Seek

Throwback to when I could still swim and position my arms a little more comfortably than right now. And now even though I end up walking in the pool or swimming with every move calculated and rehearsed thrice in my mind, I still find some peace being in the water. There’s something absolutely healing about water and I can’t find words to describe it. Leaving behind swimming 15-20 laps a day was hard because swimming was my escape or meditation (and it kept me physically fit enough) I thought, until I couldn’t escape anymore. Until I couldn’t run away from home, from a space I could barely breathe or be alone in, to really listen to my heart beat and know I was still alive. Until  my body forced me to stay in bed and find a way to deal with reality, with love and compassion for myself first.

Again, it doesn’t hurt so much anymore so I can actually share these things with you. In fact, this is so freeing, realising that I’ve learnt to let go of things I tried holding on to for a very long time, almost hoping they’d come back and fit together into this picture-perfect life; things that I thought made me who I was. Perhaps the way it happened wasn’t the best but I’m grateful to have realised very early in my life what truly matters. What I was never wrong about was that I was constantly seeking peace and a reason to be happy and activities like dance and swimming kind of gave me a taste of both.

Today, I am thankful my experiences have taught me that true source of peace and happiness, the kind of peace and happiness that makes you really glow, is within us. I can be in bed and in pain and still be at peace, still be somewhat happy knowing what I  now know for sure. Getting here took equal parts faith (in my body and something bigger) and conscious actions (because even when you think you don’t have control, you still have a choice to remain stuck or take the next best step), and maybe a dash of sparkles. ✨

Alive

🤷🏼‍♀️💃🏼🤦🏼‍♀️

🌸Do what makes your soul smile. If that’s dance and you can’t dance, find a way to feel like you’re dancing. Feeling is everything. Find ways to keep your spirit alive while you have to deal with and work around a not-so-healthy body. It’s hard enough on a daily basis and you’re allowed to find ways to make it a tad bit lighter on yourself, okay? You don’t need anyone’s permission for that. You are doing your best with the cards you’ve been dealt.

I can’t dance/perform like before, I can’t just stand up and let loose and dance freely but I can imagine doing it in my mind. I can imagine dancing, performing and choreographing like before and I can FEEL it as if it’s true. It makes me smile from within. That said, I know my body has its limitations and I know what’s right for my health. I don’t have it in me to be stupid and push my body in ways I tried to back in the past. You see, I might have had to leave dance behind but my love for dance will always stay with me and you know what?…that’s enough for me.

This isn’t some law of attraction discussion and I’m not going to say “imagine and you’ll have it” because if you don’t get it, you’d think you didn’t want it enough or you haven’t tried hard enough. If that were really the case, if only imagining solved all my problems, I’d be doing different things at this point because trust me, I’m bloody good with my imagination. All I’m saying is, be true to who you are and things that keep your fire going. Be a little #crazy in your own special ways. Keep those things alive; things that keep your enthusiasm for life going. Keep working on finding ways, finding solutions. Be open to possibilities while being aware of your #reality. I’m not going to tell you to have high expectations out of yourself when you have REAL LIFE limitations and when you’ve worked so hard to leave your old life behind.

Acknowledge your present with your heart and mind. Please do not work on going back to the life in your past which doesn’t serve you anymore today. Please don’t force yourself to walk backwards and create more suffering. Past is gone for a reason. Walk forward with what you have and what you can do. Be very practical + imaginative where necessary 🌸 #chandralekha #bollywood

Hello there spoonies and other friends!

So while I was off social media, I took some time for myself and made sure I brought my interaction with people to a bare minimum. I met just a few people apart from my pilates instructor, physiotherapist, ayurveda therapist and naturopath but I made sure to look at my phone and laptop less. In fact, I wrote more in my journal and typed less on my phone.

Some of the experiences I had just over this week made me think through a lot about how far I’ve come and how far I’m yet to go. When you really make an effort to disconnect with the noise around you and connect with what is already within, you finally hear the noise within you loud and clear. And if you dig deep enough, and have the courage to dig further, you find that there’s so much wisdom residing in there that you barely ever need to seek answers from outside. A lot of what we need to know, we already do.

So, obviously, I made a list of ten things that came up for me in the course of this one week. I took some time to journal and think through each point even more and I figured I have so much to share and so much to learn at the same time. I wasn’t too sure if I wanted to share this list with everyone but I’ve made up my mind to do it anyway. Who knows, it might resonate with someone out there.

1. Listen more; to your inner wisdom and to those who need to be heard
2. Express more gratitude
3. Have the courage to ASK for your needs to be met
4. Be brave and say ‘NO’ if/when necessary
5. Preserve your energy; it’s everything
6. Reframe your past, refocus on your present and reimagine your future
7. Return to the thoughts of peace, love, health and success
8. Validate yourself for every progress you’ve made
9. Make your own decisions. You know what is best for you.
10. Trust that you will always be supported if you’re willing to jump off the cliff. Keep doing your best and being your best even if you’re at your weakest.

The most important thing I realized was that I NEEDED this time. Unless I make a conscious effort to create a space for myself, I will always be a part of something I don’t need to be a part of. Love, Manasi ❤️ #chronicillness #selfcare

D I G I T A L D E T O X – With my classes and workshops starting again this year, I haven’t had a chance to go on my usual monthly digital detox for a while now. However, it looks like the time has come! I’m in a desperate need to disconnect from the world for a while and do things that help me build up on my energy levels. My health hasn’t been all that great lately and all of a sudden I have a tonne of other things to juggle and deal with. I’m predicting next few months will be rather fast-paced for me, which means I need to make sure I give myself more time and care so that my body doesn’t experience some kind of a shock. So there’s my brain trying to think of the quickest and most effective way to get things done, bringing out the old workaholic and control-freak in me and here’s my body doing its thing, being wise and reminding me to go slow. When I work at the speed of my mind, my body suffers for sure and life gets really R E A L L Y hard. When I allow my body lead and let my mind do the supporting role, things seem to work a little more in harmony which in turn keeps my spirit going. Up until today, each time life got too fast-paced (which gives me a bit of a high), learning to mindfully slow down and squeezing out some time for myself is what helped me tremendously. Mindlessly going with the flow has never worked in my case.
I’ll be right back!
Sending everyone lots of love and spoons,
Manasi

If you have a story, write. If you have a story that changed you for the better, write for sure. Because when you do, you heal and create a safe space for others to heal.

There can never be enough stories of struggle and harsh realities which lead to strength, courage and acceptance.

Don't let your story confine you.
Let it become a catalyst for your growth, your ability to adapt + respond and your enthusiasm for life.

Love,
MD

Thank you


I just feel like saying a big thank you to all those who've loved me through my struggle with finding a diagnosis, leaving an old life behind, resisting a new one, accepting and coming to terms with where I'm at and making drastic lifestyle/career changes in order to manage my health.

Thank you for loving me despite my chronic illness.
Thank you for learning to grow with me ❤️

You didn't have to be family to promise that you'd be around whenever I need – you just chose to be there for me. Thank you!

Shopping for clothes

I remember the times when I could go into a trial room with a basket full of clothes and super quickly, try on everything + reach a final decision and leave. It was easy and fun and barely required any extra thinking.

Then as I got more ill, I couldn't walk around and pick clothes as quickly, reaching for things kept higher up the shelf or lower below my knees became a challenge and even though shopping was still rather fun, it started becoming more of a task. As more joints kicked in, I had more and more things to consider.

If I managed to somehow pick out a few clothes I wish to try, I'd find myself half exhausted to actually try them on. Sometimes trying would hurt my joints, even if I was as careful as I could possibly be. I would need to take breaks and go slow, one thing at a time until I'm either bloody exhausted that I can't try any more or feel accomplished for managing to try every piece I picked. I can't count on my hands the number of times I've had a sudden brain fog, palpitations or over-worked a joint while trying on clothes.

After an arduous process of having tried a bunch of clothes, I often find myself thinking if it's even practical to buy things I really liked, based on my experience in the trial room. Is it worth trying to wear something gorgeous that I'd probably be able to carry off but might find hard to get in and out of, or could possibly land me up in the ER if I accidentally over-did anything or perhaps cause a sublaxation that might take months to heal?

My instinct says no (of course, I do ignore it sometimes. Being sick doesn't mean you deprive yourself of pretty things, right?) mainly because I'm so used to thinking through the lens of my body and I believe that in many situations, my body seems more wise than my mind.

Sometimes this process of weighing things out takes me about an hour but I still go through it. At times I'm lucky and I find enough "perfect" clothes and want to the whole bunch because who's going to keep doing this all the time right? But no, then there are more questions that pop up for me — am I going to be able to carry it all home? Do I have any energy left in me to do it?

There are times when I can which is great. And other times I can't so I decide to leave a few things behind for next time. By the way, next time can be at any given point in the near or far future, you never really know. There have been several times when I was in such a bad state after trying a few clothes that I just chucked them away and left the shop empty handed.

Times have changed.

From shopping turning into a plan (or journey!) to so many stages of decision making through the process, to noticing shifts in my physical body, to the love and acceptance I've developed for it – things are no longer the same and they become extra apparent under some situations.

Often, for me at least, this message comes as a subtle note, a deeper thought with a sense of peace + relief, "You are a newer version of who you used to be." but every once in a while, it stands right in my face, yelling at me, causing a bit of fear about where things might be heading. For a while that's okay, and perhaps needed, but after a point I have to move away from that space and become more present.

Little things in your daily life are capable of reminding you of how much things have changed for the worse but I've learned that it's crucial to work on putting those things aside and really look at every little progress you've made. Every. Little. Progress.Counts.

If something reminded you today that times have changed and you found yourself struggling, remember to focus your thoughts on how far you've come, rather than where you used to be or where you're heading. Make a list of things. Write a journal entry. Look through photos that celebrate your journey up till now. Talk to your friends and perhaps ask them to remind you of your progress. Most importantly, keep in mind that you're not alone. Most often than not, we're all struggling with similar emotions and thoughts but our approaches might differ.

Love,

Manasi