One hard good-bye

So this weekend, after ages, I drank quite a bit of alcohol. I got drunk to an extent that I was vomiting and passed out. I can’t remember the last part of the night. All I remember next was waking up in my friend’s flat.

I honestly have not got that drunk in ages! I have actively been staying away from alcohol for some time. I drink small amounts when I go out for meals, but that is about it.

Honestly, this experience has been an eye-opener (no pun intended). I feel embarrassed, and that feeling of what could’ve happened when I was completely out of it, gives me anxiety. I’m getting mini-panics every time I think about what others would’ve thought about me. I know these thoughts of what others think do not define the person I am, but I cannot help it can I?

I just thought to write about my thoughts and feelings. In the past 2 days, I have been doing a lot of self-reflection about what I want out of life. Alcohol is not on that list anymore. Having fun with alcohol is definitely not a priority for me. I have realized that I have so much to achieve and accomplish, and alcohol is proving to be a hindrance to that. It is slowing me down. Most importantly, it is the biggest barrier to my current spiritual growth.

I am not against alcohol at all and I will definitely have a glass of wine socially with a meal. However, drinking to get drunk and have fun is definitely not me. I’ve been there, done that. I’m turning into a different person, and I’m proud of this self-reflection and awareness of my spiritual, emotional and physical needs.

No one told me it would be this hard

It is so difficult to focus on this present moment when I was programmed all my life to think about the: ‘what if’, ‘what next’, ‘how will it’.

I sat down to meditate today and I really struggled to hone in on the Now. I had a flood of thoughts about what I had to do next, and what I had to do tomorrow. I felt like I was physically fighting my way against thinking these thoughts which drained more of my energy.

Accept it. Don’t resist it. What I had learnt today is my thoughts do not define me. I cannot start judging myself for not being present. Actually thinking those thoughts was my present. The more I resisted, the more I hated myself for resisting. I just have to accept that that is what my mind is thinking of at this moment, be at peace with it and continue. I believe that slowly that will help to calm my mind down.

I can see that this journey to awareness and presence is going to be a long one, but I know I will get there eventually.

The hardest relationship…

…is between myself and my body.

Ever since the day I remember, I have had a dysfunctional relationship with my body. I think if I was left to my own devices I would have been fine and quite secure in myself. However, throughout my whole life people around me (many of whom were my relatives) passed comments about my body, my weight…and worst of all, compared my body to my other cousins’/friends’ bodies, which made me feel so sh*t about myself. I mean I was only a 10 year old child when I started facing such demeaning comments from some of my extended family members and family friends.

Believe it or not, when I was a teenager my uncles and aunts turned around to me and called me ‘fat’. By the way, I was of, and have always been of a healthy weight and within the normal BMI range. Nonetheless, who in my society ever cared about being ‘healthy’. Everyone just wanted LOOK ‘healthy’. Sadly being healthy, for many, meant looking ‘skinny’. I am not skinny. Never will be and never want to be.

I have come to terms with a few things now. Being skinny does not mean you are necessarily healthy. Eating the correct food and doing moderate exercise, at the least, is what being healthy is all about. My goal has always been to be healthy, and less about looking skinny. Why? Because I have fallen into the trap of crash and restricted diets, which have led to ill health and low mood to say the least.

My metabolism is changing as I am getting older, which is why I have become more aware than ever of what I eat. I try and avoid crappy food, but that does not mean I will not treat myself. I deserve a few guilty pleasures from time to time.

Now what I have experienced is only one end of the spectrum. I know of individuals who are naturally skinnier, and get called out that they need to put on weight. Guess what there are individuals who struggle to put on weight, no matter what or how much they eat. It is not their fault that their bodies are the way they are. Let’s not be giving them a hard time; let’s not put the pressure on them that they have to put on weight.

Ultimately, we need to encourage a culture where healthy lifestyles are so much more important than conforming to body types. I am so grateful to be surrounded by amazing friends who make me feel so beautiful. But I know that there may be individuals in this world who may not have that.

So here is what I wanted to say through this post. F*ck what they all say. If you suffering from body image issues, you are not alone. I am here with you, alongside several thousands across the country. Never stop living a healthy life. Don’t fall into the trap of crash diets. Don’t fall into the trap of extreme workouts. Be healthy. Be safe. Just love your body for what it is, and take care of it. It is seriously that simple.

Lost in thoughts

‘The MIND acts like an enemy for those who do not control it’ ~ The Bhagavad Gita

The power of our mind is just unbelievable. When we can control the negative and feed the positive, we can truly feel empowered mentally and spiritually.
A few years ago, I decided to feed my mind in the form of prayer, good people, memorable experiences and gratefulness.

When you have got that clarity, everything looks that much more beautiful.

Love,
Praveena

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!

Late Night Musings

It is 00:19. I have not been blogging in a while, so when I did get into the swing of things today I could not stop myself.

I do think a lot. My thoughts can be my biggest strength and my greatest weakness. However, blogging is a way in which I have started to become more aware of my thoughts.

The struggles and challenges are not a reflection of me. However, the way I deal with them is a true reflection of me.

I constantly face physical, mental, emotional and spiritual difficulties in life. I could be an individual who looks at these challenges as my own failing in life. However I am so proud of myself. Each of these challenges is an indicator that I do not like playing it safe. It is a sign that I am trying! I like doing things that push me and take me out of my comfort zone.

Every day, week, month and year I make sure to strive higher than the previous. Others may not see any growth or difference, but I see it constantly.

With every patient I talk to, every book I read, every blog I write, every dance cover I do, every competition I take part in, every performance I do, every day I survive, I am growing into a better person. This is all taking me one step closer to being the best version of myself.

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.

Daily Musings

Social media has helped me a lot with my professional dance career. I do not of course depend on it, but it has for sure given me a portal through which I can interact with fellow lovers of dance which I never had before. 

I use my social media now not just to post about my dance work, but to also to use it as a way to convey my thoughts about general life, in the form of inspirational, motivational, thought-provoking quotes. Everything I post has a reason but I never share it so here goes with some of my favourites. 

‘Are you really happy or just really comfortable?’

This is the deepest question one can ask themselves. Do not settle for a life that looks good on the outside. Do not settle for a life where a roof over your head, financial security and everything materialistic are set out for you. Work for it. When you work for it and can say to yourself, ‘This is something I have built’, that is when you will feel truly happy and accomplished. Until then keep hustling. 

‘Success does not come from what you do occasionally; it comes from what you do consistently.’

Especially in the scene of performance arts I’ve come across many who pursue something for a short while and call that success. For me, success is a journey and there is no end point. You need to practice something consistently to really unleash your potential in it!

‘You can speak spiritual eloquence, pray in public, and maintain a holy appearance…but it is your behaviour that will reveal your true character.’

I call such people hypocrites. I say this very confidently because I used to be one myself. Until 2 years ago I realised I need to own up to what I really feel and act on it. It is no good saying that ‘I am this…I believe in this…’ when your actions say the complete opposite.

There are several people who just act in a way to seek public approval. With social media, the number of likes and followers seems to be used to quantify whether you are being approved by society or not.

How many of them will, including myself, actually practice what they preach?

‘Generally people like to bring up your past, when your present and future appears to be better than theirs.’

I dislike people who bring up another’s past. But now, the more they do it, the more I am like ‘Is that the only thing you have against them?’

Some people are so stuck in their bubble they refuse to accept another’s success in any way, shape or form. Therefore to bring another down they use their past.

Just think. If I did that to you? How would you feel? How ‘clean’ is your past? I can guarantee that those who act in such a way do not have the best of pasts. So if you believe you have changed, then give others the benefit of the doubt that they have changed as well. It’s that simple.

‘A private life is a happy life.’

Over the past few years I have become more and more aware of people who use social media to post about there private drama and unhappiness.

Question 1: Is posting on social media going to resolve that problem? Will it give happiness?

Question 2: Are you the only one in the world who is going through problems?

Question 3: What is the purpose of you posting your personal problems on social media? If you feel like that is giving your control over the situation, look at yourself and your attitude towards life.

Question 4: Do you actually think people care when each and everyone one of us is going through our own problems? I mean some may acknowledge by liking your post, but what does a ‘like’ mean? If a ‘like’ is the validation you need, then go ahead and keep posting. But I am secretly feeling sorry for you for reasons other than for the ones you wanted me to feel sorry for.

‘A lot of people want to make the institution of marriage a substitute for a real relationship.’

Marriage is not something which should not be a result of convenience.

Do not enter marriage because the current situation you are in warrants a marriage, so it is considered socially and culturally acceptable.

A marriage is a process which should occur at the right time, with the blessings of the right people, for the right reason which is nothing but true love!

Final thoughts:

Each of these thoughts are ones which I started to think more about based on the events which were taking place around me. I am not perfect, but I’m working on myself to think bigger and wiser so I can constantly reflect and grow myself. That is what life is about. Have a reason for every action and make sure you do not hurt anyone!

Gratitude

Hello all,

I’m sat in my car, early for wedding dance rehearsals, and thought to write something.

I am grateful for life. I am grateful about every single human being who is in my life right now. I have emotional ups and downs but the people who keep me grounded and sane are the reasons why I always bounce back stronger.

Yes my mind goes astray always, but the fact that I am able to think straight at all times is because of the love and support people around me give.

I am happy about the life I am building. It is no where near complete and it will never be complete, but I am working towards something always.

I have had a recent revelation. I have started to appreciate myself so much more because if you strip away all my material possessions, I have several things that still define me. That in itself shows how hard I’ve worked ever since I remember.

I still have a long way to go, and I am going to keep pushing. The day I realised that I am more than just defined by the people I am with, or the possessions I hold, was the day I really started to appreciate how valuable I am as a human.

Always grateful for all those who have helped me get to where I am now. I pray that they always stick by me no matter what.

Lots of Love,
Praveena

‘Fake’

So I am one of the wider global Tamil fraternity who watches the new Bigg Boss Tamil. There have been mixed reviews about the whole show, but I am not here to provide my review on it. All I am going to say is that I very much enjoy watching the show, and it is another great platform through which I can analyse human behaviour.

This post is about one constantly spoken concept by the participants of the show – being ‘fake’. Everyone seems to claim that everyone is ‘fake’ on the show. This made me think deeper about what ‘fake’ actually means, and when we can actually call one ‘fake’.

There is a general consensus that being ‘fake’ means that one is not being genuine, which I agree with. What I do not agree with is to call someone fake without having real knowledge of how they are in person.

This term is a very negative one which really has the ability to bring one’s confidence down. To therefore constantly use it to describe someone is horrible. However, what I find most shocking is that the participants are so easy to judge another and easily disregard another’s whole personality as being ‘fake’ just because they do not conform with what they believe is right or with the people they are used to interacting with.

I believe that calling someone ‘fake’ is harsh, but it is especially so when you hardly know the person. How can you call someone ‘fake’ when you do not know them well? One needs to accept that individuals act differently with different people. No one person has the same relationship with two people. Therefore I believe it is wrong to completely disregard their personality using one very pathetic word.

No one is perfect, so instead of hammering an individual down for it, help them to the best of your ability to grow and improve themselves rather than impose labels on them.

‘I am not be perfect but at least I am not fake’ – Thought for the day!