How can we love ourselves deeper?

November 8, 2017 § Leave a comment

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We are told many times by others or social media to love ourselves. We are reminded to have me-time or our quiet moments with a cup of coffee or tea before our partners or rest of family members come home for dinner.I often hear colleagues or classmates say “I simply have no time”. While we all know very well that it is about prioritising our-self before anything else.

In most scenarios, there is a weight of guilt that lean too heavily on our shoulders. What if I take time off for a yoga retreat? Or a movie with my friends? Or reject my friends for coffee so I can just stay at home and be quiet? How does that make you feel?

In my teenage or younger adulthood years, I had almost no obligation of setting aside time for myself. I say almost with a big fat pinch of salt. We tell ourselves that by sitting out on meet-ups is to excuse ourselves for something more meaningful. Truth of the matter is, you are meaningful enough.

During our asana practices, we are told to go easy on certain poses because our body is simply not ready. Somedays we are more flexible and a forward fold can be as simple as a walk in the park. However, there are days when even a child pose hurts. When a resting pose is not completely restful, is when you start questioning yourself “have you love yourself enough”?

By starting to love yourself a little deeper is to prevent a simple yin pose from hurting. We have all been there, one way or another. We do too much for others and do too little for ourselves. We take care of matters that do not take care of themselves and by doing so forget about ourselves. We also tell ourselves that that’s the way we love ourselves because we put others first. That self-sacrifice is not merely sacrificial to others but yourself. By taking just some time off for yourself, is to be better for others. It is an old cliche saying but the act is anything but common.

The next time you do a sun salutation, ask yourself how can you love yourself deeper? Perhaps it is to not push your feet into the mat as much as it hurts. Perhaps it is to acknowledge the pose by breathing into the lungs deeper and exhaling a longer. It could even be setting an intention to not think about solving anything but remaining present in your body.

Notice how much you gratefulness arise after the practice. Pay attention to the uplifting awareness that brightens up the space between your eyebrows. Just enjoy the quietness that transcend through your breathe as you step out of the mat. Realise how much more grateful you are with the elements surrounding you. More importantly, observe the amount of love you have inside you.

Now, you are ready to give even more.

It’s day 8 of Movember. I had a rough one at a new job and what seems to be tough right now is to accept the moment as it is. Reflecting upon the emotions that lead through them. What are your integrities? What values do you hold that speaks to your soul?

Workout for today was a short run, 10 reps of 30 secs 10 static pull-ups and 10 squats along with 20 secs of hollow hold and 10 box steps, about 5 reps.

This sunken feeling, shall pass just as well.

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holding the presence

October 23, 2017 § Leave a comment

There have been many aspects of my life that I frequently write about. Bake Anything has always foremost, been about food and the kitchen stories entailed around. Occasionally, there would be experiences of yoga, running or traveling. I have taken this site as a personal journal entry since almost a decade ago and have grown so much since.

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Today, I am going to share the present moment. What is the present moment? My present moment is being a student again, practising yoga physically/philosophically, freelance writing and partially take orders at dining tables. I suppose I could go on with the things I do that doesn’t necessary call for definitions. Yet, everytime I come here to share about something not food related, there is a sense of apprehention. But on the other hand, I do want to share.

Baking as we know, is theraputic. It was how I spent my high school years running away from homework; it was how I switched from psychology school to patisserie; right now, its part of my weekly routine. It taught patience, grace, disipline and creativity. These elements could also be applied in yoga. In fact for anyone who is a practisioner would comprehend that it teaches much more than just those. If it is a canvas paper, it will absorb every paint; it is a baking pan, it will mold into any cake; if it is a pot of curry, it will probably be one that is versatile for any spicy level. Yoga has, adamantly, taken a larger part of my daily thoughts than anything else.

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The more I practice yoga, the more patient and present one becomes. How do you refine your daily activities as much as you want to improve your posture on the mat? I promise you the day you bring yoga thoughts into your actions, is the day you take yourself out to a nice restaurant and buy yourself a glass of good red. That is just the very begining of owning your own presence on this planet.

I used to practice yoga after service. No matter what time it is, I will unroll my mat and start with 10 sets of sun-salutations. Then depending on my energy level, I will either do more standing postures or let the practice take its time. These routines felt different everyday, routines are not meant to be fixed; they are implaced for one to check-in on yourself. How often do you ask yourself, how are you doing today? I frequently find myself scanning the cells in my blood wondering if they are still filled with vitality or half-baked.

Naturally, I am a go-getter. I start my day and it can go on for hours. I could do trays of cookies and cakes in just two hours. But my energy level depletes quickly and I got very agitated after coffee time. Over the years, I have learnt to conserve this wholesomeness by starting slow and maintaining a constant speed. So I pace it out now….. instead of letting the head take the lead, the whole body is attached and moves along together.

Isn’t it nice when the mind/body/soul are in sync? Not when you feel completely jaded in the head and the body has collapsed ? Or if the heart is filled with excitement and doesn’t let the mind sleep? Learning to realign myself is still a constant journey. A personal act of balancing through awareness and mindfulness.

There is no secret to being a better person. It truly starts from inside and right now. I sit with the unknown much more comfortably then before. I sit with it like I would put butter and sugar together.

Can you honour knowing,
and letting it go?
Can you honour not knowing,
and letting go too?

It can be so challenging wanting to feel safe. At the same time, it is something we strive for because of a fear for the unknown. So why not, just be with vagueness? Let the possibly of anything happen. We are so compelled to be in control, that we end up not having control at all. My favourite analogy is reading a foolproof recipe and watch someone use it; thinking the whole time to myself that the “joke is on you”.

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This week’s eats: homemade oatmeal with more, well oatmeal and nut sprinkles; pancakes with oranges; staff lunch spring salad while the sun shines on our faces.

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October 10, 2017 § 1 Comment

A few memorable phrases from my yoga classes last week:

“If you love Love so much, it will come to you. But first you need to love yourself, wholeheartedly”

“Let’s move to the next pose, if you are already in it, I don’t know why you are. We move so fast all the time. It is so hard to slow down”

“Be authentic in everything you do, the conversations you have, the words you type, the things you do”

I am thoroughly enjoying this asana practices more and more. It has deepen the daily awareness of every single event. The days are much sweeter, the once unnecessary moments are now filled with laughters and chores are joyful. Of course, not everything is peachy. I still face disappointments and tears. Yet, in a grand scheme of life, they are all happenstance. The smaller things making a big picture. The ebb and flow. Sow and reap.

You know how your yoga instructor invites you to set an intention before your practice? The last practice, I told myself to not set any intention. No, “let go”, “I dedicate this to…”; “focus on the moment”.. Yet not setting any intention itself is an intention. How many times in our lives we seek for reasons to questionable moments? What’s the point? Why am I doing this? Is it worth it? For some seeking out answers is the drive to why they even start something. For some questioning themselves make them feel challenged or fulfil a certain curiosity. Over time, I no longer find the need to pursue them. I am remotely sure about defining moments or even stereotyping things/people. Why is there a need? Yes it does help us understand the details but more than often, it has separate us from one another. Are we able to know the differences, labels and definitions, without judgement?

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These days, my routines are: meditation, yoga/running, studying, reading, baking and drinking chai soy lattes or beers. You got to live a life, like it is a holiday. Exams coming in a few weeks!

Yoga studio at Westside yoga; hotcakes with peanut butter at Dad and Dave’s; home roasted sweet potatoes; lunch after running the floor.

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September 30, 2017 § Leave a comment

resilient
a little
drawing courage to bend

hopeful
perhaps so
that one would make efforts

faith
in quiet
self-compassion shines in light

knowing
not doing
is not knowing at all

loving
not showing
is half baked

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September 21, 2017 § Leave a comment

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(green apples, kale, currants, chickpeas, carrots)

First counselling class touched us as much as a warm hot soup made by your grandmama. Soul was quite a charm owning the circle of new students whom he barely knew. We barely know each other too. But after that 3 hours, we felt right at home and at ease with one another.

I had wanted to drop this module because I did it before. But going through the concept questions was a breeze. Social psychology and counselling had always been one of my favourite subjects in university. As the class went on, he brought the attention of our own judgement towards ourselves. How often do we judge and how often does that translate to us reflecting statements or paraphrasing them to mirroring our own souls?

A large part of our daily actions or words are carried out because of what we are innately not largely because of the environment we are in. As time goes by, I am more grounded. Perhaps it comes with age, as I take an observer role rather than to par-take in any activities. To take two steps back before acting out, it does feel much better this way.

Yesterday, I spent four hours in the A&E room. I had an infected spider bite and the pain/swell was intolerable. As they lance out the bite, I passed out briefly. There was no painkillers (I am hyper allergic to them) or anaesthesia. Just raw pain. I shut my eyes and held on the space between my brows. When all was done, a plastic cup of ice water came to console.

Second week down under. Hospital visit, check. School, check. Running mileage/crossfit/yoga done. Cooked and baked for family, done too. Still looking for a space to call home.
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(cobb lane cafe‘s very moist carrot cake)

Today was a mixture of exhaustion and calmness. After a few days of waking up at dawn, having interval sleeps, trying not to get blood stains on the sheets (and still failed), long reading list and keeping the body warm; this soul is beat.

It’s finally Friday. Let’s hope for a better weekend.
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September 12, 2017 § Leave a comment

New beginnings come with challenges. I have yet to remind myself how long it takes a person to climatize to a new environment. After moving so many times, one would think you would have cultivated a habit or some sort of theory to adjusting. Somehow, this move has brought in old haunts. The deep seated insecurity and fear of unsucceeding. It isn’t just so much about career anymore. It’s also about the environment, people, food, relationship and life, holistically.

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To put the self in this cold waters and commit with steadfastness. Lets throw ourselves into vulnerability and shine light on it. So often when the balance is not met, I fall off emotionally. Sinking into a negative cycle of nervousness, unthoughtful words and overdosed of caffeine. When I meditate, I watch this person turn into a lifeless sourdough starter. No yeast or lukewarm water can justify its’ ability to proof. Perhaps, best to just throw it away or start again. A painful tug of war and dull repeated affair.

“Haven’t we been here before, old friend?”

I pledged to not feel this hurt. Nevertheless, here we are. New place, new path, same fears, same tears, sleepless nights. How can we help ourselves to be better?

Do not put judgement on that soul. It is loved, dearly. An unevenly baked scone with a layer of golden brown caramelisation is still as delicious with a thick knob of butter and dollop of homemade fruit jam. At least at this point, it is forgiven and enjoyed.

I have yet to feel that way. A life long journey to forgiving the mistakes and let others bring light in. I have waited long enough to want an unrequited loving devotion. I have wanted to get out of that city. I have yearned to accomplish a new course.

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I borrowed my first book at the school library today. Naturopathic Practice by James Hewlett-Parsons written in 1968.

“Only the harmonious balance between physical, mental and psychic attributes of self can produce true health….. Health comes only as a result of man’s conscious observance of natural law and his living in constant harmony with his surrounding vibrations and his innermost forces. There is no other way.”

One could only practice this fully by being a life-long student. So here we are. Another blog post, another cold day, new country, and this same soul documenting her naturopathic journey. Well of course, there will still be food. Melbourne is a plant-based diet eaters’ haven. I have yet to find my favourite spots but for now, this little town outside the city has my heart.

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of having enough 1725

August 31, 2017 § Leave a comment

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A sudden sadness came on the last night of leaving. I am usually very reluctant to have a goodbye or the last show before a departure. But this came with as much resilience as insecurities. She said to me that our fears get the better of us, that we are more resilient and independent than we think we are. Truth is, I have been resilient and independent almost in all my younger adult life. Traveling on my own, seeking for growth etc. At some point, I asked, what is the meaning of doing everything by myself? It hit home. A twist to a story of a solo traveller seeking for companionship or similar hearts. Don’t we all go through life only to be more ourselves and to have people more like-minded? To share thoughts, feelings and dreams to those who took the same interests and make them flourish ?

Easy to say hey? As strong as we are, as vulnerable the heart could get, the complications manifest. But as time passes, meditation has taught me to resolve them by letting the tears flow, let grace in and trust. To learn how to surrender onto earth and let the ego mind dissolves.

Today was hard. It might be harder tomorrow, or easier. Nevertheless, thankful for the little things that will come by.

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