{Baby Moon}

IMG_7817{grateful} Believe it or not, I think she came into my life to help me move forward. I went to get here but I was called to get her — does that make sense? It does to me. I had plans of getting a protection dog here (service dog isn’t a thing in India yet) because I needed some peace of mind that I’ll be okay. The move from Singapore to India has been hard on me but that’s also not surprising. And then one day, I’m looking for kittens online with the name ‘Luna’ at the back of my mind.

The next day I find Luna, the day after I go and pick her up. She made me get out of the house and out of my mind. I went by car to get her (I can’t stand car rides) and I took her to the vet on my own when she was ill. It was my very first time stepping out on my own in India. First time ever. I’ve always been accompanied by someone or the other all my life (whenever in India) and here I was, with a kitten in my bag, travelling deep into a highly-overwhelming city looking for a vet I’ve never met before.

Nursing her back to health (doc said she was so weak we could’ve lost her) sort of took away the extra noise in my mind. The worry. The uncertainty. The fear around having moved to a new place. It didn’t vanish completely (I doubt it will for a while) but it faded away into the background. It made me pause and focus on what was important: my health and Luna’s recovery. I was just about starting to walk after being bedridden for 6 weeks so looking after myself while looking after her was rather difficult. But I knew it had to be done. We were meant to meet. Sometimes our intuition guides us in ways we don’t fully understand. It was subtle but clear for me that Luna and I were going to meet. I love her like my own child. And, looking after her has validated it for me that I do not want kids of my own. Of course, I do have a list of reasons why and deep down, I feel like that’s my truth. We’ll see how things go. Grateful to have met Luna. Waking up next to this face warms my heart 😍

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“distract yourself or find a hobby”

Most people think that people like me who spend a lot of time at home are in need of hobbies or distractions of some sort. You know, something that can take our focus off our pain and suffering.

After ten years of dealing with Ehlers-danlos Syndrome Hypermobility Type, I can tell you this — while you can’t get your focus off pain entirely even for a fraction of a second, you can learn to acknowledge its existence, know that it’s going to be there with you and  still find ways to work with and around it. 

People like me who have had to leave a full-time job and figure out new ways to become financially independent (whether fully or partially), will once every while come across someone who tells us to distract ourselves from our experience or find hobbies since we have nothing else to do (according to some).  The thing is, not all of us are looking for distractions or hobbies.

Whatever you see me doing outside of my health routine are things I WANT to do for  reasons you may not always know. There is usually a detailed thought-process behind things I choose to do or not do.

I am currently completing a life coaching certification not because I am desperately in need of a hobby but because it’s been a personal and professional goal for me. It is something that calls for my strengths and aligns with my purpose. I want to be able to extend support while trying to support myself. I’ve always wanted to do it with the intention of setting up a business, one which doesn’t jeopardize my progress and allows me to work from home or bed for that matter. It might take time but that’s okay with me. I’m not doing it because I have nothing better to do. I’m doing it because I WANT to do it.

I taught classes throughout last year because working with people, helping them channel their creative energy, creating a space where people from all walks of life come together and open up is what I wanted to do. It was catching up big time and just then we decided to move countries. For me, conducting group classes centred in creativity and healing was a step in the right direction. Something that now makes me feel prepared to be a coach.  I didn’t do it because I needed a distraction. I did it because it felt right. And just like most people my age, I wanted to be able to at least partially pay for myself. 

I write (and share) because I believe writing is healing. I write with the hope of building a connection and community. Again, not because I need distraction. 

I cook because I’ve always been passionate about cooking for myself and people. It’s basically a way for me to express my creativity, apart from other art forms. Considering that I’ve had to leave dance and my career in design behind, cooking and making food look good keeps my creative energy running. I’ve had to train myself in the kitchen from scratch after not being able to prepare a cup of tea for myself at one point. I don’t cook for distraction. 

I volunteered with kids from troubled childhood because, given my personal experience, I’ve always had a soft spot for kids and believe so much in ensuring that children receive love,  the right kind of support and opportunities for growth. I didn’t do it because I needed to pass my time. 

It’s so easy for people to assume that if we’re at home, we’re bored or lonely or missing out. Sure, not all days are great but that’s the case for anyone else too. Personally, though, I’m not bored or lonely, and I rarely experience the fear of missing out (fomo). Yes, there are limitations and sometimes it sucks but on most days, I’m happy, grateful and at peace with where I’m at. More so because I know where I’ve come from. Honestly, I’ve probably never been better and I say this despite having lived pain-free at one point. I love being at home, prioritising my health, stepping out when I feel like it, going to places that feel right, hanging out with people I love, doing things that make me happy and finding joy in little things. I, for one, don’t need any form of distraction. 

Distraction is yet to prove itself to me. It has never worked. In fact, when I tried to distract myself from reality, things got worse. What you resist, persists. When I pushed myself, tried to act “normal”, I suffered more – mentally and physically. My health deteriorated at a very rapid pace. It took a lot of self-hate, pushing beyond my limit and attempting to distract myself from reality for me to finally press PAUSE, look at my priories and figure out a new way of living. Coming face to face with my reality, every raw bit of it, is what got me where I am today. 

Point being, don’t suggest distraction as a coping mechanism unless we clearly say that’s what we’re looking for. 

Trust us when we say we’re trying our best to create a different life. Who said different = bad anyway?

Support us because you believe in what we’re doing rather than from a space of sympathy or pity. Show us that you see past our illness. Tell us that you think we’re capable of embracing the illness AND following our dreams at the same time. Ask us if we need help in getting there. 

Love,

M

{December thoughts}

{december thoughts} this year, for most part of the first quarter, felt like a new beginning. new start. my mind was set on creating the new. I felt some resistance but I still thought it was all about quickly settling into the new. the more i look back to how the year unfolded, the more i realise that this year was all about endings. completions. old cycles finishing.

and you know what, though the process has been emotionally and physically draining, it has created so much space in my life for the new. the shift has been subtle but clear.

i used to think endings meant something was off, but no, endings can be amazing. sure, sometimes endings are painful but endings create openings. endings help you pick out on things that no longer serve the person you’re becoming. endings gently and sometimes forcefully make you grow. endings are refreshing. endings are opportunities for you to believe and trust all over again.

i’m spending the rest of the month clearing and releasing everything that isn’t working for me anymore. this is a good time to do some self work and ask yourself, “What is it that I do not want to take with me into 2019?”. make a list. let go. ✨

{blood and years don’t matter}

I’m experiencing deep emotional pain right now. I’m going to acknowledge that, let it be until it leaves, and also keep in mind that I’ve done my very best.

Self-awareness doesn’t mean that you’ll never make mistakes. It means that even if you did, you will pick up on it and respond in a way that best aligns with your highest self.

It also means that you walk away from things and people that take away from you.

Trust me when I say this — it doesn’t matter how long you know someone or if you share a blood relationship with that person.

What matters is how much you and them evolve as people, how you communicate and whether you’re truly there for them.

This year has taught me that no matter how much healing work of acceptance and forgiveness you do, some dynamics never change. You do the work for yourself; so that you can create a life and relationships that are supportive.

It doesn’t excuse their behaviour and all the nasty things they may have done to you, but it frees you from the suffering of it. It frees up time and energy for better things in life.

In the last two days, I’ve reached a completion with two relationships in my life. I am very peacefully convinced that I have tried my best and that I no longer need to keep anchoring the relationships.

I am not longer available for it.

I am letting go, with love, what I thought I shared with them.

❤️

{deep waters}

People can only meet you as deeply as they can meet themselves. If one can’t handle the complexities of your being + experience, they probably can’t handle the complexities of their own.

I’ve learnt to let go of, with love, things and people that no longer serve me.

At first I used to think that my health, apart from taking away things that I loved, took away people I loved. Today, after a decade of dealing with the ups and downs of my health, I’ve realised one important thing: my health is a beautiful filter for all relationships in my life. My relationship with people as well as things. When it takes away, it keeps aside the best of the best.

I’ve lost people I thought I couldn’t live without and also gained people I least expected would show me so much love and understanding. The support and guidance that has shown up in my life in the last four years has been immensely helpful for me to make peace with where I’m at.

I don’t mean to say for a moment that those who are no longer in my life are bad people. But, they were incapable or unwilling to swim in the deep. They preferred the shallow waters. Not everyone’s realities are the same and some of us are more aware of this + willing and capable of accepting it when it comes to people we care about.

My health has also taught me another thing: the importance of healthy boundaries. Drawing boundaries with people is not the same as building walls between you and them. You get to decide who gets to visit the garden you’re growing, how long they stay and what they take with them.

If someone had told me these things years ago, I think I might just have suffered a little less. I would like to think I had to learn these lessons through personal experiences. Looking back, no matter how painful it was to let go of things, people and the idea of a certain kind of life, I would say it has been an eye-opening experience which has now aligned me with a life more supportive of who I am and my reality.

I’ve always believed in quality over quantity in most areas of my life. Today, the people I am surrounded with are those who listen, try to understand and also do their own research when it comes to having a loved one with a life-altering illness. They also trust my experience when I speak about it and we’ve learned to have a more open and honest communication.

Grateful to be back home after spending a day at the hospital. I had a random and severe episode of syncope two afternoon’s back but thankfully nothing life-threatening showed up. The cause remains unclear but from our understanding, it could’ve been anything from dehydration to my gastro symptoms to extreme fatigue.

Thank you to the kind souls who reached out. I feel so loved and care for. A much bigger thank you to those who’ve stood by me through the thick and thin.

❤️

-M

be grateful they say

{A note on gratitude}

When we tell someone to be grateful because someone else has it worse, we make light out of their situation. And when we do that, we invalidate their experience and make them feel like they are less. Like their experience isn’t bad enough. 

You can’t encourage gratitude in someone by igniting fear in them. Gratitude grows in a space of love and faith. Not fear. It doesn’t magically come to you simply because someone else has it worse. It’s a state of mind you work towards, feed and maintain.

glorification​ of busy

we need to stop the

glorification of busy. 

we are all “busy” 

with something or the other. 

how is one person’s busy any busier than that of someone else?

why do we live under the impression 

that more busy = more important? 

or more busy = more successful. 

it’s not how busy you are

that counts. 

it’s what you are busy doing that does. 

and the bottom line is, no one has time for 

anyone or anything that doesn’t hold a certain value. 

the next time you casually tell someone 

“oh, i was just busy”,

take a moment to step out of your mind 

and ask yourself if that’s the truth, a subconsciously cultivated habit or a mere excuse to prove a point you’re afraid to face. 

we’re all a different kind of busy. 

and our busy-ness is worth nothing 

if we aren’t intentional about what we are busy with and who we make time for despite 

all the busy-ness. 

-m

I know I don’t look sick (whatever ‘sick’ looks like anyway) but guess what, I don’t need to look a particular way to be sick. Ten years of dealing with a life-altering chronic illness and I can now say that making others believe what I’m going through is a waste of my precious time and energy. My job is not to try and prove to the world how sick I am or obsess myself with trying to be inspirational. It is to do my best with what I have, work with my body and its limitations and most importantly, live as authentically as possible. This illness is a major part of my experience on this planet but it isn’t my entire story. #sick #invisible #invisibleillness #ehlersdanlossyndrome #hypermobility #chronicpain #chronicillness #sibo #guthealth #acceptance #reality #selfcare #selflove #embraceyourself