafür sogar obwohl wir beide zu dem Zeitpunkt noch arbeitslos waren. So etwas erlebt man, wenn man dieses blinde Vertrauen in die Herzensstimme hat.
Fühlen und verstehen – beides ist wichtig
Eine Sache, die ich durch die Reise über mich erfahren habe ist, dass ich immer beides brauche – fühlen und verstehen. Das Gefühl ist immer am Anfang, es ist eigentlich ein Wunsch. Der Hintergrund dieses Wunsches ist meist nicht sofort offensichtlich und der Verstand will ihn ergründen. Dazu gibt es zwei Wege – entweder wir finden heraus, warum der Wunsch recht hatte, indem wir ihm blind vertrauen und folgen. Oder wir finden im Umkehrschluss heraus, warum er recht hatte, indem wir ihm misstrauen und ihm nicht folgen.
Der Weg des Misstrauens fängt im kleinen an, bei scheinbar unbedeutenden Entscheidungen. Wenn wir ihm lange genug folgen, stellt er uns dann vor die großen Weggabelungen, wo die Konsequenzen der verschiedenen Alternativen einfach überdeutlich werden.
Es ist eine Sache, unglücklich in einer Beziehung zu sein, solange ich nicht verstehe, dass die Beziehung ein beitragender Faktor für dieses Unglücklichsein ist. Es ist eine Sache, zu reisen, solange ich nicht verstehe, was es bedeutet, dass ich ständig plötzlich vom Heimweh gepackt werde und an jedem schönen Ort, den ich entdecke, immer wieder nur der Gedanke kommt „Das ist ja alles schön – aber es ist nicht Sundsvall“. Es ist immer eine andere Sache, sobald sich mein Bewusstsein verändert hat. Da trenne ich mich dann ganz plötzlich oder lasse ein Flugticket nach Chile verfallen. Weil es quasi gar nicht mehr anders geht. Nicht, weil die Stimme im Kopf nicht mehr da ist. Ganz im Gegenteil.
Der Herzensstimme folgst du nicht, weil die Stimme im Kopf verschwunden ist – du machst es einfach trotzdem
Die sagt natürlich „Ja, aber wie sieht das denn aus, wenn du dich trennst – ihr habt doch gerade erst geheiratet!?“ Die sagt „Wie sieht das denn aus, wenn du deine Reise abbrichst?!“ Die sagt „Wie sieht das denn aus, wenn du sagst, du willst nach Sundsvall zurück!?“ Und die Stimme hat natürlich auch Antwort parat, auf ihre Frage, wie das wohl alles aussieht: nämlich total bescheuert. Als ob ich nicht wüsste, was ich wollte. Als ob ich übereilte Entscheidungen treffe, zu denen ich dann nicht stehen kann – weil sie eben total übereilt und idiotisch waren.
Das ist der Moment, in dem ich plötzlich tiefe Gewissheit habe: ich tue genau das Richtige. Ich spüre, wie richtig meine Entscheidung ist, und dass es total egal ist, wie das alles für andere aussehen mag (das weiß ich ja letztlich gar nicht, ganz abgesehen davon, dass es mich nichts angeht, was andere über mich denken). Da spüre ich ganz deutlich, dass es total verrückt und bescheuert wäre, eine andere Entscheidung zu fällen – nur, damit es irgendwie „besser“ aussieht oder für andere nachvollziehbarer wird. Ich weiß, dass man sein Leben sehr wohl nach diesem Aspekt gestalten kann Und ich kann’s verstehen, denn wie gesagt, auch ich bin nicht frei von der Stimme, die fragt, wie das denn aussieht … Umso dankbarer bin ich, dass ich mich von ihr nicht abschrecken lasse.
Die Frage ist nicht, ob du Erkenntnis gewinnst sondern wie
Jetzt, wo ich verstanden habe, dass es mir immer um das Verstehen geht und vor allem: dass das auch so sein darf, habe ich eine andere Ausgangslage. Mir ist durch die Reise klar geworden, dass ich in allem, was ich tue, Erkenntnisse gewinne. Dass es nicht darum geht, ob ich herausfinde, warum ich mir etwas wünsche, sondern wie. Dass ich mich entscheiden kann, herauszufinden, warum es sich lohnt dem Wunsch, der Herzensstimme zu folgen oder eben nachzuforschen, warum mein Misstrauen gegen die Alternative berechtigt war. Das Ergebnis steht ja schon vorher fest: die Herzensstimme hat Recht. Die Gründe dafür werden im Nachhinein geliefert.
Da ist die größte Herausforderung für mich, erstmal zu checken, wenn ich gerade mal wieder der Stimme aus dem Kopf folge, die wieder irgendeine Meinung darüber hat, was geht oder was nicht. Vielleicht kennst du ja auch diesen inneren Dialog:
Wunsch: „Ach, das wäre toll, wenn ich xy machen/haben könnte“
Kopf: „Ja, aber das geht nicht, weil *irgendein logisch klingender Grund*. Du könntest stattdessen *irgendetwas anderes* machen/haben. Das ist auch gut.“
Wunsch *hat dem Kopf kein Argument entgegenzusetzen, weil er nicht logisch ist und verwelkt innerlich wie eine Blume*: „OK“
Meiner Beobachtung nach erweisen sich die ganzen Kopfgründe in der Realität entweder als überwindlich (oft sogar leichter als gedacht) oder nicht existent. Zum Beispiel: Als ich in Frankfurt am Flughafen ankam, stellte ich fest, dass die Gepäcktrollys nicht mehr gratis waren. Fand ich doof und ging ganz automatisch genervt zum Gepäckband. Ich spürte schon das Gewicht von meinem Rucksack auf den Schultern, als mir plötzlich der Gedanke kam: du hast nicht mal nachgeschaut, was denn die Gebühr ist. Der halsabschneiderische Automat wollte doch tatsächlich die unverschämte Summe von sage und schreibe … einem Euro.
Das Leben besteht zum Hauptteil nicht aus den großen sondern aus den ganz kleinen Entscheidungen
Ich treffe nicht jeden Tag die Entscheidung, meinen Job zu kündigen um ein Haus zu finden, lasse mich nicht ständig scheiden, lasse nicht andauernd Flugtickets verfallen. Der Hauptanteil des Lebens besteht aus diesen ganzen kleinen Momenten, wo wir ganz unspektakulär mit unserem Rucksack dastehen – und trotzdem wählen können. Wir können uns die 20kg aufschnallen und auf irgendwelchen schrulligen Prinzipen nach Hause reiten oder wir können uns überlegen, wie wir’s denn gerne hätten und zuschauen, wie es möglich wird.
In diesem Sinne wünsche ich uns allen ein Jahr voller Leichtigkeit und Freude. Ich wünsche uns, dass wir der Herzensstimme immer mehr im Kleinen vertrauen, damit sie uns nicht im Großen gegen die Wand zu stellen braucht.
Ok, here it comes: I am pretty sure that we found our little corner of the world, our little farm in the prairie, the place where the heart is – you know: home.
I’ve actually felt that way ever since we saw it, which is how it’s supposed to start, right? By „saw it“ I mean the real thing, not the pictures, those gave me very mixed vibes: kitchen on the second floor? Weird, completely out of context wild west type front porch? What’s up with that? But apple trees, and a creek running through the yard! Plus, the price was right, too!
I am not the type to hold back on making (premature) announcements for fear of jinxing anything, I just say it how it is: that I think this is what’s going on but that it’s not a done deal yet. So, although everything isn’t settled yet, here is the story of our dream house and some pix thus far. It’s been quite a ride already …
It started with Peter’s mom, who obviously knew about our quest for a different place to live. One day in May we received an e-mail from her, saying that one of her colleagues wanted to sell a house. I already mentioned the pictures attached to that e-mail, and like I said, I was not sold right away. And anyways, moving back up north wasn’t really what we had had in mind, either. We wanted to stay at a distance from Gothenburg that would allow us to come visit regularly, and keep our circle(s) of friends! Also, when looking on the phone provider’s map of cell phone towers in the area, it wasn’t looking too hot, either … (no, not too few – too many, but that’s a story for another time). On top of it, we were supposed to make a fast call, since the owner had been trying to seel the house for a year, and was about to hand it over to a real estate agent, meaning a higher starting price plus a possible bidding war … So, yeah, we were doubtful.
At this point, I feel like I should insert a short lesson on Swedish geography, which makes the pickle we found ourselves in understandable:
- Sweden is a long country. A very long country.
- The drive from Gothenburg (which is where we live right now) to Sundsvall (where Peter’s family lives, and where the house is) takes nine hours.
- The place in Dalarna, where the family reunion for summer solstice was held, is a six-hour drive from Gothenburg, and a three-hour drive from Sundsvall.
We decided to take the „real estate agency risk“, and stick with our original plan to go check out the house after the family reunion. If the house was truly supposed to be ours, it would wait for us. If it suddenly, after being up for sale for a year, would find new owners, it just wasn’t meant to be. And like I said: we had had our doubts anyway, so we were mainly going to look at it so that we wouldn’t end up asking ourselves „What if …?“
Well, since I already spoiled it for you, the question at this point obviously isn’t whether this house turned out to be a „yay“ or a „nay“. I suppose you are more interested in how it went from „Hm“ to „Home!“.
Since it was on the way in to Sundsvall (the house is actually located in a village about 40 minutes outside), and Peter had spotted it’s location on the map, we decided to stop and sneak a peek from the outside. In all fairness: I wasn’t all that willing to make another stop, there had been so many delays and pit-stops on the way, and it was getting late. But we did, and my instant feeling was „This is where I want to live, we have to buy this house!“. It just felt right.
Just the area we drove through to get there was really beautiful: very rural, hills/small mountains with lakes in between, forest and fields, beautiful „old school“ farms and houses. The last bit of the way to the house is a dirt road, giving it that remote feel that I have been longing for.
We almost missed the house, there are bushes ans trees surrounding its property, which is also perfect. We recognized it by it’s „trademark“ – that funky front porch.
What I was iffy about when i saw the pictures suddenly came through – this place was really charming! The little creek (coming from a pond where apparently you can go fishing) was running through the land behind the house. A small bridge was leading across it, and on the other side stood the barn – also part of the property. In front of the barn was even a little decking, so I immediately saw myself sitting there, having dinners in the evening sun, enjoying the beautiful view over the field of the neighboring farm.
All curtains were closed, so we couldn’t get a look at the inside but that didn’t change me feeling that we’d come to a good place was. What followed was a major fight, what else. I guess my all out exhilaration and unreserved euphoria brought out the opposite in Peter. In an attempt to get my head out of the clouds (not a deliberate one, I would say, it felt more like an instinctive, compulsive pessimism at the time …), he went right to the opposite end of the scale. Well, if his intentions had been to prevent me from getting my hopes up too high, he certainly succeeded. It seemed like the life I had been picturing was never going to be possible with „Mr. Monday“ …
The ride into Sundsvall started out fast and furious (I was driving, still completely pissed) but despite all the „You always …“ and „You will never …“ we somehow managed to smoothe things over, and make it home in one piece. At night, I started having second thoughts of my own. Was this really it? The property did seem awfully small in retrospect, and half the point of moving to the country-side was to grow our own vegetables, possibly have hens and goats and whatnot! Yet I was also a bit worried about the fact that a real estate agency actually had become involved. We had seen an ad for the house in the local paper – already at a slightly higher asking price!
The next day, Peter’s mom arranged for us three to meet her colleague/friend at the house so we could get a look at the inside. No disappointments here. Sure, it was going to be work but we had wanted a project – nothing too advanced but still something we would make our own. Again, it seemed like we had come to the right place.
Regardless of what we want to do with this one (a summer cottage is my vision …) or when, we’re going to have to start out by doing damage control and take out the flooring
The best part was, that there was still a lot of old, charming details left:
The owner (rather, the daughter of the owners who’s managing the sale) was kind enough to let Peter and me borrow the key so that we could stay the night.
Why did we want to do that? Well, there is one issue that has made this quest for a place to live more than a life dream, and which overrules all our opinions, desires and reason: Peter is hypersensitive to electromagnetic fields. That can mean all kinds of things, in his case (and I am simplifying here), any sort of wireless signals (cell phones and cell phone towers, wireless internet, cordless phones, etc.) cause him physical pain. That obviously makes everyday life, uhm, a challenge. It gets even more confusing when you add to that that it takes his body a while to adjust to different environments. Meaning, while it obviously is worst when he is exposed to a lot of electro-magnetic signals, his body does get used to that situation, the pain becomes kind of a background noise. When he’s in an environment where there are very few emitters of electromagnetic signals, he feels a lot better – but just one device suddenly popping up can make the pain seem a lot more piercing.
He usually explains it with this metaphor: If you’re in a room full of people smoking, you stop noticing the fume after a while, and it won’t bother you (if you even can tell) when one additional cigarette is being lit. However, if you are in a place where nobody smokes, one cigarette being lit might bother you a lot, while technically, it is probably a lot less healthy for you to be in the room full of smokers.
So, perception is relative – but the health factor isn’t, which makes things very complicated. In an environment with few sources of electromagnetic signals (gosh, I am really bad with the terminology stuff, sorry to all of those who know better, feel free to correct me!), the one neighbor that is surfing the internet wireless, can pretty much make it impossible for us to live there. Let alone the cell phone towers that might be put up in the area, since that’s where we’re heading.
The house we’re interested in buying is fairly isolated, with only four neighbors at an ok distance – except for one, which is only about 25 yards away. The two times we were there for maybe an hour or so each, Peter felt good. But as hopefully has become clear, that’s not really enough. Therefore we asked to sleep there.
We drove back to Sundsvall to get our sleeping bags, and on the way back out, we saw the most amazing sun set:
We slept well that night – and we hadn’t even brought the silver net which we usually have up to shield Peter/us! Oh yeah, and it turned out that the contract with the real estate agency hadn’t been signed yet, so the owners could back out of that deal, meaning no competition for us, lower price, yet more money for the owners. Yup, the universe was definitely waving numerous of those giant foam hands, all pointing at that house.
Good things just kept coming: Peter’s sister and her husband came out to meet us the next morning. They had bought a house of their own a few years back, so they could give us advice and opinions that backed up our gut feeling (yeah, it turned out that Peter really did like this house, too, he was just more hesitant to express that in the beginning). The day after that, Peter’s aunt and uncle came to visit, and they have fixed up quite a few houses over the years, so their approval meant a lot.
We started looking up all that fun stuff that comes with these kind of endeavors – bank loans (both unemployed right now, yikes), jobs, costs and waiting time for an „official“ expert to give the house a check-up … the works.
Then the time came to return to Gothenburg, and so much had happened during that one week – we really were only gone from Thursday to Thursday!? – that it felt like months. Suddenly our outlook on the future had shifted from „What are we going to do? Where are we supposed to live? How are we ever going to figure this out?“ to „This is it!“.
And then, just as sudden, we hit a brick wall, and the whole thing came to a screeching halt: it looked like it would not be possible for us to have telephone, let alone internet there. I probably don’t need to point out that that is a terrifying prospect for someone who cannot use cell phones or wireless internet … Surely, this could not be happening??? How could the perfect house for us suddenly be brought down by (the lack of) a cable?
As absurd and unfathomable as that seemed, it looked like all the spots in the box that supplies the phone lines to the households in one area where taken up. And since the trend is towards wireless, the phone companies do not put any resources into expanding there … So, if we wanted to live there, we would apparently be „incommunicado“ indefinitely. Welcome to the absurd life of electromagnetic-hypersensitive people and their loved ones.
Anyway, don’t want to bore you with the details of this odyssey that had Peter in a loop, being sent back and forth between different companies. I’ll just skip right to the status quo: there seemed to have been a computer error, marking that box „no vacancy“ when there was just some other defect. Technical folks are heading out to the house on Tuesday, where Peter’s sister will let them in so they can check out what’s really going on. For now I am optimistic that we might be able to avoid total solitary confinement …
Without meaning to, this post somehow turned from „The house of my dreams“ into „My life with my electromagnetic-hypersensitive boyfriend“. Well, I hope you can embrace the eclecticism. Here, have another picture of the beautiful sunset:
A lot has been going on. It’s hard to put in words, I have been re-writing this sentence several times now. Part of me wants to tell the whole story, another part doesn’t think it’s relevant for anyone but me (maybe that’s true, or maybe that’s just the part talking that is reluctant to show itself for what it is).
Waking my demons
The short version is: The circumstances in my life – less than two weeks away from unemployment, a long week at work coming up involving travel, and spiritual growth – have awoken an old demon: my eating disorder (binge-eating). It hasn’t been this bad since university, in some respects it’s even worse. For several weeks now it has been a daily struggle („struggle“ seems like a euphemism since I haven’t had much fight in me it seems), I have even gone and bought stuff I craved, which I never ever have done before.
Practical remedies for when you feel weak
I think I know what the underlying issue is here: and old karmic trauma, the memory of which I recently conjured when I made a wish. I do want to get into that at some point but right now I want to focus on the symptoms. For while I believe that my best chances of overcoming this self-destructive habit is by dealing with the issues I am trying to distract myself from with it, I also feel a need for something more hands-on, a lower obstacle. Because honestly: sometimes the advice „Well then just don’t give into these cravings, and you’ll find out what’s really the issue“ is just not practical. If it were easy, or if I felt that strong, I probably wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place.
This is the part I want to share with you not just because it helps me writing about these things but because I think that the information I came across this afternoon is helpful to anyone with an eating disorder/an unhealthy relationship to food (just out of curiosity, are there any people left who have a healthy one?).
An Ayurvedic approach to eating disorders
I remembered some of the Ayurveda books I read also mentioned eating disorders as symptoms of dosha imbalances (I wrote about Ayurveda and its terminology before, click on the category „Ayurveda“ or scroll down to the relevant links if you want to know more). So I tried to find books with an Ayurvedic perspective on eating disorders. Once again I am grateful for the internet, and people sharing their work there so generously. I found a very informative article (please note that all facts I’ll be stating are from that article, unless otherwise marked):
It uses a lot of Ayurveda terminology, so I am trying to make this a sort of easy to understand summary. I encourage you however to read the original article in any case. There are lots of cases to illustrate the technicalities, and also because I will (for obvious, selfish) reasons mostly be going into the things that pertain to my situation, since those caught my eye.
Some basic insights
Let’s start from the beginning:
- Eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia, overeating) are related to stress and/or food allergies.
- How we react to stress in our eating habits depends on our individual constitution (dosha – Vata, Pitta or Kapha).
- Bad choices regarding food may stem from lack of education (meaning: we just don’t know any better than to eat they way we were taught as children), and for some (especially Pitta) they are a way to cope with trauma.
I am a Pitta-Kapha (right now with a severe Kapha imbalance, I’d say). For me, just recognizing myself in a lot of the symptoms stated in this article helps. Heck, just reading that
- Vata types are prone to anorexia/bulimia and tend to forget to eat,
- Pitta cannot skip meals and has a tendency to sugar addiction,
- Kapha easily puts on weight and is inclined to overeating
is huge! It takes away the feeling of personal guilt, and shifts the perspective to „This is how I as a Vata/Pitta/Kapha person react to stress, now let’s see what can be done about that“.
There is no „one size fits all“ solution
I have been praising Ayurveda for its individualistic approach in probably every article I wrote, and I find myself wanting to stress this crucial point once again: what is great about Ayurveda is that it does not claim to offer a universal solution. What is good for you always depends on who you are, therefore any „‚one size fits all‘ approach“, as Alakanda Devi puts it, is bound to set you up for failure. Unless, of course, you just happen to be the right person for the method but I’d prefer finding the right method for me …
Like increases like
Although there are no universal remedies, Ayurveda knows of certain universal principles. One of them is: like increases like. Often times like is also attracted to like, which is highly relevant when it comes to eating disorders. For according to Devis article, some eating disorders are the result of food allergies, and once recognized as such can be (relatively) easily cured.
For example, Kapha types are often (or more often than other types) allergic to wheat, gluten, and cow dairy. The „like increases like“ and „like is attracted to like“ explains why someone can be craving food that is actually bad for them. Various readings and nutrition experiments have led me – time and time again – to the conclusion that I am better off skipping sugar, dairy, and carbs (mainly wheat/gluten). Yet when I have cravings, I want ice-cream, cereal with lots of milk, and bread with cheese. Now I know why. (I kind of want to put sugar in a separate category because it seems like it works more like drug. Some say that refined sugar isn’t good for anyone, especially not the amounts we are used to consuming nowadays, others say that only certain people are more sensitive to its negative effects – either way, I’m it, I guess.) I know that cutting out the foods that are bad for me does not help with the psychological aspect of my eating disorder – but I imagine that for someone whose problems with eating are the result of an (undetected) food allergy, this information is really a big piece of the puzzle.
I think my Kapha is out of balance …
Even before I read this article I had been observing myself and recognizing certain tendencies which just seemed to have „excess Kapha“ written all over them:
- I have been feeling very tired, pushing my getting-up time gradually to way into the Kapha or even Pitta phase of the day.
- I have been feeling heavy, and at the same time craving foods with that exact quality (peanut butter with honey turned out to be my no. 1 poison, not to give you any ideas …), which made me feel even heavier – both principles, „like is attracted to like“, and „like increases like“ working at their utmost here.
- My cravings and the binges have been at their worst at night, between 6 pm and 10 pm, which is the second Kapha cycle of the day (despite the knowledge of the different dosha cycles, I had not been able to connect the dots previous to reading Devi’s article, so thanks for that!).
- I have been lazy, not exercising at all, basically the thought of physical labor could make me feel exhausted.
There is a lot more in that article but this seems like a good place to stop for now.
Now that I have realized all this, what am I to do with this?
First of all, like I mentioned in the beginning, just having this information and recognizing myself in the symptoms/cases described makes me feel like a weight has been lifted off me. Apart from dealing with the underlying issue, which may seem daunting and hard to grasp at times, there are „hard facts“. There are factors that contribute to me going on binges, and factors that can make it easier to withstand them. Those seem more tangible, easier to change, even when I don’t feel strong enough to deal with the big picture.
Once again, it’s the little things – baby steps.
Like being aware of the fact that it’s not necessarily just a question of willpower and discipline whether I can withstand cravings at night but that the Kapha dominance during these hours is a contributing factor. So I prepare myself for the risk, and find something to do to take my mind off of food – like writing this post.
I am reminded of the impact that sugar, wheat, and dairy have on me – not only on my physical well-being but also emotionally. This makes me feel motivated to try and make more deliberate choices about what I eat. I try to focus on what is good for me, and what I enjoy eating instead of thinking of it as „All the things I’m not allowed“. This is a tricky one since I am never oblivious as to whether what I eat is good for me or not …
Exercising helps reduce Kapha – as with everything, I am going to try and set the bar as low as possible, and raise it gradually (I tend to set my goals to high, get frustrated by failure, and respond by giving up completely). Going for an hour long walk every day seems do-able.
I want to try and see my cravings as something positive: after all, they are undeniable hints of something being awry. In my quest to find out my what my issues are, what it is that I am so afraid of to surface that I need to stuff it down with vast amounts of food, there is one fail-proof way of finding out: not giving in to the cravings, and seeing where that leads me. Like I said before, this is the hardest part.
I want to get better at asking for help. Both friends and the universe in my morning meditation.
Going to see to it that I get back to getting up early again.
More practical advice
Here’s another site with a few more hands-on things to do, e. g. different yogi techniques, which I want to try:
- Sweet Ayurveda Treatment to Stop Emotional Eating & Lose Weight – I know I’ll feel silly doing this even when nobody’s around, but it’s worth a try, right?
- Healthy Ayurveda Diet To Burn Fat & Lose Weight – OK, that title does not sound good, and I am not so sure about some of the advice but still, I’m definitely in need of some Kapha reduction.
- 5 Healthy Weight Loss Tips from Ayurveda – More weight loss stuff. I am actually proud of myself for not even having tried hard to not make this the focus of this post (gee, that was a lot of negatives). And the fact that I am finally at a point where weight loss isn’t my main concern anymore (although claiming that it isn’t a concern at all would be a lie, sadly).
- 6 Safe & Natural Weight Los Solutions – again, dumb title, not so sure about some of the advice (drinking hot water with honey? From what I understand honey has the same effect as sugar, so probably a red flag for me) but most of it sounds pretty good to me, especially the meditations and yoga exercises.
- 11 Guidelines for eating healthy | Guide on how to eat right – This is straight up Ayurveda, you can probably find this in every book on the subject. I should print these out and put them up somewhere to remind myself. Very basic, very true – often times hard to abide by because we’ve overwritten this common sense (for that is really what this, or anything Ayurveda, is) with other rules.
Other relevant links
Ayurvedic Diet – A good overview
I’m back. It feels weird being in our apartment again after wwoofing a week on the country-side. At least it’s finally green around here, too.
This past week was amazing and inspiring in so many ways. Initially we had planned on staying with two, maybe three different wwoof hosts. We ended up staying at Törnagården with Vanessa and Marcus the whole time. The perfect place for us.
I was pretty lousy at taking pictures. Sometimes it feels as if taking a photograph takes away something from the moment. Like you become aware that „this is a moment“ instead of just enjoying it’s existence. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but I don’t have a better excuse for why I didn’t take more pictures of some of the amazing things I saw these past days. Like Törnagården itself. Like the awesome house on wheels that Marcus designed himself, and which he has been building petty much entirely from trees he himself cut down. Like the adorable baby clothes Vanessa has been knitting for the little bean that is due any day now. Like the great food she prepared for us every day. Like … you get the picture. Well, I guess you actually don’t in this case. Maybe some.
So, what have I been doing then instead of taking pictures (as I am putting together this post, I realize that I did take more pictures than I thought), and without internet for a week?
When we arrived on Wednesday, we could tell we had come to the right place by the house on wheels that was standing on the lawn in front of the house. We were greeted by two excited little bears who seemed like they could hardly pace themselves behind the fence (another proof of Marcuses‘ craftsmanship). They turned out to be Sophie and Lotte, the family dogs. A highly pregnant Vanessa pointed us to the front door, where she welcomed us warmly. After talking for a while, and Vanessa showing us around, Marcus showed up, too. He had been at his workshop (he is a finsnickare, a carpenter), where he had been – and where he would be for most of the days we were staying at Törnagården – working on a bed for the baby. With the due date rapidly approaching, this was obviously pretty high on the priority list.
They showed us around some more – the green houses, which Marcus had built from parts he found on the property, and which were featured in an åter-article; Vätte, the cow, and her calf Edgar, and the two goats, Bogart and … I forgot the other one’s name. And they obviously gave us a tour of the house on wheels.
After lunch we started getting down to business. The business of shoveling
shitmanure namely. There was a big pile of it by the hen house, and it had to be moved in order to compost. After a while, we accompanied Marcus to his workshop. After we got a tour, we started cleaning up my the saw mill till dinner.
In the evening, Marcus and Vanessa tried to separate Edgar from Vätte over night, so that we would be able to get some milk in the morning. No success, though, or at least not for us. Edgar won this one.
On Thursday we all started the day by walking the dogs by a little pond in the woods nearby, Kvarndammen („kvarn“ means mill, and there was a little water mill).
Then it was back to the workshop, more cleaning. We had lunch at Törnagården, outside in the backyard. It was windy, so the salad had to be eaten fast, but still – we were eating outside, surrounded by nature. Sitting on our balcony here in town just doesn’t measure up to that.
All four of us went to the workshop in the afternoon. Peter and I cleaned some more, Vanessa was preparing the bars of the baby bed for sanding, Marcus kept building the bed. Later Vanessa, Peter and I sat outside in the sun and sanded the bars under Marcuses‘ (justifiedly) critical supervision. We ended up sitting there until after 8 pm. That was one of the most beautiful things for me during these past days: not having a watch with me – and no clocks on the walls. Just going with the flow, letting the daylight be my guide.
After we returned to Törnagården, Marcus went straight back to the workshop, the remaining three of us went to the neighboring farm to get some milk (how cool is that?!). Vanessa made pancakes for dinner, after which we sat and talked for a while. I was very tired, and the first to go to bed.
On Friday Marcus has to attend to a project for a customer, so Peter and I stay at Törnagården and finish of moving the manure from the hen house. We also clean the hen house a little, and I have to admit that the sight of maggots in the hen poo was quite the challenge for me. But the day wasn’t all work: I lay on the trampoline in the sun for quite some time, and in the afternoon Vanessa took Peter and me to a beautiful lake. I took my first „swim“ for the year (not sure if the few seconds I could make myself stay in the coldcoldcold water count).
Saturday Marcus had to finish up Friday’s project (sadly but not unsurprisingly that ate up quite a bit more time than planned). The rest of us went to Falköping. The thrift store Vanessa was going to show us was closed but we discovered one that she hadn’t been to, either, so it was a win for all three of us. Peter bought a beautiful old alarm clock, which ticks very loudly, and which has an alarm sound that I am not too crazy about, but which I hopefully will get used to.
In the evening the four of us went over to some friends of Vanessa’s and Marcuses‘ – Tonie, who was celebrating her 30th birthday, and Fabian. It was a beautiful evening, the first barbecue of the year, lots of interesting people with interesting stories; most of them wwoof hosts and wwoofers. Peter and I felt really welcome, and not like the tags-along (is that even a word?) we actually were.
Inspired by herbal savvy Vanessa, Peter and I went to gather some herbs to take with us to Gothenburg – dandelion, lady’s mantle, nettle, raspberry leaves. Peter wants to make wine from the dandelion blossoms, I have been browsing the net this morning for all kinds of recipes, and now it looks like there is going to be a pesto fest coming up (and thus probably some recipe posts, too).
In the afternoon, Peter and I went to Bossgården, a farm we had also considered wwoofing at, and which is actually the place where Vanessa and Marcus first were wwoofers themselves. At this point, we are trying to get into as many heads as possible of people who are doing what we hopefully will be doing ourselves some day in the not too distant future. Jonas, who runs Bossgården with his wife, Sanna, was kind enough to let us pick his brains over delicious homemade sour dough bread.
On Monday, Peter and I prepared two of the green houses by weeding and fertilizing them. I think I actually enjoyed this activity the most out of all our little wwoof-projects. Who knew that digging around in the dirt with my hands might turn out to be my thing?
My pleasure of digging around in the dirt however was surpassed by the joy of meeting someone else who has been doing that on a whole different scale – and for years: In the afternoon, Vanessa Peter and I went to see a guy that had been much talked about the previous evening. He was said to be building an earthship, and that was just way too interesting not to check out. The earthship turned out much more amazing than what I had imagined (and thanks to Vanessa, I remembered to take at least some pix this time). Kevin and the story of his earth ship were also really interesting, so if you ever happen to be in the Tidaholm area, I can only recommend that you stop by. We showed up unannounced (which we had been told was ok but somehow it still felt a little weird for me anyway), one of the kids had the stomach-flue – and we were still welcomed with open arms both by Sandra and Kevin. There is so much to be said about this earth ship, and the journey Kevin and his family have been on since they started building it. I am actually thinking that it is deserving of its own post, so for now we will have to make do with some pix.
Yesterday (Tuesday), we left – after one last look at the crib.
On the way home, we stopped by Hjo, one of the three cities in Sweden that have made it their goal to preserve as many of the old buildings as possible. It was beautiful, and – again – I took way too few pictures.
I felt really lucky when I found a little brochure at the tourist information about a place that sells locally grown white asparagus just outside Hjo. That has definitely been one of the things I miss about Germany, the measly little overpriced bundles you get at the grocery store here just don’t cut it. So I got to buy expensive but hopefully delicious „real“ asparagus for once. And whaddaya know, the guy running the place turned out to be from Germany originally. Driving by the fields, and seeing the workers (from Poland judging from the license plates of the cars parked at the farm), I couldn’t help but wonder about their wages, and I started thinking about Two Caravans and It’s a Free World … And then I started to think about my own hypocrisy, for after all: what about all the people involved in the process of producing my food that I buy at the grocery store, whose faces I don’t happen to see right in front of me? …
I did it. I quit my job. On Thursday. In a way, this was bound to happen but it was kind of out of the blue anyway since I had always imagined that I would find something I’d rather do while working.Last week I realized that that wasn’t happening, and that maybe that wasn’t the way to go about things. I remembered my former room-mate in Germany, who had quit her job because she was too discontent to continue but she knew that she wasn’t unhappy enough to do anything about it unless she had to. So she quit, and a few months later she found the perfect job.
For me the realization came during a conversation with my good friend La. I kept going on about how I really needed this to be over soon … and suddenly I realized that I could and would have to make that happen myself. Then I went through a phase of anxiety over the conversation I would have to have with my boss. I dreaded it, and almost didn’t want to quit just to avoid it. It sucks when you feel like you’re letting someone down – and it sucks even more when someone else feels like you’re letting them down, and want to make you feel guilty about it. That was honestly the reaction I was getting myself prepared for.
At the same time all these wonderful perspectives and opportunities started coming into my life as soon as I had made that decision: going wwoofing (we’ll actually start next week, though only for a few days but still), the prospect of a house, actually by now it appears that there might be two … So by Wednesday night (the night before I was going to tell my boss), I was a wreck with all these thoughts in my head. I obviously didn’t get very much sleep. I prepared myself for The Talk with some of the tips that La had given me – most of all: to not let the conversation get emotional, to be compassionate but not make my boss’s issues mine.
So, on Thursday, I went in prepared for the worst reaction. I kept telling myself that no matter how this went down, as long as I did tell her about my decision, it would be fine in the end. It would be over a month from now. And then the most amazing thing happened: my boss was completely understanding, and happy for me. We actually had a really good, personal talk.
My last working day (in this job anyway) will be June 19. Excited to find out what’s next. It looks like I might actually be able to keep the resolution I made for myself – that I do not want to celebrate my next birthday in this apartment.
I am back from another trip. More inspired than ever! I do apologize, though, to certain friends (Lisa, you know who you are) who worried my offline-ness might translate to „something bad happened“.
Note to self: in the time and age of „There is no offline, there is only away from keyboard“, announce any awol from the virtual life (technically, is it „awl“ then?). At least for as long as there is no way to virtually transmit the bad smell coming from your apartment that might alarm your neighbors – who might not even care since you live in one of those anonymous big city shoe boxes – but not the ones who do care but don’t live close by. Another note to self: keep notes to self short…ish.
Anyway. Peter and I were visiting a friend who lives the way we hope to do one day – somewhere on the Swedish countryside, growing lots of her own food, with no stupid electro smog. There was no internet. It was beautiful. Not because or despite that fact. It just was. Although we were only there from Thursday through Tuesday, this trip was a real learning and healing experience – most of all, unsurprisingly, about myself; my current state (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, … in any way) as well as my wishes for my future.
I realized that …
- … a life closer to nature and more self-sufficient is not only what I imagine I want. It is what I do want.
- … the difference between life in the city and on the countryside is not to be underestimated. My body had a hard time adjusting to physical labor (which does not always allow for ergonomic execution), my mind had a hard time accepting that I/we took so many breaks. I felt very unproductive, although our host did not express any such complaints – or any complaints at all. Here at home I want to get through with everything I have to do as quickly as possible, there you spread out the (more physically exhausting) work over the entire days, take it slow, take time for conversations, contemplation, simply being.
- … I am especially unhappy with my job here at home.
- … the difference between the life I am currently leading, and the life I want is huge. I had an episode of deep depression the second day when I realized that gap. I had no idea how I should get from one to the other, and this uncertainty scared and frustrated me. I still don’t know but I am hopeful now.
When we came home I was excited to see if any of the seeds I had sown had grown anything during our absence. The score: two tomato plants are sprouting and I can see the beginning of morning glory.
Yup. More rantage coming up. Writing yesterday’s post felt liberating but it upset parts of me that are afraid of the path I’ve begun to walk, parts that are afraid of letting go, afraid of letting something new (= unknown) in. Parts that try to hang on to the old, no matter how destructive it may be.
I ended up doing what I do when I am deeply anxious – binge eat. Or rather: it is what I do when something inside of me tries to raise its voice to tell me something I don’t want to hear. And it works, too. By creating another problem that I can focus on – eating till I feel sick to my stomach, beating myself up over it, asking myself why I keep doing this to myself (but only on a physical level, of course) – I don’t have to look at the real issues. Really convenient, right? Except for the part where I’m destroying my body, and oh yeah: that keeping an issue from coming to the surface of my mind doesn’t solve anything, it just suppresses it – until something else triggers it. Apart from those minor details, this method works perfectly well.
I have been using food/eating as means of reacting to emotional stress since I was about 16. I don’t find the clinical terms („eating disorder“, „anorexia“, „bulimia“, etc.) helpful anymore, although I used to define myself that way. I could recognize myself (to a t) in the various descriptions you find in self-help books etc., which I read at some point.
It is definitely comforting to know that you don’t do the things you do because you’re crazy but that your behavior can even be construed as „normal“ given the circumstances. From that perspective, this rational/scientific/psychological way of dealing with these issues has its merits. However, putting a label on things can also become a way of stigmatizing yourself, of locking yourself into a box. A box that is difficult to climb out of, even though really it only exists in your own mind.
Every time this „happens to me“ (well, if you read my previous post you know I don’t believe in that), when I am overcome with the feeling that I just have to eat, and that nothing else will make this anxiety go away, it scares me. It makes me feel like a failure that no matter how far I seem to have come I still resort to this self-destructive measure. Sure, these binges have decreased in frequency. There was a time in my life when they could go on for days, I couldn’t even go to school, I was completely overpowered – now there can be months in between. Sometimes I even think I have „beaten“ this „thing“. Usually, that’s when it comes right back to prove me wrong. I have laden this behavior and its side-effects with a lot of meaning. Doing it means there’s something wrong with me, not doing it means everything is ok. One side-effect is obviously my weight, and me attaching meaning to that as well. So, in accordance: weighing less would mean I am normal, gaining weight = failure.
I don’t like to talk about this part very much, not because I am ashamed but because I find it frustrating that no matter where you turn, no one seems to be happy with how they look, and somehow it usually boils down to their weight. I know that I am not obese, that my weight in fact is „normal“. I know that I could, SHOULD be happy with myself, and I really wish I were. I would love to be one of those examples that I myself am looking for everywhere – someone that has not been affected my the media brainwash, someone that is truly happy with themselves and how they look even though they don’t fit the mold. Sadly, on a lot of days I can only pretend to be that person.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, binge eating = something’s wrong, not binge eating = everything’s peachy. I’ve come so far to realize that the key is not to think in these kind of opposites. I find myself best protected against these self-inflicted attacks when I am aware and accepting of the fact that this is part of my life. I guess just like alcoholics or addicts of other drugs still refer to themselves as addicts even when they’ve been sober for years.
Obviously, this is not easy, because who wants that, right? I don’t want this in my life, so why should I have to accept it, let alone embrace it?! Someone (I should probably know who, like Buddha or the Dalai Lama, ehem) once said that pain is not something we choose but suffering is. And if you’re into this „spiritual stuff“ (I only got into it two years ago, so a lot that may be old news to you is still new and revolutionary to me) you run across this realization sooner or later, and maybe you run into it even if you’re not into „spiritual stuff“: the only way we can suffer is by trying to reject what already is, which of course we cannot succeed at. No matter how much I don’t want something that already is, my not wanting it to be cannot undo its existence. It’s a waste of energy.
So, if you cannot change something, allow it to be. Obviously, this permission isn’t really about the external thing, for it is what it is no matter what you think about it. That permission is for you. Allow yourself not to judge. It will spare you the suffering that you will inevitably go through if you try to fight what already is.
Please don’t get me wrong: this is not to say that there aren’t things we should change in the world, that we should just sit back. But you have to know what is and isn’t in your power to change, and when the time is right.
This concept may seem simple, and in theory, I guess like the best concepts, it is. I can also see how I could/should/want to apply it in interactions with others: there is no point in me getting mad over something someone else already has done. I mean, getting mad is important, too, to not let anyone run over you but there has to be a limit. After you’ve expressed your discontent, you should try to get over it and move on, instead of dwelling on it. As I said: simple in theory …
Where it gets tricky is when it comes to one’s self. For intuitively I want to claim that anything I do is in my control, so how can I accept the things I don’t like about myself? Well, I think just that last part kind of questions my premiss: if I am fully in control, how can I do something which I do not approve of? Sounds kind of schizophrenic, don’t you think? Yet I am going to be so bold as to state that we all do things we later regret, we even do them over (and over and over again), and regret them over (and over and over again) – and that at least most of us would say that they are in control over our own actions – who else would be? I mean, sure, you can argue that we are products of our environment, the society we live in. But on some level, the individual does make a choice for a concrete motion it is about to undergo (whether physical or mental), right?
I have gotten side-tracked again here, I see the term „ego“ coming up, which is not what I had in mind when I started this paragraph out, so please excuse if I am bringing this one to a screeching halt before I get into something I cannot possibly cover in a paragraph or two. Once again: yay for the internet, feel free to go ahead and read about the ego elsewhere now – or continue here with me.
What I did want to get at was this: our experience tells us that – for whatever reasons – we are not free from contradictions, we do things that we later wish we hadn’t, we detect character traits in ourselves which we’re not happy about. Therefore, this notion of allowing what is applies to ourselves just as much as it does to our interactions with others/external factors.
I try to do this with my eating habits, and obviously, it’s not easy. Because I really don’t want to have this in my life – but somehow that is not for me to choose. I don’t feel guilty about it afterward as much as I used to, even though that is hard, too. I try not to punish myself. Again: not easy.
Yesterday, I tried something that in a twisted way felt especially difficult because it made the whole binge-eating episode obsolete: I looked into myself and asked that voice that I had shut up by stuffing it down with food to speak to me, and tell me what had upset it so much. It spoke to me, and this confirmed what another part of me knew all along: there is nothing to be afraid of when facing our demons. They are parts of ourselves that cannot actually threaten our existence. They are scared themselves and need healing.
May we remember that there is nothing to fear but fear itself, that our souls are indestructible. And may we be kind and forgiving to ourselves when we act cowardly.
PS: I first came across this concept of „allowing what is“ when I listened to Eckhard Tolle’s The Power of Now and Realizing the Power of Now, something I can recommend to anyone. I think it is pretty accessible even if you think spirituality is „mumbo-jumbo“ but then you probably didn’t read this far, so …
I really should have written this one on Thursday, when „everything“ happened but it got late, and I had to get up early on Friday (yesterday was my first day without a post – thanks, real world with money and work and stuff). As I feared, I really don’t feel like writing about it anymore right now but I am trying to get into it. Ironically, this post might not even be relevant or interesting for anyone besides me – then again, who’s the person caring the most about a blog anyway if not the writer, right?
As you probably can guess by now, this is going to be „one of those“ posts – no pix, just me ranting. Even though dinner on Thursday would have been perfect for pix: tex-mex à la Junkfood – for real, everything homemade, soup to nuts (or rather: salsa to wraps), with like a gazillion sauces, and everything really colorful. Real photogenic food in other words. But as I said: this post isn’t going to be that kind.
I guess the reason why I feel I need to share this is because as much as I like DIYs, recipes, and that kind of stuff, and as much as I like to write and post about that stuff, that’s not all that’s going on, and it’s not all I care about. I wrote about this before, and I know that I don’t HAVE to share everything here but somehow it’s important to me to not only show what I consider my good side. I actually see that as a theme or a red thread in my life – my inability to be someone other than me, to conceal and „unspeak“ things that some might say I should. As I wrote in that other post, I have come to the conclusion that I am not here to learn to get better at hiding my true self, but to „own it“ instead, to show it, and experience that any negative reactions aren’t as damaging as I might fear. On the other hand, the best case scenario would be that being honest about my „dark passenger“ (well, ok, it’s not that bad, I didn’t kill anyone, I am just exaggerating for dramatic effect) might lead others to the realization that has been so important for me: that it’s ok to be who we are, that we don’t need to hide, that there is enough room for all of us to unfold and grow to the fullest.
So, enough with the pre-ranting. What I actually want to say about Thursday is this:
While preparing dinner, I completely snapped. At Peter. Several times. Over the smallest things. Now by snapped, I don’t mean threw things at him – but I did throw stuff.
I am a complete control freak, I know that. I take it hard when things don’t go the way I had planned them. I keep going in circles with that one. I frequently come to the realization that I cannot possibly control all the factors that play a role in the plans I am making, so change of plans does not mean I failed. For that is how I experience it: as failure. It is my duty to control every aspect of my life, and if you happen to be my boyfriend, well, then that means you’re an aspect of my life I need to control, especially if you live with me. You have to do things my way (because only my way of doing things is right, obviously). Sorry but that’s just how it is.
Like I said, every once in a while I come to the realization that that’s NOT how it is, that I don’t control everything – and that I don’t have to. There is a force out there (I think of it as love or the universe, you might call it God or something else) that takes care of me – if I let it. When I look back at my life, the most amazing things that happened to me did not happen because I planned them or made them happen. They just happened to me, where brought to me, so to say. Sure, I applied for my exchange years, but it wasn’t up to me to decide whether I’d get into the program or where I’d end up. I met Peter right after I decided there was no point in looking for a serious relationship while you’re abroad and you know you’re going back eight months later. The list goes on.
So when I have these epiphanies (yes, plural, I keep having them because I keep forgetting) I walk around for while relieved from the burden of having to control everything. I don’t feel the need to complain about anything, even when I notice things that do bother me. I don’t care what anyone does, i don’t feel the need that I constantly need to run around like a headless chicken, restless, trying to find ways to occupy myself in order to avoid silence.
And then I forget. Again. And again. On Thursday, for some reason control was important. I think the reason was general anxiety about the uncertainty of my/our future – also a recurring theme: I try to have faith that it’ll be great and it’ll all work out even if I don’t see how right now, and then I go back to driving myself crazy over not knowing. Control/Feeling in control always matters the most when I feel like everything I try to grab is running through my hands like water, and when I forget that I don’t have to be in control, that that doesn’t mean everything is going to hell.
I don’t like when food is being wasted – I have a hard time even leaving leftovers for (irrational, duh) fear of the food rotting before it gets eaten. No matter whether I am actually hungry or whether I like the food. I’ve told myself a thousand times that no one is saved from starvation by me not throwing out food but making myself sick instead. Obviously this irrational fear has a deeper root. Maybe from another life, but also very likely from how I experienced my childhood: that we bought a bunch of groceries, while the fridge was full, so half of what was in there really was molding.
So, when Peter threw away the avocados that I had bought for the guacamole because they were hard as rocks and unusable, I threw a fit. I screamed at him, why we couldn’t at least try to keep them a few days and see if they’d ripen (they were already cut open), and then I tossed a pot with some milk in it into the sink (also a leftover from Peter which had aroused my irritation earlier), and dramatically told him to go ahead and throw away everything. The best part is: I can’t even eat avocados, they give me stomach aches.
I calmed down and apologized. I always regret my outbursts afterward (I sincerely do), which does not mean I can’t have another one just a couple of minutes later.
I could already guess that it would piss me off when Peter would end up talking more to his friend whom we’d invited over than helping me. Even though it had been me who wanted to do this tex-mex shindig from scratch in the first place, and even though it had been me who wanted to do so many different things (the tortilla bread, the beef, two different salsas, a bacon-bean sauce, … you get the picture). I tried not to be too naggy. Then Peter made Mojitos (also on my demand, I had been able to get some fresh mint at the store), and did it – as he usually does – by only paying half attention to the recipe I had to remind him to look up several times, and shooting from the hip. There was about a deciliter (ca. half a cup) of rum with a few drops of lime, and some sugar in each glas, no ice, no mint, and instead of laughing, as I later wished I had done, I just got so mad. Again.
Now you might want to jump in and say that this time I really had a point. When you want a mojito, you’re expecting something specific – and it is NOT a bottle of rum with a drop of lime and a grain of sugar. However, I think the point is something else here: I am convinced that, as much as Peter may have made an honest mistake (I know he did), this did not „just happen“. I believe that this happened to me because it was what I needed. When I am trying to gain control by force over things I cannot control, things need to happen to me that remind me of that. In my view, that’s how it works in general (I know that that’s not a popular view with everyone, at some point in my life I thought people who said stuff like this where ignorant). Therefore, I don’t believe either that it is coincidence that I am with someone who is particularly „uncontrollable“, who is spontaneous, gets lost in the moment, plays life by ear a lot of the times. It’s what I need. To learn.
My meltdowns then aren’t really about Peter, either (and he is wise, he knows, and doesn’t take them hard). This is what frustrates me: that even though I know this, I still keep taking it out on him in the situation. And although my apologies are earnest, I wish that I could just remember what I know to be true. Just a few moments earlier. Live and learn, right?
My (amazing, awesome, inspiring!) yoga teacher once said that the universe wants its own good, and we are part of the universe. I don’t like quotes very much but I find this thought worth hanging on to.
May we all feel like we’re taken care of and well protected. May we feel like we can let go of control where it isn’t ours.
I am aware that today is Women’s Day. I just don’t know what to say. „Happy Women’s Day“ somehow always seems a little off, for while, yes, we have come a bit further, I don’t think we’ve made it quite yet. On the other hand I am not really in the right mind-set for writing a post about how „we“ still are suffering and suppressed (not that there wasn’t anything to write about, sadly). So I am executing my right as woman and a human being of not taking a stance on womanhood in general or my womanhood in particular today. I encourage everyone around me … to do whatever feels right for them.
Happy human day. All day. Everyday. Let’s let love rule and take it from there.
Well, ok, it wasn’t a completely selfless act, I do dig these kind of diys. I have been meaning to write this post since last Wednesday (that’s when I tried some recipes) but I wanted to wait till I had some pictures. As most of the times, I am not completely happy with them but I am afraid if I wait until I am, I will never share this with you. And that would be sad because trying out these recipes really was a revelation for me. So: do try this at home!
The soap nut shampoo I simply did because I had those nuts (that are berries) at hand. It’s actually what we’ve been using to do the laundry with, I had no idea you could use them as shampoo. Boiling the soap nuts in water for 30 minutes, preparing the shampoo every time you want to use it rather than storing it – the procedure is simple yet somewhat time-consuming, so I am not sure I will stick with this one in the long run. The liquid does have a distinct smell, which I find neither particularly unpleasant nor particularly pleasant. It’s ok. As to whether this shampoo worked or not – I find it hard to say. I mean, my hair did get clean and looked nice but I can’t say for sure that it was the soap nuts, or simply washing my hair (after all, some do use water only), or …
… The green tea conditioner. Now this one I loved. My hair usually is very hard to comb (I don’t even use a brush). I have gotten used to it and don’t even think about the discomfort anymore but those days are over! I was skeptical, and wondered how this was supposed to work, after all, the green tea is water, and won’t that just run down before I even got a chance to rub it in? I have no clue how it worked – but it did. My hair was super-easy to comb, and it did look nice (again, I can’t know for sure what to contribute that part to).
The real revelation however was the coffee scrub. It is easy to make, relatively cheap yet it feels really expensive (which is the best, right?), feels nice, and makes you smell so good! I only deviated from the original recipe in so far as I used coconut fat instead of olive oil. Again: because it was at hand – and also because it is supposed to be good for Pitta (yup, I just had to sneak in something Ayurveda). Also I used vanilla sugar instead of regular since I had prepared a jar full a while ago (you just put a vanilla bean in a jar with sugar and let it sit), which we don’t use anymore (the sugar being white). Same goes for the coffee: we haven’t been drinking any lately, so this is the perfect way for me to enjoy its smell anyway.
In the original recipe it says it’s against cellulite but I just went ahead and used it as a full body scrub. Peter was concerned that maybe that way I’ll just end up spreading cellulite. Very good point, so I will keep you posted as to whether I suddenly develop cellulite on my nose or something.
I have been combining using this scrub with the Ayurveda massage technique from the morning routine, so I fancy myself getting the benefits from both. I am no expert though, so I don’t know, I am just going with my gut here. Another thing that’s great about this scrub (yes, there is more!) is that the coconut fat (or whatever fat/oil you’re using) keeps your skin from drying out in the shower. At the same time, you don’t get so sticky that your towel or clothes feel greasy after using them. Your skin just feels really nice and smells like coffee – how cool is that?!
FYI: all this coming from someone who normally doesn’t use more than shampoo and soap in the shower – read: I don’t get excited about beauty products very easily. Yesterday I even managed to get Peter excited about this coffee scrub. His only concern was that he was going to a lecture, and that the coffee addicts among the guests might be tempted to start licking his skin. No reports of the sort have been filed, so I guess this delicious scrub is safe for use in public. Well, maybe not the actual use but you know what I mean.