Letters to Life

Letters to Life (23)

“Om Mani Padme Hum”
– Buddhist/Indian Mantra –

Dear Life,

This week was a bit of an experiment all round, but with positive results so far.

First things first. Last week during my fourth self-defence class (I am taking a “women only course”, six lessons in total), the instructor approached me and asked me, or rather demanded, in an extremely impolite and loud way that this week I’d show up in a regular sports T-shirt with short sleeves, “just like everyone else.” Because, he explained even more furiously, if any of the other women took notice of the shirt I was wearing, they might feel prompted to show up in a shirt that had “even more cleavage than yours.” (Sadly, that is a direct translated quote, yes).

This is the shirt I was wearing:

I decided to comply and, dressed in my pièce de résistance (a bright orange T-shirt promoting our national blood bank, with short sleeves and a neckline that practically reaches my chin), I went to class yesterday to take ’em down. And I did.

I got my justice in threefold:

  1. My instructor lined us up and told us he wouldn’t be around for the final class next week. He introduced his substitute as my brains did a little dance. Whoop whoop!
  2. During the warming-up (running around the room), the instructor read the text on the front of my shirt out loud: “It’s red and gives blood. I don’t know, an apple?” I turned around, showing him the blood bank logo on my back. He was impressed because I am a donor. I suppose I suddenly went up a few steps on his respect-ladder, because from then on out it was nothing but compliments raining down on me.
  3. After our muscles were warm and good to go, a classmate unzipped her cardigan, showing… YES! A sleeveless sports shirt! Even though nobody told her off, I made sure to stand right next to her every chance I got. And smirk at the instructor while at it, of course.

When I got home I felt exhilarated, Life. I had stood up for myself, albeit passive-aggressively, but I had done it nonetheless! I had asked the Universe (or actually the ancient god Tyr, according to my rune book) for justice and I had gotten it!

My renewed strength got an even greater boost as I got into my meditation of the day. I had set out to find a mantra that suits me and as I was Om Mani Padme Hum-ing my way into positivity, I suddenly saw my sixteen-year-old self sitting on the side of my bed, crying. Being depressed, extremely sad, even more lonely and beyond vulnerable.

That’s a part of me I’ve always left unfixed, because it felt too painful to bring those memories back. But this time, I didn’t run away. I sat down beside that forlorn teenage girl, held her in my arms and told her I would not be this strong today if she hadn’t been strong enough to make it through the ordeal of that depression. And I realised that that period of my life is not my weakest, but my strongest. Because even though I was ready to give up back then, I didn’t. I sat it out and I came back. I could never have done that if that sixteen-year-old girl hadn’t gotten enough strength to pull through.

I told her it’s okay to feel sad, but that I’ll no longer feel ashamed of who I was back then. Instead I’ll feel immense pride for how that insecure girl made it through. For the rest of my meditation, I simply held her and told her we’ll be okay, no matter what, because we have each other. And it felt good.

For the first time, Life, I really told myself I loved me and I meant it.

Thank you for the many insights you’ve given me during this experimental week.

But know that if you ever treat me unfairly, I’ll come hit you right back, Life, because now I know how to hit!

And I’ll be accompanied by a sixteen-year-old version of me, in matching sleeveless kick-ass T-shirts, so beware! 😉



Heart to Post

Earworm of the Week

Happy Monday everyone! Heard this old one on the radio the other day and it brought back memories (I think it was on a pre-set playlist I used when I started to run – ah the good old days!)

Heart to Post

Wednesday Wisdom-Tile

Hope you are all having a good week!


Reminder (aka Don’t Just Bend Over)

  • Definition: finding the whole Universe is plotting against you, leaving notes on the doorstep as well as pains in your back. Only to remind you that “you need to do stuff.” Such as taking good care of yourself.

“Over the years, I’ve found myself wishing sometimes my angel would show up. I could use a little uplift, a little reminder”
– Roma Downey –

This entire week I’ve been receiving reminders. I am not really sure what is going on here, but I’m guessing the Universe is trying to tell me something.

Apart from all the notes, the bleeps on my phone (okay, so I programmed some reminders myself, not all of them need to be direct messages from above) and letters I’ve received, the biggest reminder at this moment, the one I can’t possibly ignore, is the pain in my lower back.

Every time I hoover, mop a floor, bend over to pick something up, sneeze, walk or just sit still, it tells me to “straighten my shoulders, brace my core and USE THE LEGS!”

I know I should have taken better care of myself, I know it! But it’s much easier to bend over and pick up that heavy bucket filled with water and soap than to bend my knees and do so. Having to think about my movements makes my movements take up more time. And time is so precious already.

Still, it’s come to a point where I no longer have the luxury to not think this through. Because when I don’t, my back starts screaming at me. So I listen and try to be kinder to myself, wondering why I let it come this far again. I’ve had therapy for my back, why did I revert back to the old ways after those sessions were over? I have no clue. Probably because it’s easier than putting in the extra effort.

For now, though, I want to thank the Universe (or whoever is behind all this), for reminding me to do my homework, contact some old friends, tell my client we need to reschedule, and for sending me that great letter (see picture) saying I need to have my eyes checked. Although I am pretty sure I don’t, it’s always nice to be reminded I look awesome with my glasses on.

But most of all, I’d like to thank my body for making sure I got its message: “take good care of me or I’ll get back at you” (pun unintended but it’s so good I’m going to savour it!). For reminding me I did not learn to move in an ergonomically correct way for nothing. For making me remember to take good care of myself, even when there are no physical or mental pains, because you only get one you. Don’t do things right to feel better right now, but do it right to feel great all the time!

Your health is your greatest good. And that is the greatest reminder I got this week.

Take good care of yourselves, everyone!

What have you been reminded of, lately?
Heart to Post

Earworm of the Week

Happy Monday to you all! This song has such a good vibe, I hope it’ll get you up and going for the whole week 🙂