Due to a number of personal stressors, I've found myself very out-of-sync with my body lately. I've been overeating, doing too much strenuous exercise and not nearly enough restorative stretching, blaring TV in the background unnecessarily, and not really checking in to my own headspace at all. I feel cluttered, and anxious, and heavy, and tangled. In an attempt to de-clutter my mind, I want to share some bits and pieces.
Last night, after spending the day cleaning my house with nothing but baking soda and vinegar (simplicity is my latest goal), I made Kushari - an Egyptian street food dish featuring plenty of brown rice, lentils, and spiced tomatoes. While I'd never usually eat so much rice in one sitting, I found this recipe (from the latest issue of MiNDFOOD) extremely comforting: the smell of onions cooking with spices - with chillis collected from my own garden; the step-by-step simple process of boiling rice and letting it steam under a tea towel; the simple, wholesome dish itself. It was a slow process, but it made me feel grounded and humbled. It's amazing how time spent doing what one really loves can heal.
Today has been rainy - it feels melancholy yet restorative. After going to a BodyBalance class at my gym (think tai chi/yoga/pilates), I decided to take my time with lunch. I baked a loaf of Paleolithic bread, while a batch of spicy pumpkin soup (with a pumpkin grown in my uncle's backyard) simmered on the stovetop, and Ben Howard's voice echoed through my home. For afternoon tea I was craving something sweet, so - for the first time in my life - I made myself two little cookies. And that was all; just the two. (Which is particularly amusing because while watching Bridesmaids with Kelly on Saturday night, I remarked, during the scene where Kristen Wiig's character bakes herself one lonely cupcake, "who on EARTH actually does that?!") And I dunked those little biscuits in my black-tea-with-honey and it was damn good.
These things seem so simple - listening to what my body wants, cleaning my home, making phone calls or sending emails to finally organise that meeting or plumber or appointment - but sometimes they're the things I struggle with the most (read!); they snowball together to create a little rubber-band-ball of anxiety in my brain. Notes to self: turn off the television (because you're not watching it anyway) and sit at a table on a chair while you blog: you can actually hear yourself think! How novel! Refuse that little voice in your head that urges you to plunge your hand into the open packet of chocolate chips, because you know you'll feel awful and you're not really hungry anyway. Recognise that your craving for green tea is not satiated when you add honey or coconut oil - despite how delicious it may be. Take deep breaths. Keep. Taking. Photos. And share the inspiration - let yourself feel it often. I recently read a beautiful quote on a favourite blog which hit me so hard that I decided to put it up on my wall. And in the same vein, a post I read on another favourite blog helped me to feel inspired and comforted and hopeful and okay once more. It's a numbers game - and you're the one designing gameplay.