ishvara pranidhana

i’ve gotten back into the swing of yoga. after 3 years of waiting. wanting. trying. i gave myself a break and looked for a class. the truth is, i just wasn’t able to get into the flow of it on my own. 

the first time around, the both of us had no commitments in life. we were renting a room, making ends meet with part time work and hadn’t quite figured out what we wanted to do with life yet. we were wanderers. free. it was easy. we made time for yoga every morning. sometimes a few hours. 

and then life took over. and the past 3 years have been different from what life was back then. so, i guess counting on myself to be able to practice yoga the same way just caused more strain. 

after renting the room, we moved to an empty house with a much bigger rent and no furniture. yoong went to work full time as we tried to build a home. i struggled to practice yoga. 

then opportunity came calling and we moved to another empty house in taiping. we had no jobs as we tried to set up a land and our house at the same time. i struggled to practice yoga. 

after a few months we got pregnant (by choice). we pushed to start our own little business while maintaining our old side business while setting the home up for baby. i struggled to practice yoga. 

3 years passed. i had planned to be the perfect mum in waiting. eating all the good stuff while pregnant. practicing yoga. stretching. meditating. breathing. but the truth is our schedule was so packed that i continued to struggle to practice yoga. 

then baby came. and i still had all these crazy ideas on being a perfect baby-wearing yoga mum. but before i could get there, my body gave way. 

the years of hard hard hard work had taken it’s toll. all the long hours + heavy lifting + bending over + incorrect posture + caring for a baby = one painfully herniated disc. 

the truth is my back has been in pain for years. a pain i pretended to not see and somehow thought i could ignore away. 

i tried qi gong & tai chi massages. acupuncture and physiotherapy. and somewhere along that process i realized it’s completely fine for me to seek and accept help. if i could with these things, why not for yoga. 

and so i did. and a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. i can schedule the classes into our daily life and make time. for yoga, with support. 

the truth is that my back and legs are still in a lot of pain. some days are good. some days i struggle to walk.

the truth is that my physiotherapist tells me to drop yoga but i’m not listening.

because the truth is that i love that i have yoga again. i just restarted. i don’t think i can deal with a reality in which I don’t have yoga anymore. 

this time, i blindly believe that if i practice right and push in the right ways, yoga will heal and not hurt. 

sometimes i look back at the past and ask myself what i was thinking, doing what i did. but the problem is that in the present, all of life is really a gamble. a future unknown. 

i can’t say where this will lead me. but i believe in always following my gut instinct above all else. and right now it’s chanting softly but strongly… 

yoga 

yoga

YOGA

and if yoga doesn’t lead me out of pain. or worse, leads me to more pain, then i shall accept that pain as part of the rest of my journey back to self. 

because all of life is just that – a journey – to which i surrender myself wholely.  

in this now, this ever fleeting present, i am just thankful to be one with yoga again.

namaste. 

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break through

sometimes it makes me angry.
sometimes it makes me sad.
sometimes i am scared.

sometimes i get so frustrated that no matter what i say, i can’t seem to get through.

i’m a fixer. and whenever i pick up on something within myself – emotionally or physically – that needs fixing, i try to fix it. i try very hard. i try so hard i end up breaking my back trying to heal it. and then i try some more. i never give up.

EVER.

but i can’t fix everything. i struggle to just fix myself. so when other people need fixing, i try to do my part to enable them to fix themselves and hope they get to it. sometimes they don’t.

sometimes my other half doesn’t.

i don’t understand why.

could it be that he doesn’t care? or that he’s not worried? or that it actually scares him too much to allow himself to think of the what ifs. because the what ifs are pretty darn scary to me. maybe he just doesn’t give it much thought. maybe it matters less to him than it does to me.

this does after all, affect the outcome of my life more than it does his. however selfish that sounds.

he is my partner. my better half. my soulmate. there’s no version of the future in my mind in which we aren’t holding hands, growing old together. whether or not he is here – to me – is everything.

of course it scares me.
of course that makes me sad.
of course i get angry.

why would he not do all he can for the best possible chance at that future?

what am i not getting? and why am i not getting through?
i want to fix things so badly my mind was yelling so loud i’ve gone deaf.

it’s silent now.
it’s better when it’s silent.

i wish it would stay silent forever.

let go

it never ceases to amaze me, how much we can be blind to our own actions and thought patterns. very often to the detriment of ourselves and the people around us. i spend a lot of time trying to understand things. mainly myself.

you see, i have an issue with things feeling out of control. with not being able to find or believe in a solution to what i perceive to be a problem. and when i worry about what my mind believes to be an inevitable negative outcome, i panic. i get frustrated. i get angry at the things or people who i believe to be causing these situations i can not avoid. because i believe that i am capable and willing to make the necessary changes where the other party is not. and then i push. i demand for change because i believe that only change will alter the outcome that i am so afraid of. and more often than not, that is not what the situation needs – because things spin out of control even more and everything repeats – just more intensely. that is my loop.

kindness is what any situation needs.

i have learnt that the only way to overcome myself, is to take a step back and breathe. to let go. to detach from the situation and the justification i feel towards being right or wronged. to observe myself and those around me. to understand their side. their imperfections, and mine. to accept that by letting go, the inevitable outcome i fear will indeed take place. to not fear it anymore. to know that i will get through even the roughest of patches. to know that i will be stronger for it. to remember that every experience brings with it a space for me to learn and grow. to accept that this is my journey.

to stop there and not expect the same understanding or treatment in return.

to not expect anything.

breathe.

love. surrender. give.

let go.

flow with the currents of life.

be free.

mom

being a mom means having very little no time to myself.

being a mom means trying to work out when to put tiny human down after she falls asleep after feeding for a nap to get some little task done and being worried that some random sound will signal the end of that personal time. usually something does wake her up. usually too soon to soon for me to complete anything!

being a mom means having the patience to work on a project – 20 minutes at a time, over the span of many days – sometimes losing interest before its able to be completed – sending it to the ever growing list of things to get to that will never get done.

being a mom means sacrificing self. prioritizing tiny human’s needs and wants. self interest. self image. self identity. everything changes to accommodate tiny human that relies on me 24/7.

being a mom means being on watch and on call every waking moment of tiny human’s days. to greet her in the morning. to pick her up. to change her diapers and clothes. to shower her. to play with her. to help her stand up. to keep her from falling down. to feed her. all throughout the night.

being a mom means forgetting what real sleep feels like. 2 hours is my new bar. 2 hours is good. 3 hours is rare and amazing. 4 hours is panic because “what’s wrong?! why has tiny human not woken me up yet”.

being a mom is getting out of bed every morning despite the intense lack of sleep, the tiredness or the body aches. being made aware of the strength i truly posses. pushing myself beyond limits i’ve never experienced before.

being a mom means having this innate desire to continuously do better. to provide all i can and more. to never feel good enough, no matter the effort or outcome.

being a mom means being fiercely protective – hyper-alert and hypersensitive to the environment and how it affects tiny human – having senses so on point, it’s almost a superpower.

being a mom means being a superhero. taking on the responsibilities and obligations. receiving the adoration and love.

being a mom means being the UNIVERSE to tiny human. EVERYTHING. ALL. TOTAL. WHOLE. SEMUA. KA LIAO. QUAN BU.

being a mom means being in love like never before. overwhelming love. and falling in love all over again at every new thing tiny human does. and tiny human does a lot of new things. all the time.

being a mom means living life with a purpose. because raising tiny human right – really matters. and will take a lifetime. what an honour and gift, to be given tiny human to guide through life and learn from.

being a mom means re-experiencing life all over again. seeing things through tiny human’s not so tiny eyes. rediscovering the beauty in simplicity. and the importance of things i have come to overlook or take for granted.

being a mom means spending what little free time i have while tiny human sleeps – watching her sleep. watching her sleep happily. feeling content. feeling accomplished. feeling oneness. feeling complete.

being a mom means wanting no time to myself and accepting the daily chaos that is my new life because i no longer desire to be in control because i am just so mindlessly lost in love. lost in tiny human.

hello tiny human. i’ve been waiting for you.

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welcome to school

*the bell rings*
good morning class.
sit down. don’t move. be quiet.
SSHHHH!

you just turned 6 last year and like running around to explore your world? too bad. sit down. you’ve spent all your life so far learning to stand taller, move faster, reach further, climb higher? too bad. sit down. you have this burning desire to interact, talk, be heard? too bad. sit down. shut up.

only speak when spoken to. raise your hand if you have something to say. only speak if noticed. only speak if chosen. only speak if liked. only speak if not challenging. don’t talk back. don’t question. don’t bother.

who do you think you are? tiny little voice. tiny insignificant object.

*the bell rings*
good morning class.
sit down. don’t move. be quiet.
hand in your homework.

you didn’t do your homework? no excuses. stand up. you didn’t have time to get to homework because you were more interested in playing with your sibling? no excuses. stand on your chair. you didn’t bring your book in because you didn’t have time to properly pack your bag? no excuses. stand on your table. you couldn’t get to your homework because of tuition and other classes? no excuses. stand outside of the classroom. you didn’t do your homework because you’re not interested in the subject? no excuses. arms crossed, hold your ears. ketuk ketampi.

receive your punishment. be quiet as you are punished. behave. do not question authority. put your head down and look at the ground as you are punished. be shamed. be shamed in front of your peers. be ridiculed.

who do you think you are? tiny insignificant object.

*the bell rings*
negaraku.
line up. two by two.
stand straight. don’t move. be quiet.

show me your shoes. not white enough. clean. show me your socks. too low. too high. change. show me your nails. not short enough. cut. show me your hair. too long. cut. too messy. tie up. coloured hairbands? only white, blue or black allowed. don’t come back tomorrow looking like this.

follow the rules. rules are there for a reason. obedience is rewarded. don’t stand out. don’t express individuality. fit in. be accepted. be one with the herd. be standard. refer to stock image.

who do you think you are? tiny insignificant object.

*the bell rings*
go home. eat. no time. study. go for tuition. eat. no time. finish your homework. prepare your books. no time. sleep early. wake up early. no time. get dressed. eat. come back to school.

*the bell rings*
stand straight. sit down. don’t move. be quiet.
don’t think.

there is no time to think. memorize. memorize chapters. memorize books. memorize subjects. memorize everything. good. regurgitate. time’s up. put your pen down. here is your score. your worth. your value. good job. try harder. did you not study? what kind of answer is this? were you not paying attention? fail. not smart enough for this class. not smart enough to keep up. compete. compare.

who do you think you are?
no effort is ever going to be good enough.
you’re never going to amount to anything.

tiny insignificant object.

*the bell rings*
goodbye.
school is out.

but don’t for a second think you are free.
don’t forget the lessons you have learnt and all that school has taught you, tiny insignificant object.
repeat these things to yourself for the rest of life.

keep hearing that bell ring.

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