The 6 Pillars of a Healthy Relationship

As a child, I actually preferred to spend time alone. I did not understand why I was bullied for wanting to spend time by myself. I was called ‘saddo’, ‘loner’ and ‘boring’. Of course it hurt, but I look back on those days and pat myself on the back for being so comfortable to be on my own. Why? Because I believe, at such a tender age, I spent a lot of time building a relationship with myself and getting accustomed to my own company. Therefore when I started to choose and form my own long-terms relationships in the form of friends and family, I felt more comfortable and it happened a lot easier than we all make it out to be.

I am not a relationship guru, but I have been through my fair share of experiences in different kinds of relationships to know what works and what does not. Now when I talk about relationships, it is not just isolated to romantic ones. When I talk about relationships, I mean every single relationship we form with every human being we encounter and bond with. This includes friendships, romantic partners, business partners, family, and work colleagues, to name a few.

Maintaining a positive and healthy relationship is just as much a test of you as it is the other person, so I want to talk about how we can and should be in a relationship to ensure it is beautiful, healthy and long-lasting.

1. Honesty, openness & trust. I never understand how any bond can form without being honest and open about yourself. The more honest and open we are, the more trust we will be able to build with the other party. I am a firm believer of being honest and open about our past experiences as much as our future; we need to know that the other party knows enough about us to understand where we come from and why we are the way we are, and exploring those past experiences is crucial in understanding each other. Let’s not dwell on the past however, but use it as a foundation to build the relationship.

2. Communication & intimacy. When I mean intimacy, I mean emotional and mental intimacy. Just knowing that we can comfortably drop our guard really does strengthen the relationship. It makes us value and appreciate how comfortable the other person makes us feel – this kind of intimacy is precious, and no amount of physical intimacy can replace that. To have that level of intimacy, we need to be able to communicate comfortably. If there is anything on our mind, we need to be able to communicate it in a respectful manner. If something bothers us, we need to voice it. If we feel judged by the other party, we know they are no longer worth being in our life. Period.

3. Kindness, love & respect. I think this is a basic human quality. It surprises me how little I see of this in society. Every relationship is built on genuine kindness, and a love for someone or something. From this kindness and love comes respect. When someone is kind, loving and respectful to themselves, they will naturally be able to shower those around them with the same kindness, love and respect.

4. Understanding, loyalty & humility. We are in no position to change the other person. Instead we need to invest our time into understanding them to their fullest. Let them be free and live their best life. We need to be humble and give space for each other to grow. When we understand an individual and why they are who they are, we are able to appreciate them better and love them even more for who they are. Yet none of this is worth it if we are not loyal. Our loyalty should always remain with that relationship; to go outside of that relationship and talk negatively about the other person makes us less of the humans we were born to be.

5. Friendship & laughter. No matter what kind of relationship you are working on, there needs to be a lot of friendship and laughter. Being a person who makes others laugh, or being around people who make us laugh, really elevates our frequency. We are driven to have even more fun, which in turn strengthens our relationship.

6. Having an identity of your own. We should not be defined by the relationship. We need to ensure we have an identity that goes beyond that relationship. This is how we can boost our self-confidence and therefore be the best version of ourselves for that relationship. Just knowing that we have our own life and goals, makes the relationship stronger because of how much more value and wisdom is added to that relationship.

Ultimately we need to feel comfortable being our true self. If we are not valued and cherished for the person we are, it is a sign that we need to bid that relationship farewell.

Behind this smile…

This smile holds so many secrets. Behind this smile, is endless days of exhaustion and tears; the number of days I have gone to sleep crying. I force myself to be a lot stronger than I actually am, for the fear that if I start to expose my tears, everyone/everything around me will crumble.

I always tell myself, it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to have any sort of emotion so long as we know how to process it safely and appropriately. Why do we judge ourselves so soon for any emotion we feel? Why are we so keen to label every emotion we experience? I can feel any emotion I want. After all, I am a human.

I just pray we are all kinder to each other. Judge less. Love more. Live more.

Your Lunch Break

I am sat in my hospital library having just finished a wonderfully refreshing book by Laura Archer called ‘Gone For Lunch – 52 Things to do in your lunch break’.

I have not started working yet but I know that when I do, I will do my level best to ensure I invest at least a good 10 to 15 minutes for lunch – (based on what my friends, who now work as doctors are saying, getting a 5 minute lunch break is a blessing; so let’s see what work life has in store for me!).

Reading this book made me really think about how important taking some time out to invest in ourselves is, especially during a long working day.

How many of us truly give ourselves a well-earned lunch break? We try to multi-task by doing admin jobs whilst eating, we scroll through our phones whilst we eat, or we do not give ourselves an opportunity to eat at all. We get so focused on having to finish work on time that we think working through our lunch break will enable us to do that.

The impact of not giving ourselves a lunch break can be negative on the quality of work and the quality of our health.

We are all entitled to a lunch break. I do not think there is any professional work-place that expects us to work for 8 to 12 hours constantly. So why do we expect that for ourselves?

For us to work productively, we need to have a break. Giving ourselves a fun activity to do during that break will make us look forward to the break and ensure we take it (even if it is for 15 minutes). It also means we return to work after our lunch break, with so much more energy and our productivity will increase. This in turn will make us enjoy work that much more, because we are not tired and we are not hungry.

Remember, we are humans. Not robots. We are entitled to a lunch break so why deprive ourselves of it?

Work. Break. Work – a cycle of full enjoyment!

What is prayer?

Many of us invest a lot of time into prayer, and many of us do not. That is a personal choice and there is no right or wrong about the need to have to pray. However, a statement in a book I read recently made me think a lot deeper about what prayer actually is:

‘Prayer is about [focusing] less on ourselves and more on others’.

I found this statement very interesting indeed and made me realise the difference between meditation and prayer – both of which I do practice.

Meditation enables me to focus on myself. It is all about me and bringing my energies back to neutral. When I pray, I pray to focus on the world around me and makes me aware of those closest to me.

So does prayer have to be considered a religious practice? Absolutely not. Praying has always been associated with religion and there is nothing wrong with that at all. I do nonetheless believe prayer does not always have to be a religious practice. Our thoughts of well-being for others is a form of prayer isn’t it not?

Prayer I think is a practice for humanity to focus, love and grow.

I pray for love across the world!

Hula Hooper since the day I remember

When I tell people that hula hooping is a way in which I workout aside from dancing, people start laughing.

‘Hula hooping?! Hahah!’

Yes, hula hooping!

Maybe people find it funny because it has always been associated with 6 year old children playing in the playground at school. Therefore it is understandable why they may find it amusing to hear a 24 year old adult hula hooping to keep fit.

This is a short piece explaining the reasons for why I hula hoop so regularly and the benefits I have found:

1. It is super fun! And I mean it. I find going to the gym to work out, or even working out at home an arduous task. Hula hooping however gives me an opportunity to watch a movie whilst my abs are working at their 100% to keep a hula hoop at my waist. It’s so convenient and brilliant because this way I get to catch up on any missed TV shows whilst I am hula hooping – multi-tasking at its finest!

2. It has definitely helped tone my abs. I’m a Sri Lankan Tamil girl which means rice is incorporated into every meal of mine at home. This then predisposes me to developing a ‘rice belly’. By hula hopping regularly, I have been able to keep my abs quite toned and my central control is pretty amazing if I say so myself.

3. For some bizarre reason, hula hooping has greatly helped with my stamina. I never sweat or am out of breath when I hula hoop, but I have realised that when I do spend half an hour to an hour hula hooping everyday, it does improve my stamina quite a bit.

These are all merely my own opinions by the way, and I do not whether or not scientific research has been done into its efficacy.

Ultimately, hula hooping has helped me elevate my mood and therefore I feel so much better in myself.

What defines a successful human being? What defines a good human being?

I believe that these two questions are the biggest ones that we all struggle to understand and answer properly in relation to defining humanity.

Are you the type of person who defines a good human being by:

– their physical appearance (apparently tall, light skinned men and women are good humans);

what other people think of them (if that Aunty next door, who b*tches about everyone for her convenience, thinks they are a prick then they definitely must be one – I mean the number of people who have bad mouthed me…I must be such a terrible human being);

how ‘normal’ they are (do not be too loud nor too quiet – basically force yourself to be a person you are not and you will be considered a good human being at last).

Are you the type of person who defines a successful human being by:

– their degree (according to some small minded individuals, a person is only successful if they have completed a medical, law or engineering degree – any other degree or no degree means you are unsuccessful);

money (the more sleek looking the car or bigger the house, the more successful that person is – which means that I am a complete failure);

talents or social media reputation (followers, subscribers, likes).

If your answers are Yes to any of the above, well carry on reading. If you answered no, well still carry on reading because hopefully you find it an entertaining read regardless.

My answer to these two questions take the form of rhetorical questions.

What defines a successful human being? – Are they happy? In my opinion, success is not about the degree, money or followers. It is about happiness. Some of the happiest people in this world are those who live in small huts in a remote village. Happiness comes from within, falling in love with yourself and accepting yourself for who you really are. Secondly, happiness comes by surrounding yourself with people who push you to become better human beings – ‘better human beings’ does not mean you have to be quiet by the way. Several people think that to be better you need to feel more accepted by the general population. Not at all. You need to strive to find yourself and be you. I started off being restricted by society – I was unhappy. Now I am following what I believe and feel is right, regardless of what other people think – I am happy.

What defines a good human being? The way I like to think of this is by seeing whether an individual makes other people happy. Respect people, empathise with them and understand their situation. There is no need to have to agree with them, but respect their opinion and try to engage in a conversation to unravel their thoughts. You learn a lot about a person just by sitting with them and talking to them about their beliefs. That understanding you show is what makes you one step closer to being a good human being. Understanding I believe is the foundation of all successful relationships. Relationships have crumbled because the two individuals have failed to understand each other – no judgements, no hatred, just love!

So now it is time to evaluate my own life:

Am I happy? YES I am – this means anyone’s negative opinions about my life do not phase me.

Do I make other people happy? Well I hope I do. If I believe I’ve hurt someone, I’ve apologised and moved forward.

That’s all…simple right?! x

The Lone Soldier

Do you know what it feels like to feel empty?

I feel that right now. Empty. Helpless. Hopeless. Weak. Vulnerable. Useless.

It is irritating. It is irritating to know that I cannot even understand what, why and how I am feeling.

I’ve been wanting to do so much for the past few weeks and I have not done any of it. Something is stopping me.

I am not happy with something and I cannot put my finger on what it is. My ability to think creatively has been slowly declining.

I am scared to get up and dance because I’m scared that I am not good enough.

I look at all my dance videos from over the past year, and I cannot associate with that girl on stage. I feel like I am looking at someone else.

As I write this, I have tears rolling down my eyes. I don’t know why I am crying but I am. I am going to let the tears flow as long as it takes for my eyes to dry up.

It always helps me to take my mind off all of this clutter by watching a movie, so that is what I am going to do now. After which I will make myself a cup of tea, sit down with a piece of paper and make a list of things which I need to accomplish in the next 2 days.

I am writing all of this down as I think it through because this is what I have learnt over the past few weeks during which I spent time reading all sorts of spiritual and motivational books.

It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to put all my emotions down on paper. It’s okay to use all of that as a fuel to pick myself up from this emotional mess.

PS: I am not being an attention-seeking drama queen – because I know many of you may be thinking this. I am a human with emotions and insecurities which I am working to address.