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

Three years back

Just about three years back, probably towards the middle of a very #dark phase of hating my body, I swore upon myself to never travel until I felt #ready. Unfortunately, I didn’t believe I’d ever feel ready enough to live in this body or #travel with it. While most people of my age were getting excited about traveling, I was feeling trapped in a body that only looked normal.

There came a point where I didn’t want anything more but to be able to look after myself, #trust my body again and be okay with where I was at. It was such a #challenge because there was absolutely nothing trustworthy about my body. I realized I could care less about seeing the world or chasing goals if I couldn’t even wash my own hair or walk around my own house.

I left a part of my past behind, took a couple of major leaps of faith and started living on my own. I decided to create a routine which provided me with the kind of stability that my body lacked; that my #environment lacked too. The idea was to build myself up again, to become comfortable with the cards I was dealt , to #empower myself and honour my #health. I had to re-imagine a life that is different and also learn to believe that different doesn’t mean bad.

After three years of the very same #routine and #lifestyle – Physiotherapy, Pilates, allopathic medicines, complimentary therapies, lots of positive-self talk, re-connecting with my creative self, allowing myself to cry and experience grief fully, accepting limitations, fighting for instead of against my body, letting go of people, places and situations which didn’t serve my new self anymore, feeding myself nourishing food, learning to find reasons to be grateful — and something shifted within me. I suddenly craved a #change, a mini #break from this routine that I had created for myself. Some time away from it to see how far I’ve come.

I’ve got more information now. I can see the #progress I’ve made and there’s more to learn. To be honest, I don’t know when I’d feel ready to travel again and this time it doesn’t matter at all. It doesn’t make me feel any less or more because I believe time will come when it must.

Recovering from a zombie state 

I feel like a zombie. A zombie who ran a triathlon, won the first position and is now fatigued out of her brain. Wait, do zombies have brains?

Well, here’s the thing. I can’t make sense of how yesterday was – it’s as though I just sat on my bed attempting to read a fiction love-story (I don’t read fiction, by the way), with my new glasses on and the day just went by. I went for Physiotherapy but that’s really it. My brain was numb and heavy and light and cloudy and foggy and misty and messy and everything all the same time. And my body was over-worked, over-drained and over-sensitive. Towards the end of the day, I even started running a slight fever out of nothing but plain tiredness. It was like my body saying, “alright woman now that’s enough.. Stop before I stop you in ways you don’t want to stop.” Except, it didn’t sound  as threatening as I’m making it sound.

I’m still recovering from that intense brainfog and still have a residual disoriented sense of the world around me today. Half of me is still floating brainlessly. Thankfully, it was such an easy day at work today – I had the whole studio to myself and I had done what needed to be done so I survived and even managed to take a couple of pictures – you know, when you’re in the right clothes and in an empty studio, it’s okay!

I also managed to get through a short session of my regular Pilates session today. That makes it 4 short sessions this month and that’s freaking brilliant! I’m starting to get back to my routine slowly but I’m so exhausted it’s even funny. I look back and I wonder, ” how on earth did I manage 2 sessions of Pilates per week, and Physiotherapy, and part-time work, and walk to work and cook for myself and work on some parts of my business before my knee got injured?!?”

No idea. I swear I don’t. Did I actually manage all that?!

Our body is constantly changing and we have to adapt to it. To be very honest, I have to give myself a few months and then review to see if I need to make some changes to my lifestyle again. At the moment, I’m trying and I wish to continue trying. That’s all I know.

Most of us physically fragile people are gifted with a brain that’s very strong and we’re capable of dealing with so much more. I see where there can sometimes be a clash between our mind and body but frankly, the lesser the clash, the less we suffer. The more tuned in we are with out needs, the more tuned in others will be with us too.

I’ve got a very busy next three weeks. My brother’s back this Friday for a short summer break and I also wish to get through work and other not-so-fun stuff. Again, I’m not sure if I can and I have to keep checking in with my body.

Do send me some good vibes and extra spoons because I definitely need them right now and possibly for the next month or so. Though there’s still a longggggggggggg way to go (I’m questioning if there even is a destination), I’m very proud of where I’ve come today. It’s not been an easy journey but I’ve made it here. Just like most of us. With that slightly positive thought in mind, I’m going to get into bed and hope I get a good sleep. I think I’ll be ready for tomorrow.
Love,

MD

Ending my last Pilates session of #2015 with my instructor of two.five years, @oneknee😎

 I was more regular with my sessions than I have ever been and that makes me feel really good. Even a tiny bit of improvement in the muscle tone makes me feel happy because I like to believe that my body is responding to how I look after it. Perhaps the #progress isn’t as much as I was wishing it would be but again, if how I looked was the gauge to the progress (and the kind of progress) I’ve made, it’s not going to be accurate at all.

With patience, understanding and support from just a few people, and with my personal effort, commitment and love towards my body, I’ve made progress on all levels – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. This year, I’ve got another joint (that’s a grand total 9 joints affected) to worry about but I’m less fearful and more trusting of my body and its experience. I’m more accepting towards my constantly changing body because I realize that it is a physical manifestation of the experience I’ve had or am having. I see how just dealing with an illness is not enough – one needs to work on healing and growing with the illness too.

#2015 has opened me to so many #possibilities – ones which I was either afraid to consider or didn’t even know existed. Today, I understand that even if my life looks nothing like before, it looks fine. It doesn’t look bad. I had a chance to question what I really want out of life and though my goals and #dreams are still just evolving (re-evolving), I feel certain about the years to come. 2015 has given me the #opportunity to come to terms with my past, remember the lessons and grow from that place. We are nothing without our #story and there’s no reason to hide it. I can now look back, acknowledge what was and that this illness is a crucial part of my growth,and, continue writing a new ending.

Thank you to all those who’ve stood by me and have been a part of my #journe, and most importantly, thank you for giving me space to just simply have my experience. One Day At A Time.
Happy New Year’s Eve!✨

Another Challenge!

Happy December, Everyone!

2015 has finally come to an end (almost) and I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for me. I seriously can’t. My planner is out of pages and looking back, I feel good about what I’ve overcome and how I feel more confident owning my story.

I haven’t been writing much out here lately because quite honestly, I’ve been a super caught up with things that require my attention even more at this point. There is only so much energy we have and we must be extremely cautious about where that energy goes. I’ve been working on directing this energy towards myself and my overall health till now and the results have been…..

interesting.

Last couple of months were so eventful and as much as I would love to write about each of these events, I don’t think I have the time and freedom to do it yet. I’m at a point where action counts more than anything else and need to save my energy in every way possible. Heard of spoons? I need to be extra cautious with how I use my spoons.

I’ve learnt that it’s okay to feel vulnerable at times and it’s only this  sort of a vulnerability that creates the best of relationships and connections. True friendships and relationships evolve out of being open about your suffering and pain and though I’m here writing to a large audience, I’m going to write as though I’m speaking with someone I could be very honest with.

For those who have been following my updates on ODAAT, more so on Instagram, I have to say… due to an urgent financial situation, I’m going to CHOOSE to put ODAAT on hold for a bit. ODAAT won’t be my focus at this point because my focus will be laying a stronger foundation for my healing to continue. 

ODAAT will always be a huge part of me though. My Manntra has been to take it One Day At A Time and according to that, this is a situation I must deal with today.

As my life has taught me till now, we make plans and work on them and things can still go off track. Things go wrong (often they look wrong but they nudge us in the right direction), and we need to be adaptable enough to take the next best step. Often times, it’s these things that go “wrong” that really pushes you forward like you never imagined. I’m here taking my next best step towards what’s truly important to me as of now.

It would’ve taken much longer for ODAAT to finally be ready and I don’t have that kind of time on my side. ODAAT would surely have helped me with the situation but it meant a lot more than just a source of income. ODAAT was about extending help to others and it seems like life needs me to help myself first, which, I’ve learnt is always step one anyway. And as much as it hurts me to not be able to work on it, I am aware that this is MY decision, based on my priorities.

What I need to do is to ensure that I’m able to provide my body with what has been helping it. Wait. Let me correct that sentence a bit. 

I want to ensure that I’m able to provide myself with what has been helping my overall health and well-being.

I can’t deny this fact – it’s when I started working on my mental, emotional and physical state all at once, I started noticing a difference DEEP DEEP DEEP within. I’ve had to take pretty though decisions till now now and they have caused a decent amount of turbulence around me, with not so pleasant consequence so.

“I can’t go back to where I used to be… every turn a surprise… “  – A Whole New World, Alladin. 

Yet, even a little bit of progress means a lot to me and just based on that, I that what I need in order for my healing to continue is my own space and time. The change you notice in yourself is not always noticeable on the outside right away. It takes years and years sometimes to see a shift in the reality around you and again, there isn’t any quick-fix to this.

After spending a year with myself, I have learnt to be okay with the fact that I might have a different set of needs and wants, and what’s important to me doesn’t have to be important for anyone else. 

I’d love to list all the possible ways I find myself in a slightly better position today but let me sort out the issue at hand first and I’ll happily share it all with you later on!

You see, if I must pick between my stability (which includes the right environment for healing to take place, more empowerment as a patient, the ability to listen and respond to my body and trust it, take it slow at MY pace and not someone else’s, and most importantly BE WHO I TRULY AM) and giving all of it up in order to make ODAAT happen (for example), the truth is, I will pick stability at this point. When I have a stronger foundation, I’d be able to work on anything I choose to. Right now, I’m choosing to fix the cracks and holes in my foundation because it doesn’t work for me any longer.

The day I have that sort of stability, I swear I’ll announce it to the whole wide world and on my blog and Instagram and  everywhere possible (you get the point) and throw a mini tea party at my house for my friends because I’d be overflowing with happiness and crying about how much progress I’ve made since birth up till now. 

Those who really do know me for the person I am, despite all the things that went wrong, have seen how things have shifted for me in just last one year. Yep. Isn’t it amazing what just a year can do? I am still in so much pain, my joints still sublax, I am still taking daily medicines to function, I still need my slings and guards and tapes… There is still so much I can’t do and probably never will be able to.. But I’m reaching a level of acceptance which at one point, seemed impossible.  

I was afraid of owning my story; now I’m not.

This, to me = progress.

To be here today, surviving through the last 25 years of my life, is a victory in itself. And just this last one year has been enough for me to find a bit of trust in myself and my journey and to keep going.

I can’t wait for the day when everything is in place and I can finally take that one huge breath that I’ve been craving for …let’s say… ages. That one breath will be yet another victory altogether. That’s what I want. I’m working towards it, because no, sitting idle won’t help. No matter how difficult it gets from here, I will get through it. 

I now realize my fundamental needs WAY more than I ever did before and though I think there is still a lot left to learn (I think learning never stops, no matter what age one is at. I don’t believe that the older you are the more mature or wise you are. Sometimes experience beats age. Sometimes age beats age. You just have to continue to learn and grow. That’s just my belief and yours could be different), my story has taught me enough to never do certain things again and continue certain things no matter what. It’s been a ride full of lessons and realizations. It’s a process which adds  meaning and purpose to life. 

Some processes take a lot of time and I don’t believe in rushing what actually needs extra space and time instead. It’s like this ,if you have a deep cut on your finger and have a band-aid on it, you wouldn’t keep trying to rip that off, would you? You know how painful it is and it starts affecting everything, but you also know that you’re not helping the healing process if you keep touching the wound. Let it heal.It’s the same with health. And when I say health, you know what I mean now.

I also don’t believe in rushing someone else’s healing process just because you want it to be faster or think it “should” go faster. We each have our unique way of dealing with our experiences and it need not be compared. I’ve seen that the more I focus on my over-all health and well-being, the more I realize what deserves my attention and what doesn’t.

2015 has slowly but certainly propelled me forward – beyond my fears, beyond my weaknesses. It has shown me hints of the strength that lies in the core of who I am. And that’s exactly what I needed. Somewhere over the last few years, it had all faded away and I forgot I had it in me to make things happen. My condition had made me immensely dependent on those around me and it wasn’t helping anyone. Not me or them. I couldn’t be in pain in peace. And they couldn’t see me in pain. I couldn’t work at a pace that was true to who I was becoming. There were expectations and the past was eating into my present and future. It was getting messed up. Though everything seemed alright from outside, it was starting to cause further damage to me internally. I didn’t want that to continue. It had to stop.

I have never felt better; never in the last so many years. There’s still so much to figure out and though future is still very uncertain (as it might be, given a rare, connective tissue disorder), I at least know there is a way ahead. 

Feeling better doesn’t mean I’m pain-free (I wish that was the case!), it only means my mind is a bit more capable of dealing with the debilitating pain caused by this illness.

The question I ask myself is, do I have the space, time and opportunity to be patient with my body and allow it to heal?

You know how they say things always get worse before they get better? I’m aware of the possibility of my body feeling the consequences of certain decisions I might have to take due to the current situation, but I am convinced I’m doing what’s right for my health. Healing takes place inside out and there is no way forward without it first being inwards. 

I think I’m ready for 2016. A month in advance, I’m ready. As long as I choose to honour my health, no matter what it looks like from the outside, I trust that I will continue to make a progress.

8ef13841baae37a0940a95eeaf543370.jpg

It’s bloody exciting! It’s going to be super exhausting too but just thinking about what lies beyond this initial pain makes me want to keep going. I somehow also get a feeling that I will receive the support I may need, as I need it. Let’s see.

So everyone, if you see no updates on my blog for a while from now, know that I am alive and carving my way towards health and well-being and working on creating  some amount of stability for myself. I need this more than anything else at this point in time.

Wait up till I finally announce that I’ve survived this! :)

Lots of Love,

Manasi Dalvi

❤︎

Embrace.

 

Embrace yourself.

The whole of you. From head to toe.From skin to core. Every little scar, every little mark. Embrace every part that you think is too fat or too skinny. Every area that you’d rather cover, and every area you want to flaunt. Embrace the extra weight that you’ve put on or the weight you simply can’t gain. Embrace the ability for your body to change, and the truth that it has. Embrace everything that’s on and in your body, for it reflects the journey you’ve had, and the journey you are on.

                                                                                        •••

Embrace every little flaw that you think is a flaw – the bumps, the curves, the blemishes, the dimples or the moles. The thigh gap or the lack of one. Embrace every single dislocated joint, every set of horribly painful muscles. Embrace the faulty collagen that once made you feel at fault. Embrace the complexity of the cells that form you. Embrace the simplicity of your breath. Embrace every weakness, every strength that you have within you. Embrace the limitations, for that’s the first step towards working with your body and finding opportunities. Embrace your emotional, mental, physical and spiritual self because they make you the you that you are and the you that you’re about to become.

                                                                                         •••
Embrace your experience – it has torn you down into pieces, ripped all the courage out of you and built you up into a strong and beautiful person that you are. Embrace the conscious and the subconscious story you’ve written so far. Embrace all that you are creating from here on. Embrace every fragmented part of you that needs a safe spot to come together and bloom again. Embrace those cracks in your heart, those holes in your soul. Embrace that part of you which still needs to develop, learn and grow. Embrace the power within you to do all of it. Embrace the fear, the guilt, the despair and the grief that you have overcome. Embrace all that is still left to overcome. Embrace each of those disturbingly dark emotions that you feel, for that is where the alchemy begins. Embrace your deeper need to heal, for that is how the world starts to heal. One person at a time. Embrace your need for boundaries and personal space. Embrace your need for valuable connections and healthy relationships. Embrace your need to be what you want to be, and not what the world wants you to be. Embrace the disorder in your, the clutter, the chaos – it is what makes you human. Embrace all of it.

                                                                                         •••

Embrace your skills, your talents, your passion and your drive to keep moving forward. Embrace your need to go slow. Embrace your ability to know. Embrace the possibility to be lost, for you won’t always have the answers. Embrace the fact that you are unique, that you are different – like everyone else, and yet not. Embrace the sensitive being that you are. Embrace the truth that you feel more. Embrace the light and the shadow within you. Embrace the love and the pain that fills you up every single day. Embrace all the muddle and the uncertainty that you face, for each of us feels this way at some point. Embrace all that you are and all that you are not. Embrace your reality, your story and your dreams.

Embrace the perfectly imperfect and glorious mess that you are!

❤︎

Some Days At Work.


Some days at work look like this. Doesn’t matter what you’re doing. When you’re body tells you to stop. STOP. When your body says lie down, DO IT. If you can’t walk to your bed, JUST LIE DOWN on the floor. Wherever you are.

Listen to your body.

Listen to what it has to tell you.

Ask what it needs out of you and do it.

Be aware of what it’s trying to remind you.

Close your eyes. Pause. Breathe. Let go. Forget. It’s all okay. It will all be okay.

Everything that must wait, can wait and will wait for you. Anything that doesn’t, is not meant for you.

❤︎

Last Night. 

What a messed up night.

I.

Did.

Not.

Sleep.

One.

Bit.

Instead,

I took extra pain medicines.

Twisted and turned. Carefully I think.

I’m still together. All parts.

Massaged my joints and used hot bags.

Ate a chocolate cookie at 4:00am.

Spent sometime on Pinterest.

Tried sleeping.

Failed again.

Did some breathing exercise hoping I’d sleep.

Didn’t work.

Couldn’t move much anymore.

My body has kept me up all night.

Or maybe it was my mind this time.

No, I’m not sure. I can’t think right now.

Maybe I had too much green tea yesterday?

Ok. I seriously do not know what kept me up.

The pain in my back was horrible. I know this.

And I’m in pain even now. As expected, as usual, as per normal.

It’s just one of those days. I can do it. I have done this before so many times.

But it doesn’t get any easier each time.

No sleep = pain level amplified.

I could’ve just taken a warm shower.

But yes, I couldn’t move.

Am I even making any sense?

Okay.

I’m done. I can’t write today.

I.

Am.

Too.

Tired.

For.

Anything.

I can’t wait to be able to nap later. I need a long 9-hour nap.

Goodnight. No wait, Good Morning!

❤︎