my brain changers: may

'on changing the way i think'

what are my brain changers
come stay share your thoughts

'on falling in love'

it happened at every yoga class i ever took. it went on for years. a surge of familiar yearning would start to simmer as i unrolled the mat. eager and hopeful. as my body strained and stretched into poses, i felt it boil up. craving and longing. by the time i lay down and tried to let my body sink into the mat, it was at near boiling point. this time it will be different. this time i really will fall in love with it. it really will change the shape and the size of my flesh. i really will become more at peace and loving towards myself. this is the one. i can feel it. i would pack up and head home. still bubbling up with potential. but it would soon turn into vapour. like it always did. i would be disappointed. i'd feel cheated even. everyone else is in love with yoga, what’s wrong with me. 

it has been months since i last went to sona’s class. then i was with a bump and mostly looking to get comfortable. falling in love was not on my agenda. but i remembered her soft spoken ways as nurturing and nourishing. now i was with a toddler instead of a bump. and with a year’s worth of therapy behind me exploring and carefully unpicking my subconsciousness. now i was trusting my gut more. now i started to see value in process over results. i was more curious and inquisitive. i arrived as a beginner eager to just give it a go again. 

i waited as i unrolled the mat. for the familiar yearning. but it didn’t come. or rather its echos were there, but depleted of force. of intensity. it has retreated from the forefront allowing me to stretch and strain mindfully. it watched from the sidelines. a bench player hoping for a substitution. by the time my eyes are closed atop a yoga mat i feel palpably slower and lighter. i continue to show up to classes. to explore what feels good and what doesn’t. i have my own back regardless of how far i can take a pose. i walk out feeling more open to possibilities. uplifted and inspired, instead of yearning. i accept my own limitations and am grateful for small steps of progress. i carry it inside till the next class. and the one after that. and then it hits me. i am falling in love after all. 

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on sona's recommendation, i have since started a 30 day (free online) yoga journey with adriene. i realise i did not play it cool and take it slow. but it seems to suit me for now. adriene is goofy and mindful at once. she makes me ponder and chuckle on the mat, often in the space of the same sentence. she fills me up without weighing me down. she nurtures and energises my beginner's mind. she is the ultimate aspirational girl next door yoga master. 

if you are looking for a disciplined way to show up on the mat, do give adriene a try. and let me know how you get on!

golden hour

'on modern love'

i got into the car to go to a pharmacy. the air sticky and sweltering. i listened to two episodes of the 'modern love' podcast to keep me company. a podcast of real human stories about love, loss and redemption read by known actors and based on the weekly new york times column. stories that make me feel things. lingering kind of feelings. the familiar instrumental is comforting. meghna chakrabarti's voice is soothing. sometimes i laugh with recognition. occasionally i nod with sadness. most of the time i am glad to have made time for an episode. boy, what a fabulous baker made me want to drive to the nearest bakery fast, buy a freshly baked warm sourdough and bite into it while no one is looking. a cup from the fountain of youth left me feeling strangely vulnerable. 

'on mothers and promises'

'i will continue to fill your spirit with immense love and light, so you don't have to go outside yourself to look for it' to my daughter. and son

'on true hard work of love and relationships'

i could listen to alain de botton and krista tippet chatting for always. so much human wisdom in this episode of 'on being' podcast, one of my favourites. they discuss alain's views on love and relationships he expressed in an essay her wrote for the new york times entitled 'why you will marry the wrong person'. alain believes that 'compatibility is an achievement of love; it must not be its precondition.' what about you? 

'on the stork and the beanstalk'

a mother's journal. it has inspired me for several years now. ashley has a raw and human way with words and photographs. her thoughts on motherhood and other life happenings always leave me wishing for more. her documentary captures invariably tell a story. my heart skips a beat when i see a new post. i always walk away feeling things. and wanting to tell stories in scribbles and captures. i hope you enjoy her as much as i do.

air stream

'on words underlined'

  • 'advice-giving comes naturally to our species, and is mostly done with good intent. but in my experience, the driver behind a lot of advice has as much to do with self-interest as interest in the other’s needs - and some advice can end up doing more harm than good...the human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved. it simply wants to be witnessed - to be seen, heard and companioned exactly as it is. when we make that kind of deep bow to the soul of a suffering person, our respect reinforces the soul’s healing resources, the only resources that can help the sufferer make it through' the gift of presence, the perils of avice
     
  • 'no one ever told me that i would remain, fundamentally, myself. sure, motherhood changes you, but it's not a magical metamorphosis. motherhood hasn't made me an expert at spinning plates or juggling, or...becoming a morning person. i think it would be so helpful if we talked more about the ways that mothers—and all parents—learn to adapt and less about ways that they miraculously transform' by erin boyle who writes reading my tea leaves - one of my favouritest blogs
     
  • 'i will not die an unlived life
    i will not live in fear
    of falling or catching fire. 
    i choose to inhabit my days, 
    to allow my living to open me, 
    to make me less afraid, 
    more accessible, 
    to loosen my heart
    until it becomes a wing, 
    a torch, a promise. 
    i choose to risk my significance; 
    to live so that which came to me as seed
    goes to the next as blossom
    and that which came to me as blossom, 
    goes on as fruit.'
    by dawna markova

'on good things'

  • their matching summer shoes
  • spontaneous pizza dinners on the green
  • stillness and calm that comes with watching birds fleet around a garden feeder 
  • all the shadows that come with more light
  • first scribbles inside a new notebook
  • appreciating yoga classes for what they bring you (slow and mindful), instead of being disappointed about what they do not (immediate results)
  • nights with open windows
  • coming home from a weekend away
  • a new to me old desk that makes me feel like a writer
  • one more new plant for the house. no, we surely don't already have enough plants. yes, i realise my love for them may be bordering on obsession and likely require an intervention at some point soon
  • goldilocks temperatures as of late - shhhhhh, too scared to say it out loud in case i jinx it
  • the smell of barbecued dinners

have a gentle week and thank you again for your company

sunset in kent