{What’s the motivation behind your New Year’s resolutions?}

 When I was younger, making new year’s resolutions list was my one of my favourite things to do. I was excited and confident because I always knew exactly what I wanted and how to achieve it and of course, my body could handle it. I loved the high I got from ticking off all my resolutions, one by one, throughout the year. It was all so easy! My workaholic and perfectionist tendencies were at play.

Then there came a time when things started to change. Sticking to or even making New Year’s resolutions became a challenge. If I made a list, I’d find myself beating myself over not being able to tick off anything. I still kept trying – resisting my changing reality, fighting my body, attaching my self-worth to what I did (career/passion), what (or who) I had around me and how I looked.

Until one day, my internal and external world fell apart. I felt crushed.

And that’s when the obsession to make and achieve New Year’s resolutions ended forever. I’m thankful it did.

Over the last few years of committing myself to a lot of internal work, healing and personal development, I realised one very powerful thing:

when we make new year’s resolutions, we tend to make them from a space of not having, doing, being enough. It comes from a space of fear or judgement towards ourselves. Our focus is on what is lacking in order for us to feel good rather than appreciating what we have and feeling good in the moment.

While the above is true for everyone, it is definitely a greater struggle for people who are chronically ill and have some serious, day to day limitations. We make a list, things go differently, we feel responsible, experience guilt and shame for not being able to achieve anything and end up hating ourselves as if it were our fault to be born in a body with limitations. Soon, it turns into a vicious cycle. I urge you to celebrate smallest of your victories, be it getting out of bed, making tea for yourself, writing an article, doing 5 squats, making it to therapy or even just taking time to breathe — celebrate them.

It’s great if you’ve made a list of resolutions for 2019 but I’m going to take this opportunity and encourage you to dig deeper. Ask yourself the difficult questions.

What’s my motivation? What feelings am I avoiding? Why do I think these resolutions matter? What is it that I really need instead? Where does this need come from? How can I make peace with where I’m at? Answer them with courage and honesty.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t have a list of things you want to achieve. It’s just that by becoming really honest with yourself about it, you are better able to align yourself with your personal truths before you start taking steps towards your goals and desires. Focus on intention, small action steps and feelings of appreciation and gratitude.

#2019

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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.

❤️

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