I have come to realize that I have an obsession with bowls. This might seem fairly obvious because I created an entire cookbook around bowls but… even long after the release of WHOLE - bowl food for balance; guess what? the obsession continues. Maybe it's the comfort that they offer. Maybe the ease of eating. Or perhaps its the fact that the beauty of a bowl is the empty space between its walls and what that space can hold. I wanted to share some of these magnificent bowls from Bali a few of the thoughts that followed capturing them.
These bowls made me think deeper about the body and space in between. The spaces in our bodies and in our lives. How do we fill them? How do we celebrate them? Do we stop to admire how glorious our bodies really are?
With the constant diet culture surrounding us, pushing us to be thinner because well, thinner is celebrated more than overall health and wellbeing. How do we find a moment of stillness to recalibrate what it is that we want? How do we drown out the noise? The noise these days is even bigger than just weight. It's a mental health battlefield for so many on a daily basis. It's not always easy, especially if you are in the woods and can't see beyond your own nose. I've been there. In the dark space where nothing seems to make sense, you aren't sure what you should eat or even how to move your body. You've heard so many thoughts and opinions that now rather than breathing you are riddled with anxiety. Who do you listen to? Who do you trust?
Stop. Take a deep breath. Tune into your intuition.
Your body is a magnificent creation of biological engineering. The universe’s magnum opus. It allows you to get up in the morning and show up for your day. It can chase your children in the garden or hold your lover in its arms. It's something to be celebrated. It can heal itself without you thinking about it. Those are the moments or spaces in between your life that happen because of your body. How often do you scan your body and send it messages of love?
So how do I get myself out of the woods? I thought I would share some practical tools for those bad days where emotionally and physically you just aren't in a good space. I hope it offers light into those dark sticky moments when you wake up and think, how am I going to get through today? Or perhaps that moment when you look in the mirror and your inner-bully pops up telling you your thighs should be smaller. These are the tools that I use for my spaces in between.
When you wake up, before you get out of bed, close your eyes and scan your body. Start at your toes and work your way to your head. Breath. Feel into your body and check in with any sensations you might be having. Are you stiff or perhaps tired? Do you feel energized and well-rested?
After your body scan name three things that you are grateful for today. Is it your beating heart, a roof over your head? Perhaps it is something as simple as the ability to smile. An attitude of gratitude can go a long way. Repeat this daily as often and as much as you can! At first, it might seem difficult but don't worry - it gets easier.
Move your body in a loving way. Moving your body is always a good idea as long as you meet your body where it is at. If all that you can do is a 20-minute walk then you have done well! Walking three to four times a week is wonderful and something to be proud of. Before you know it, endorphins will come and you will feel emotionally lighter. I recommend walking outside, somewhere you can take in nature and feel the sunshine on your skin.
Don't believe everything you think. Remember you are not your thoughts. You are a conscious being having thoughts. Not everything you think is true and certainly not to be believed without question. Attaching to the story can cause a lot of pain. Everyone has a bully in their heads. A bully that sets us up with limiting beliefs and tells us all about our shortcomings. Over and over again.
Meet your bully with humour or strength. It takes practice and it isn't always easy but realising that the proverbial “bully” gains ground through unchallenged toxic thoughts about yourself and that you can and do have the power to change those thoughts can be incredibly motivating to clean up your headspace.
Ground yourself in routine. Whether it is morning routine, evening or your weekly schedule. Finding a routine that works for you will not only ground you but set you up for success. What morning routine do you have? Do you just rush out of bed and spend the rest of the day rushing to crash at night? Do you meditate for five minutes each morning setting your intentions for the day?
Be gentle on yourself. You are doing the best you can with what you have. Fill the spaces in between with people that make you feel good, moments that nourish you and healthy whole real food. Preferably in a bowl!