Corona, Food & Inner Reflections…
I have lived most of my life unpredictably as I love adventure and spontaneity. But, during these uncertain times I have been hoping for some semblance of predictability, especially since fear and insecurity seem to have wrapped us all, ‘Thank you 2020 for being such an ass (pardon my French)!’ I don’t know why I am writing this, perhaps for my own emotional validation or perhaps to remind me of my journey and the memories of 2020 which took away a lot from all of us, a year which has challenged us in so many unthinkable ways. Albeit all the nuisances of this year we are still here, in our spirit while mourning for all our losses and all that we have been through to process this nightmare….
I figured that by talking about it just a little, I can move onto the next step, as I have been stuck in a rut for a longtime. My withdrawl from work and from the amazing closeknit community who has been supporting Nomads Kitchen, well I want to share the little bits of my story to explain my long silence. I just needed the time to be myself, to embrace and process my emotions for all that Corona took away in its wake but now it’s time to come out of my shell or else my inner strength and hope will completely shatter. Perhaps this writing is my ticket to move forward and so crazy times call for some crazy writing! Please excuse me as I have been procrastinating this and while my writing may have gotten a wee bit rusty, this is not exam, there’s no judgement but me attempting to weave parts of my journey in this year. I don’t know where I will go with it, but to let it flow mirroring my internal vulnerabilities. I know, this blog is about sharing stories focused around food, life and travels and maybe we will connect the dots somewhere along the way.
I have been doing some spiritual unravelling as I have been on a whirlwind of emotions the last few months. 2020 has been mind-boggling, heart breaking and lonely for many of us even though we are all sailing in the same boat! Besides the global pandemic, global news has been hitting my sensibilities and in a domino-style effect, bad news has continued to pour in from family & friends. My personal circumstances haven’t been too kind either! No matter, it all took a toll on me and with my sensitivity heightened I have shed tears on a daily basis, feeling alone in mourning, lost & exhausted by the negativity and sadness of everyone. From the migrant worker’s crisis in India, the rise of Islamophobia, the Australian bushfires, the Amazon burning, the locust swarms that destroyed the crops in Asia, the police brutality around the world, the corrup government’s cashing on people’s misery, the Beirut explosions, and the list goes on as the common innocent are being truly targeted and bearing the brunt of everything. Also, endured truly great and tragic family losses and personal traumas many of which I wish to respect the integrity of so I am not delving further into the details. Being far away from family especially when you need eachother has been hard and you can’t help but worry about your loved ones.
How much can one take when you hear the cries of people suffering collectively, their ‘why’s’ and ‘how’s’ ringing in my ears. Life is not meant to be smooth and I have always embraced challenges, but when it happens on all levels, you begin to doubt and question the cycle of life and death, pain and suffering, joy and faith, light and darkness. You feel yourself crumbling away…while trying to hold onto your sanity.
The immense stress and conflict eventually led to my physical collapsing, fever and immense weakness (at first, I thought I had Corona, after two tests that possibility was ruled out) which lasted for two months and eventually I ended up in the hospital. After many tests, the baffled doctors could not figure out the cause. But now l know it was the emotional upheaval and stress, fear & emptiness, a feeling of isolation and dread hitting rock bottom. Lost and disconnected with everything and everyone around me, I shut myself from everyone, staying at home, suffering lonliness on various levels. This led me to do some soul searching & meditation with profound evenings looking outside my window, reflecting and trying to connect with nature, watching the twinkling lights dazzle the mountains and the lake. As I weaved little stories and fragments of my life, my vision and aspirations came together. I questioned the Universe about it all, while embracing and exposing all my vulnerabilities, hurt, fear and all the negativity, leading to a deep internal emotional cleansing.
The answers lay within me even though we often seek them outside and in others. Are we really free when in actuality we are slaves to other’s projections and judgements of us, as we react and enact to what is expected of us from this world? We get so caught up in this dance emotionally and mentally and make up stories around it in an unconscious conflict and chaos of what our mind tells us, living in anxiety and fear of what might happen. Already with Corona and the media our brains are being fueled with negativity and fear, we forget to remember the little things that we have around us to be grateful for and what matters most is love, compassion and kindness. We are all connected to each other in some way but easily forget only to let our ego’s drag us into dysfunctional patterns.
Life with all its highs and lows is a work in progress, as it continues to flow.
Trust the process as evolution is inevitable. To grow and transition into the true version of oneself despite the circumstances. It’s the circumstances that force us to delve deeper into our being. And the last few months I have been on a see saw of delving peacefully within my inner being and crumbling around the circumstances that have been heart breaking. There have been many days where the purpose of life seemed like a lost cause: sleep, wake up, eat, sleep…repeat. With nothing much to look forward to, so much insecurity and fear has crept in, what other bad news is coming our way?! What other losses must we endure in 2020, pain and suffering all around, excruciating moments of guilt of feeling useless and helpless. The patterns have emerged into a battle of faith to doubt to fear and back to faith as this simply cannot go on…..
While we can not change certain circumstances, we have the power to internalise and channelize our energy into love, faith, peace and gratitude. So while I have embraced my emotions and tears, the healing in motion has begun. Baking and writing is my meditation, it helps me channelize the inner positivity externally. Besides it’s time for change as the new season is here, my favorite time of the year with its cozy food! As Autumn brings its warm colors and coziness, there’s something to look forward to once again. Baby steps, nothing drastic but just me in tune with my inner consciousness, breathing peace and love as I continue to unravel myself. I don’t know how long this process will last, but it’s a work in progress as there are bouts of tears that continue to flow, but I trust the process. Ups and downs….rise and fall but only to rise…..
Food is a form of celebration for me, as it transmutes my energies to heal as an expression of love to create stories. Food stories are real as they manifest into matter that we experience on our plates by engaging our senses in a joyful harmony, love and togetherness unlike the stories we create in our minds which harbour anxiety, fear, ifs and buts projecting the past into the future about the things that haven’t even happened. We often forget to live in the present moment in this viscous cycle.
Despite my internal process, I continued to bake & cook for myself as a form of mindful meditation. Hearing the rhythms of my knife, my rolling pin, kneading, chopping, stirring & tasting. Cooking foods from my childhood stirred up nostalgia and initiated healing & nurturing. It was back to the basics; Juicing, yogurt, porridge, fruits, khichdi, breads, dal & rice, chocolate cake….I have even been dipping Toast in my bournivta milk for some nostalgic comfort! This act of Dunking into memories, dunking into my life, emotions & past brought some stillness to instill peace, self care and love. Reminds me of a little anecdote: A friend once asked me, what would be the three things I would take to eat with me if the world were to come to an end !? At the time, I found it impossible to answer as I had too many things on my list, but now I have the answer, it’s the sustenance of my childhood that my mom fed me. Dal and rice, yogurt, fruits, bread, eggs, honey and cheese & oh definitely cake! (ok, perhaps I am being greedy & still can’t decide)What would you take?
Why am I sharing all this with you? All my life I have been taught to keep my world and emotions private. But sometimes you need to put it out there as we are all at a threshold where we need to feel each other, empathize not sympathize! Maybe something resonates with you during these dark times and u are looking to cry….to crumble …so crumble if u have to ….embrace your tears but without letting go of your true being…let go of all your feelings….by feeling them as they are….not suppressing them through distractions as thats not real, or they might come back to haunt you when you are not looking. You don’t always have to be strong, sometimes inner strength comes from facing your true emotions so you can choose to let go with grace. Acceptance of your feelings helps you process your emotions to move on, gain back your self esteem, confidence and the ability to navigate through life in a more harmonious connection with yourself and others.
The light in you is Waiting to hug you …
Most of my life I have followed my heart and while its brought me a lot of pain and challenges, it has also brought me closer to my inner joy and led me to places of which I have only dreamed off. It brought me to Bergen, Norway close to nature and the Fjords, even though I miss my family back home now even more with Corona restrictions. But I am holding onto my faith that we all will be well in the end and together someday. In the meantime I am trying to focus on my personal growth during these times of despair. After all, this year has further revealed that we are not given this life to tick mark an algorithm of expectations and duties, but to live with kindness, love, peace and harmony.
Love with deep kindness, eat with joy to celebrate your palate, sleep like a baby and dream with wild imagination. For me the simplicity of a meal, the experience of cosiness whether dressed up or in track pants all cuddled up in a blanket slurping away, alone or with a loved one, doesn’t matter, what matters is living in the present truly….♥️🔥
If you have made it this far, you got a glimpse of me and my last few months of 2020. I thank you for listening/ reading but if you couldn’t finish, that’s totally ok too. 🙂 Know that we are all together in this and will get through somehow, carrying in faith and love, united and strong. Also, now I am back here at Nomads Kitchen ready to bake for you and not just for myself🤓. I look forward to creating some wonderful cozy food stories and memories with you especially with winter almost here Thank you always for your continued support. 🔥❤⭐ Big hug!
Thanks for sharing so intimately and deeply. These have been difficult times indeed but as you rightly say, also an opportunity to turn inwards and connect with oneself… and also with others in empathy. Nobody (class, social or financial status, country, religion) is left untouched. Oneness in grief, but also in faith, courage and hope. Amazing times. Your connect with food and the sacredness you bring to cooking and eating is eye-opening. Thanks… may your bakes and you flourish.
Thank you for sharing such heartfelt words. You have beautifully and articulately captured the essence of what I wanted to express. We are indeed all together in this process, but food, inner growth and progress brings us closer to ourselves and eachother in a more healing way. 🌟💖
Very good post. I am dealing with many of these issues as well.. Neysa Emlen Markland