Tag Archives: finding inner love

Happy Soul: Nurture the Body, Nurture the Soul

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Nearly all of us have experienced death or disease in our lives. People we love fall ill unexplainably, it seems. We are left pondering, searching for meaning. Even though we often try and run from it, we know that all of life in its physicality has an expiration date. We all know that eventually our time will come, or we will be forced to bury someone that we love. So what is the point of health? You could walk outside tomorrow and be hit by a bus. Whether you treated your body with love has no effect on the fact that you are due for an untimely and unexpected death…

This attitude is one that carries weight for a lot of people. It gives an excuse for partaking in activities that can be detrimental to health and the soul. The reality is that our bodies are incredible things. They can take a beating, even if the beating is self-induced. They can adapt, they can heal. Something that may kill one person instantly could see another person well into their elderly years. There have even been stories of people surviving after falling out of a plane with a malfunctioning parachute! There are some who are born with weaknesses they never even knew of. There are children that suffer years of surgery and treatment for a condition that came down to bad luck. Our bodies are even able to come through sessions of radiation for goodness sake. Our only certainly is death, so why do we care so much about prolonging life?

I believe that the answer is different for every individual. Often we can spend decades discovering what life means to us. For me, it is a miraculous, wonderful event. The joys, sorrows, wonders and sufferings that we all endure are a part of the tapestry that we lovingly, or hatefully, weave. I also believe that a life spent nurturing love is much more peaceful than a life spent fuelling hate. By taking the step to caring for your body, you embark on the journey of improving the quality of your life – which makes all the difference.

Unfortunately, we have been born into a world where people actually profit from making us feel inadequate and unworthy. Advertising is designed to make us believe that our lives will be better if we live, buy and look a certain way. Our capitalist society is designed to hold money as god. The more we buy, the more we contribute to our economy. Hence, the media works hard to make us believe that if we work a little harder, we will have the money to buy that pair of shoes, which will make our lives better. Sifting truth out of a pile of lies is a difficult task. But we can begin by being honest with ourselves, by stripping our hearts and souls of their purchased disguises and looking at ourselves for who we are beneath it all. In this naked, vulnerable state, we can face the pains that we have been trying to repress.

Then, we can heal. And whether the time we have on this earth is one day, one decade or several, one day spent loving, caring and nurturing the body will mean more than a century of self-abuse.

Happy Soul: Life Through a Child’s Eyes

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Every day holds an exciting range of possibilities. As a child, she wakes easily and with great enthusiasm.
“Good morning, Mummy!” she squeals, “this is going to be the best day ever!”
The energy she carries is fierce. It sees her leaping to her feet and skipping down the hall for the very prospect of another day like the day before. “Can we do craft again?” she asks, so excitedly that one might think it was a new venture, certainly not an activity she partakes in daily.
Breakfast is an effort, as distractions stall the necessity. So enthralled, she needs to be reminded to eat, as though living purely in the moment causes her to temporarily forget the plate that waits to nourish her. “What’s that, mummy?” she asks, pointing at a lonely web in the high corner of the room. An explanation prompts one of the first renditions for the day as she begins to sing Incy Wincy Spider at the top of her lungs.
“Beautiful singing, darling,” her mother says.
“Thank you, darling,” she replies.
The rest of the day is routine. It is safe. But in her safety, the child learns to express. It is through that expression that a vibrant rage of emotion is witnessed. If she falls over, her life is indeed coming to an end and she is not afraid to show it. Tears fall down her face and she wails with the pain, lets it consume her in that moment until there is nothing left. In that time the demon is vanquished, not left to fester within her until the emotion brims over into dangerous levels.
Outside, she learns about the world around her. She speaks to the animals, and they speak to her. She understands them and they love her for it. In that moment, the world is endless, with possibilities above what we have been told are safe. She could fly, if she wanted. She could be a healer, a race-car driver; the only limits are the vast boarders of her imagination. The only inhibitions, those she has been told to hold caution with.
She does not wish to sleep. Exhausted, she carries herself into bed to await the five stories she managed to coax her mother into reading. There, they cuddle and immerse themselves into a world of foxes with socks and magical pet shops. If the day was too long, she will fall asleep in amidst, dreaming of the simplicities that brought her more joy than any range of complexity. If her determination allows it, she will wade through the stories, and wait for a song that lulls her into the rest that will see her waking with equal enthusiasm the following morning.
There are no laws to instruct us that we should all eventually grow out of this joy for life. And yet, at some point, we are taught to. At some point, the child within us is silenced. What a sad day for our soul, that day is.

Happy Heart: Sweet Potato Pastries

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Sweet Potato Pastries

As someone who learned to cook with cheese, cream, and butter, I find that I still seek to find similar textures in my recipes, even when I can no longer rely on such products. When playing around with a sweet potato and puff pastry recipe, I tried to brainstorm ways of achieving a creamy addition that would hold both ingredients together. I whipped up a quick batch of hummus and well, the rest is history. The product is delicious, quick and makes a wonderful lunch or addition to a feast.

Serves: 3 – 4

INGREDIENTS

For Hummus:
1 x 400g tin organic chickpeas
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic flakes
½ tsp salt
½ tsp mild paprika

For Pastries:
2 sheets puff pastry
¾ cup cooked brown rice
2 small sweet potatoes or 1 medium, chopped into very small pieces
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 onion, sliced
tsp all purpose seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste

METHOD:

For Hummus:

  1. Combine all ingredients in food processor and process until it becomes a smooth paste. Set Aside.

For Pastries:

  1. Fry onions until soft, if you don’t have a non-stick frying pan use oil sparingly (coconut oil would be best). Add mushrooms and sweet potato and cook until mushrooms are cooked and sweet potatoes partially cooked. Set aside.
  2. Cut sheets of pastry into four squares so you end up with eight equal squares. Spread a layer of hummus in the middle of each pastry square, taking care to leave a generous boarder on each piece so that they will crisp. Add a thin layer of cooked brown rice and then dollop onion, mushroom and sweet potato mixture on top.
  3. Cook in oven at 200 °C for 15 – 20 minutes or until pastry edges are golden brown. Bon appétit!

Happy Soul: Finding Love

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Have you ever woken up in the morning and just ‘known’ that the day was going to be a bad one? Every bit of your body aches, your heart is heavy and you shift from room to room to get ready to repeat the day previous. You eat the same bowl of cereal, shower for the same amount of time only to dress in the same uniform. Nothing has changed, but the dark energy consumes you. Have you ever noticed that these days almost always do end up being horrendous or exhausting?

You get home with your whole body rejecting everything and everyone. You lash out at loved ones just because you need a vent and they are the only ones you trust to keep loving you despite your temper. You sit on the couch and ‘zone out’ to meaningless television shows, desperately searching for drama, just so that you know that someone else’s life is worse than yours.

It’s easy to write off these days, in fact, it’s easier to leave them behind you completely. You justify the coincidence by saying you have some deep-seeded instinct that allows you to predict such things. But have you ever stopped to wonder if maybe you were the cause? If we wake with negative emotions, hatred, hurt…could it be possible that those thoughts shape our entire day just because our perception has changed. A million wonderful things could happen in the space of those 24 hours but because our mind is only open to registering the hurtful, that’s all we see.

Not convinced? Scientists now believe that our reality may in fact be a reflection of inner justifications, that our outside world is actually a product of our inside world, rather than the contrary. In fact, “the brain processes four hundred billion bits of information a second but we are only aware of two thousand of those” (Dr. Joe Dispenza). In our association with our ‘reality’ we just happened to misplace around three hundred and thirty billion bits of information per second that we did not process, either because we couldn’t comprehend or our emotion and biochemical make-up of any individual day affected our outlook.

If our mood is powerful enough to affect our perception, what do you think it is doing on a deeper level? If it has the ability to affect our sensations, what might it be doing internally, to our cells? “There is a part of the brain called the hypothalamus…it’s like a little factory and it is a place that assembles certain chemicals that match certain emotions that we experience” (Dr. Joe Dispenza). The chemicals are known as peptides, they form hormones that latch themselves to the cells of our bodies and affect our very chemical make-up. These cells become addicted to the hormones we feed them. If we are constantly feeding our body with positive, loving peptides then on a daily basis we crave that love. We begin to search for people, places or things that offer us those feelings so that the cells in our body can receive that ‘kick’. But it works the other way around too. Have you ever known a person who is so hard-done-by that they believe the whole world is against them and can’t snap out of such negative thought patterns? Not only do their cells crave people, places and circumstances that feed them that kick of self-worthlessness, but they begin to deprive their body of essential nutrients that are blocked by the angry, carcinogenic cells they have allowed their body to produce.

Challenge: Happy Soul challenges you to wake up in the morning and do something to show yourself (and the world around you) love. Open your eyes and prepare for a beautiful new day. Look in the mirror and see past the little things that make you feel worthless. You are not worthless. You are incredible, remarkable and completely unique. Look into your eyes and send yourself love. Choose foods that fill your body with love and health. Choose friends that encourage you and make you feel happy. Find little parts of your daily life that brings you joy. There are always choices in life, if you are willing to make them.