If I seem angry or aggressive, it is because I am passionate and I care about something and it is not moving forward.
If I seem sad, it is because there is an injustice that hurts me and that I am struggling to find answers.
If I seem annoyed or irritated, it is because I am frustrated with myself for not having achieved enough or done enough (or possibly because I did not have coffee or because the MTA sucks).
If I seem withdrawn, it is because I am pensive and searching deeply within myself to rectify my faults.
If I seem happy, it is because I have learned how to balance everything above and accepted this range as a part of life.
Some days are indistinguishable from others; it is as if they are in a perpetual state of déjà vu, in an impenetrable and unchangeable circle. Perhaps since I have been feeling thus, my hands have been drawn towards elaborate, circular patterns.
Weddings in the family create a nice but hectic break from the daily routine. I cannot remember the last time I had been so tired. Nevertheless I did get to work on a lot of henna- for the bride, for myself, and on a candle.
We opted for a less filled in look and I was impressed with the way the bridal henna turned out.
My next endeavor will be creating patterns with fine point pens.
We have all seen the ads. “Lose weight fast”; “Take this pill and you will lose weight”; “Lose 20 pounds in one month.” Etc etc
Upon seeing these ads, some specifically targeting young women, I become very upset. There is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING, that will make one lose weight without having to change his/her life in some capacity, without one having to do some difficult work and reassessment of his/her life. It is not simple enough for one to take a pill and drop 20 pounds in a month; I cannot believe that people buy into these gimmicks and that companies specifically target those who may not know any better.
We are accountable for our own health and well being. It is a constant, never-ending struggle. However, if one knows how/what to eat, it becomes easier. Programs like weight watchers have excelled for that reason; they have taught people how to eat without feeling like one has sacrificed something.
I lost 50 pounds in 2 years. It was through a mix of working out and eating right, with more of an emphasis on tracking what I ate. One of the best tools out there are apps like “My Fitness Pal” which help you track calorie intake per day. However here some other ways that helped me;
1. Consult with a doctor/nutritionist.
2. Do not drink anything but water (2 liters a day or more) and unsweetened tea,
preferably green (3 times a day- breakfast, lunch, dinner). Throw away all your
soda- that stuff is poison. Why bother getting sugar from a drink when I would
really enjoy it in chocolate or a cupcake?
3. Substitute brown for white. Brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta. It’s a healthier option and it keeps you full longer.
4. Eat a good breakfast and lunch to keep you going through the day (oatmeal, boiled eggs, bread with peanut butter). Have a light dinner- veggies and protein. Do not eat a lot of meat- there are many great substitutions for meat- tofu, beans, lentils, etc.
5. Track EVERYTHING you eat. Use an app, use the internet, write it down. Keep an excel spreadsheet of your weight and measurements, record it once every week.
6. SLEEP. Get into a proper sleep routine, 8 hours a night.
7. MOVE. Seriously, get up off your butts and move. Human beings have joints and muscles for a reason- we have been engineered to move around and do things- not sit in front of tv all day. Get out and walk, jog, do some karate,
yoga, take classes at a gym, do not just sit there and feel bad for yourself.
Believe me- that gets you nowhere fast.
8. Keep at it and don’t give up. It takes several months to see serious results. Be patient. Talk to people about it, keep motivating yourself.
How often does one act without thinking, his feet moving forward, trained, and his mind one step behind or entirely closed off? Routine- it's almost like sleepwalking- every day is the same as the day before as one becomes programmed to move in a certain way.
During my morning and evening routines I am able to close off the world entirely. I can walk, get on the subway, get to work, sometimes without a serious thought crossing my mind. The conscious world becomes unconscious as I choose to believe it is not there. Humans are treated as objects, or obstructions in my path during the routine. This is where the part of a routine becomes scary- where it takes away my compassion and awareness of the feelings of others. I become rude, irritated, and even hostile when people are in my way, changing my routine.
And this is where I'd like to tell you that my heart steps in each day and reminds me that every person is important, that each of their stories are important. But I'd be lying.
It takes a real, conscious effort to recognize this, to build and rebuild this compassion day after day. It truly is a struggle to really care. We are not machines, we are not programmed. Just as we feed our bodies with food, we must feed our souls with compassion and awareness of the creatures and the planet around us. How do I do this? Through memory and really thinking about life in another persons shoes.
Though feeling compassion is only the first step. Actions are the next.
I'll be adding pictures and commentary of the things I love. I am an ordinary person in an extraordinary place. There is no special purpose to this blog other than to project what I am thinking of at any given moment.
All the photos are mine (unless stated otherwise). Please do not use without permission. To learn more about me, check out my linked in profile below.