The Winter Blues
These past few months have been challenging. I’m not one to get down but since November I’ve hard a hard time getting myself to do things that I normally love to do, which includes keeping up with my blogging. The holiday season is busy enough to throw anyone off center and send them spiraling. But this year, the holidays were the least of my worries. A series of unfortunate events played out back to back and at the end of it I was left dazed and unsure about how to unstick myself.
In mid-November we had to put down my dog, Arri, who had reached the ripe old age of 15! He was in a lot of pain and was in the late stages of heart failure. The vet’s confirmation assured me that it was the best thing for Arri and so we made the difficult decision to relieve him of his pain. He lay in my arms as he passed away and it was quite the shocking experience for me - one moment he was breathing, the next he stopped. Just like that. It was really hard to wrap my head around his swift departure. My only reassurance was that he was old, in pain, and it was the humane thing to do.
Shortly after that we had visited Dubai over the Thanksgiving break. It was during our holiday, about a couple of days after Thanksgiving, that I was informed that the Yoga studio I taught at was closing down immediately. Upon our return, I received a call from the studio owner saying that they did not have the ability to pay us teachers for the month. So, after a lovely but hectic holiday, I came back with nowhere to teach. I felt a lowering of my self-worth now that I no longer had that avenue for self-expression. Teaching Yoga is a very personal experience for me and I put a lot of thought, heart, and soul into my work. Losing the ability to express my creativity through teaching made me doubt my capabilities as a teacher.
The third loss happened more recently. I lost a dear aunt (my sister-in-law’s mother) after a long and devastating battle with cancer. In November we were told that she didn’t have much time left and she passed away a few days into 2017. December was a very blah month for me - I had a very muted holiday spirit. My aunt was constantly on my mind. My Christmas tree went up, but I only put a handful of ornaments on it. I hung up the stockings, but all my other decorations laid in shut boxes. I did not have the energy to put them up and I definitely did not want to take them all down again in the New Year.
The aforementioned events curbed my desire to blog and though I’ve written a few recipes and taken a few pictures, I just have not had the energy to post anything online. But I’m not beating myself up about it. I’ve told myself that this is a phase and that it’s important to take time to grieve and process everything that’s come to pass. One ray of sunshine that has helped my family get through these losses is our new puppy - Yogi Bear. He is feisty, mischievous, and has destroyed the charger to my prized wireless vacuum cleaner! But I simply adore him.
If I had stuck to my samskara (patterns of behavior) I would have jumped right into looking for a studio to teach at. But I decided to take it slow and gave myself some space to think. These past couple of weeks I have realized that I no longer lose an hour driving to and from the studio. Instead, I have the time to take Yogi on walks - giving him a chance to burn off his excess energy and giving me the chance to clear my mind. I am writing more, which allows me to express my emotions - even if no one reads it, I have lightened the load on my heart. My Yoga practice continues to guide me in the right direction, offers me peace, allows me to explore new samskaras, and I am ever-grateful to have it in my life.
Cooking has been a steady outlet for me and I’m excited to share my creations from the last couple of months. I’ve made pots of lamb curry and butternut squash soup, lentil and bean curries, and lots of winter vegetable stir fry dishes. I hope to share these recipes with you in the upcoming weeks (or months), to keep inspiring you to cook meals that are healthful and comforting. Eating homemade, ayurvedic balanced, meals nourish the body and feed the mind, which allows you to tackle all of life's obstacles with grace.
Be kind to yourself.
If you are feeling stuck in your life, contact me to see how a Yoga practice and a few lifestyle modifications can help you!