Today, we’re one week into lockdown. It’s been a roller coaster thus far for a variety of factors (besides the obvious anxiety about the state of the world & global economy & wellbeing), the main personal ones being:
1) We decided to foster some puppies from an animal shelter for the duration of lockdown and both of them ended up becoming really ill with Parvo virus and were honestly a 24/7 maintenance job. It has literally been like having children. Although without the 9-month period of mentally preparing yourself for what is to come. BUT, we love them & have, despite the continuous pooing and vomitting, become immensely attached to the little fluff puddles.
2) On top of that, I got really ill with a viral chest infection, was tested for COVID-19 and that in itself was quite an intense experience (it felt very apocalyptic - we waited in the car in the parking lot and a woman in a space suit of protective gear came to the car and swabbed me there and then). I then had two very stressful days amidst picking up all the dog poo and vomit that could ever exist, waiting for my test results & dealing with a lot of emotional baggage that was coming up as a result of being forced to be not only house-bound but bed-ridden which naturally gave space for emotions to arise.
3) The cherry on top was that besides the fear of having contracted COVID-19 and all of the aforementioned things - a lot of family dynamics were playing themselves out as a result of the family being cooped up in the house together continuously - which I am sure many people are experiencing during this time. But nonetheless, it was intense. A lot of digging deep within to muster up all the reserves of compassion, patience and understanding for one another as we play out our deeply engrained habitual patterns of coping with stress during this precarious time.
SIDE NOTE: my results came back negative for Corona Virus (thank goodness!) so we went to the doctor and turns out it is a viral chest infection and should pass in a few days.
Some thoughts about difficult moments and/or suffering during this time:
While I know that I am VERY lucky and privileged to have a beautiful home, two loving & attentive parents and access to good food and water and safety during this time, I am not going to let the acknowledgment and gratitude for that detract from the everyday struggles either. I think that often we tend to use the narrative of, “other people have it a lot worse off than I do” to invalidate our own struggles and difficult moments. In my opinion, that is not helpful either.
Yes, surely it is important to maintain awareness of perspective - but difficult moments, struggle and suffering are all relative. Yes, objectively many people are worse off. Equally, many people are better off than you are in this moment of struggle or pain. So, instead of comparing your struggles with other peoples’ in order to move around facing the difficulty of this moment, I dare you to sit with it.
Hold the wider awareness of perspective that this isn’t the end of the world and your suffering may not be the worst, but it is still sore in this moment and that is okay. You can sit with that. You should sit with that. You can be fully present with both awarenesses: the very real difficulty of this moment as it presents to you as well as knowing that there are a lot of people out there suffering a great deal more than you are right now. The trick is to acknowledge this without making yourself feel guilty for feeling pain while others experience more of it; because trying to guilt yourself out of feeling pain/frustration/anger/sadness isn’t working through it, it is skirting around it.
Think about this subconscious process in relation to a different emotion, one that is more “desirable”. Say for instance we were feeling happy and related this process of deferring emotional engagement to that emotion instead. Our internal dialogue might look something like this: “there are other people out there that are a lot happier than me right now so I might as well not feel it” or, “there are people out there who are a lot less happy than me right now so I shouldn’t let myself feel my own happiness right now” - that is not being true to your lived emotional experience as it unfolds right now. It is trying to 'intellectualize' your way out of feeling whatever is asking to be felt right now. Sure, indulging in an emotional state without conscious awareness can become a rabbit hole that plunders you further into states of unconscious emotional turmoil. However, that is very different from acknowledging the emotional experience with awareness and letting yourself feel the fullness and the realness of it as it is in your mind-body right now without letting other peoples’ emotional/life experiences move you around it.
Let the awareness of your own patterns of emotional deferral become known to you so that you can start creating healthy emotional practices within yourself which will open you up to a deeper emotional freedom. In essence, the aforementioned process is another way of judging yourself, judging your emotional experiences so as to circumvent the experience of discomfort that is associated with difficult emotions that we aren’t perhaps willing or ready to sit with.
So, the invitation here is to start getting more curious about when and how you engage with your emotions. Emotions are powerful, and they need to be consciously acknowledged and experienced, otherwise they get trapped and stored in the body-mind and rear their heads in many other ways: often through illness or dis-ease.
TODAY’s UPDATE & AYURVEDA ON SEASONAL SHIFTS
So, today I woke up feeling more myself than I have in a while - the intense body pain, fatigue and coughing subsided substantially and so I decided that today is the day that I start with a steady morning routine. I did some cardio, some yoga and then some meditation. I then created and ate a delicious new oatmeal recipe that I am obsessed with (the one I am about to share with you) and now I am getting to writing. I realised the importance of creating a solid morning routine - and how this really does inform the unfolding of the rest of the day, for sure. So, I will be doing a post on the importance of morning routines soon because it is my new saving grace!
I have been craving oatmeal more and more in the mornings and that is because there is a tangible Autumn nip in the air. So, as Ayurveda suggests: I am adapting my own eating, sleeping & life-ing routines with the seasonal shifts. This is of utmost importance so that we stay in tune with the natural cycles of seasons and of life. Doing this means that our internal worlds sync up with the external worldly changes and this helps us to maintain harmony and balance of both mind and body.
So, cue the deliciously warming, soothing and comforting AYURVEDIC OATMEAL BOWL.
All of the spices used in this recipe are warming & soothing for the nervous & digestive system. The help to stimulate digestion and metabolism, as well as bring a warmth to the body-mind during these colder days. This is a tri-doshic recipe, meaning that it is balancing for all doshas instead of just one. However, the dosha that will especially benefit from this is Vata dosha due to the warming and soothing quality of this oatmeal bowl. I’ve also added two deliciously healing powders from Aether Herbalist & Apothecary namely: Maca Powder & Pine Pollen.
• 1.5 cups of dry Jungle Oats
• 1.5 cups of filtered water
• 1.5 cups of soy milk/oat milk/rice milk
• 1.5 tablespoons of raw honey
• 1 teaspoon of chia seeds (and more for serving)
• 1/2 teaspoon of clove, ground
• 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, ground
• 1/4 teaspoon of ginger, ground
• 1/2- 1 teaspoon of Maca Powder
• 1/2- 1 teaspoon of Pine Pollen (plus more for dusting over bowls when serving)
• 2 tablespoons of homemade Blueberry & Peach Compote (recipe here: )
• 1 tablespoon of tahini (divided)
• BIG pinch of salt
1. Place the the dry oats, soy milk and the water along with the salt and spices into a pot.
2. Bring to boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and keep stirring continuously until the oats are cooked through & tender and very creamy. (NOTE: if you like your oats extra creamy you can swap out the filtered water for more plant based milk of your choosing).
3. Once cooked, turn off the heat and add in the maca powder and pine pollen as well as the honey. It’s important to add these last as actively cooking these will destroy some of their nutrient components.
4. To serve, divide the oats in two bowls, top each with a drizzle of tahini, a tablespoon of the blueberry compote, a sprinkling more of chia seeds and a dusting of pine pollen. If you like to add a crunch factor you can add some extra nuts/seeds/coconut flakes etc. as you please!
5. Tuck in, and enjoy mindfully!