As it goes, the 1st of the year is when we do our personal and professional accounting of the 365 days that have gone by, adding up numbers of achievements, disappointments, successes and losses and figuring out what adventure we embark onto next, in the year ahead.
But, as it has been said and repeated again and yet again, this past year has not been like any other, for we have been confronted with a global-sized magnifying mirror that we had to face, showing us all our ugly sides, all our imperfections, everything that could go wrong and did, when we acted mindlessly, selfishly and dividedly.
Yet, to many of us, it has also been the God-sent answer to our desire of focusing on the essential, of appreciating what is important, of investing our energy in the thoughts, words, actions, places and people that make us bloom into love, peace and harmony.
I have been disconnected from writing for quite a while now, because I have been busy making sense of myself and of the profound metamorphosis that my body and mind have undergone since the world has been grounded and forced to reflect about its deeds and wrongdoings. Yet today marks the 2-year anniversary of Curvy Buddha, 2 years since my conscious journey of self-love has begun, so this day cannot slip into the past before I send some love and gratitude into the world.
Today, Curvy Buddha is curvy no more, but her soul is still full of roundness, of plenty, of richness. Being confronted with my fear (of death, essentially) has thrown me into the depths of my soul, making me inspect my self-limiting beliefs, attitudes and actions, and dissolve them, one by one. The secret for that, I learned, was to develop healthy and consistent routines that I integrated into my daily practice, until they became a quintessential pillar of my day-to-day life.
One of the mottos I attempted to live by over the course of this past year has been “Mens sana in corpore sano” – a healthy mind in a healthy body. Realising that my thoughts, words and actions must be aligned with my intentions, and that my manifestation into the world ought not to be incongruent with my image or idea of what I would like to be, I had to slowly learn how to be someone new.
Having lost more than 43 kilos of weight has been particularly challenging to wrap my mind around, because I had to learn to be a new person, one that I had not been in longer than I could remember. This new person needed to be handled with love and care, because she was oblivious to many things, such as self-respect, self-discipline, self-commitment and self-accountability.
It takes 9 months for a human seed to develop into a baby. It has taken me the same amount of time to learn these forms of self-love, thoroughly nourishing them, integrating the scattered pieces of my multi-dimensional existence into one of wholeness, of mindfulness, of Oneness and Unity between the world and I, as well as between my physique, psyche and anima.
Two years ago, on the very first article I wrote, I was introducing the “Project Happiness”, the list of things I had to do in a day, in order to create and maintain my own happiness, as a self-replenishing and self-recharging source of joy and wellbeing. Looking back and reading through the items on the list, I can say, humbly and gratefully, that today, I am happy. Now, I will tell you how I do just that, in hope it might bring some inspiration for your own recipe of happiness.
Much of my day revolves around the teachings of the Prananadi practice, spiritual school whose disciple I am humbled and grateful to be. As of late, I have been observing a clean, organic, mostly plant-based diet, free from meat, alcohol, coffee and more recently, gluten. As soon as I wake up, I give myself an energy treatment, during which I convey my gratitude to the Source of all things, for my life, for what I am and what I have, as well as for the opportunity of seeing the dawn of a new day on this beautiful Earth. I make my bed, open the window to invite the day in, tidy my living space up, and then I wash up, brush my hair, moisturise my skin and put some clean, comfy clothes on.
I move on to doing my morning yoga (the 5 Tibetan Rites, Lu Jong and prostrations). I kick-start my body with a shot of aloe vera, a glass of water and daily supplements and make myself a beautiful and nutritious breakfast bowl, with the goal of eating 10+ fruit and veggies per day. I take the extra time for plating and snap a quick photo of it, as a testimony of my self-love rituals. Breakfast is regularly the time when I connect with my family, sending love, blessings and greetings in the family WhatsApp group. It is also the time during which I watch cooking videos and get inspired for new recipes and dishes to try.
It has been 3 months already since I started working out, 3 days a week, in order to tone my muscles and regain some firmness and elasticity, to combat the saggy and loose skin I got as a reminder of my transformation. Alternatively, I prance around the house practicing my dance moves and learning new ones, with loud music blasting around the whole joint.
Every chance I get, I thank the people in my life for existing, for sticking around, for their unconditional love and support, for the myriad of ways in which they enrich my spirit and I make sure to say it, loud and clear, so that they know at every moment that they are loved, cared for, appreciated and cherished infinitely. I show the same love to my houseplants and my beloved tree, Xaya, whom I am sure you know by now.
In the afternoon or evening, I do a quick grounding exercise or a meditation, in order to recalibrate my spirit and tune back in to the energy that flows through all things. I make sure to shower before going to bed, in order to purify the energies and wash off all the excess, the worries, the stress accumulated throughout the day. I end my day with another session of prayers, thanking the Universe for everything I managed to accomplish and for the protection, drive and purpose it has granted me with, for my endeavours.
In short, I live simply and plentifully, enjoying the little things, savouring the present moment, not planning ahead, allowing life to take its course and to take me where I am needed, sometimes back to myself, sometimes in that space of love and compassion where I can meet you, fellow friend, to remind you to cease the moment.
Therefore, my wish for you, and for myself, as we are stepping more firmly into this New Year, is to enjoy every second of every day, in every way that you can. Challenge yourself, move out of your comfort zone, confront your fears, become your best ally, shower yourself with proofs of love, discipline yourself into accomplishing your vision, forgive yourself for the times you fail to follow through, practice mindfulness, be accountable and own up to the ways in which you deliberately or unconsciously hurt yourself and others. Learn to say “no” to what harms you and “yes” to what nourishes you.
Finally, for the past few weeks, another reference has resurfaced in my life, that of The Four agreements, principles to live by in order to attain spiritual freedom and to life fully and happily. If you have not read the book, I recommend you try it out; it is an easy and eye-opening manual of holistic wellness. If you don’t plan to, just know that the agreements are:
1: Be Impeccable With Your Word.
2: Don’t Take Anything Personally.
3: Don’t Make Assumptions.
4: Always Do Your Best.
As you build towards a healthier, stronger, wiser, more peaceful, more abundant, more loving, more connected self, remember that the key to all closed doors, the medicine to every pain, the source of every success is Love. Therefore, fellow friend, in the year ahead, breathe love, think love, speak love, act love. Be love.