11 Things That Make Me Happy
Thursday, November 09, 2017

11 Things That Make Me Happy

Taken in Santa Monica, California

1/ Witnessing vibrant colours painted by sunrises and sunsets.

2/ Biting into a piece of fruit, and realising it is at its peak ripeness and sweetness.

3/ Watching grandparents interact with their grandchildren.

4/ Seeing older people enjoy a good meal, and each other’s company.

5/ Having conversations with open-minded, colourful and imaginative people who have a thirst for life.

6/ Experiencing cultural differences, and finding out ways in which we are all the same, or ways in which we are all different.

7/ Watching people laugh. And making people laugh.

8/ Experimenting in the kitchen, and having your meal turn out well.

9/ Hiking to viewpoints, that make all the struggle worth it.

10/ Being in the presence of people who are smart, poise, confident and bursting with the glow of being utterly themselves.

11/ Living in this grand universe called life… Sometimes I forget how lucky I am just to be alive at all.
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My Ayurvedic Consultation Experience
Saturday, November 04, 2017

My Ayurvedic Consultation Experience



Today I visited the Ayurvedic Wellness Centre in Bondi Junction, and I wanted to document my experience here because there are so many thoughts going through my head post-consultation that I wanted to write it all down!

First to say, the location is very convenient; a brisk 10 minute walk from Bondi Junction station. I went into my pre-booked appointment at 12:30pm and was greeted by Michael. They first had me fill out a 4 page form with questions from "What do you do as an occupation?" to "How many times a day do you go to the toilet?" to "Where is your happy place?" It was intriguing to complete, as Ayurveda takes everything from diet, to lifestyle, to physiology into consideration. I handed the forms back to Michael and after about 10 minutes, was greeted by my doctor Souhrida Menon

She brought me into her room and began my asking me to tell her a little about myself and my main areas of concern. After a quick 2 minute introduction, she ran through an agenda with me and then listened to my pulse and examined my tongue. From that, she concluded my pulse is very low, and that I should consider working on my low blood pressure. Something I have yet to attend to because there is SO much information out there that it overwhelms me. Oops.

From my tongue examination, she concluded my constitution is Pitta-Vata dosha - so I have a dual dosha type however am predominantly Pitta, the fire type. She then recommended some Lifestyle, Diet and Medicinal treatments. 

There was a certain point in the Lifestyle aspect that was particularly intriguing to me. She asked me what time I usually wake up, to which I replied 7am then she smiled and said "And how do you usually feel after waking up?" and I said "Pretty tired, considering I go to bed at 10pm." She explained that this is because between 6am - 10am is the Kapha time of day, where Pitta-types usually thrive when they wake up before 6am. This was interesting to me, as I have always been a morning person but since I started waking up at 7am... I've constantly felt tired and bogged down! I never would have considered waking up earlier to remedy this. She also recommended a few things to fill in the extra hour before continuing with my normal routine; self-message with oils, cooling breathing exercises, meditation and/or yoga positions (in particular, child postures which are Pitta balancing). 

We then moved on to Diet, which was where a lot of the consultation focussed on. She ran through what I regularly eat in a day and then tried to make recommendations upon that, which I felt was great, because the idea of changing my entire diet would have been overwhelming, and let's face it, I probably wouldn't follow through with it. There was a lot of information to take in during this part of the consultation, but she was writing down notes whilst she was speaking for me to take home. 

We then moved on to the Medication (or treatment) part of the consultation, in which she recommended a tablet called Pitta Digest by Banyan Botanicals and a powder for a body-cleanse I was to undertake. 

This is where things got tricky. The medication was $40 for the pills and $20 for the powder (which I was only required to use 1 tablespoon of) on top of a $120 consultation. I may seem a little uptight, but I have been to SO many doctors (both Western and Eastern) looking for healing that I have spent too much money, and haven't seen the results come through. After expressing this to them, Michael and the doctor seemed to get a little defensive and argumentative exclaiming that if I wanted to heal my body, these were the steps I had to take. I tried to stay calm and let them know that I was going to begin with the lifestyle and diet modifications and go from there. After this awkward encounter, they seemed less friendly to me and were quite happy to see me walk out the door. 

The core of Ayurveda belief is that when you are balanced, you are in full health and your body, physiology and mental state work harmoniously amongst one another. This means you are at optimal weight, health, energy, positivity and clarity. This is a belief I have always carried with me, even before I knew about Ayurveda. After reading about my dosha type, I see a lot of it resonates with me and it's interesting that the doctor could have made all these recommendations for me after a 60 minute meeting and an examination of my tongue. I'm taking her recommendations very seriously and will be paying close attention to my body during the next 2 weeks upon her lifestyle and diet changes she has recommended. 

There is SO much information about Ayurveda out there but seemingly less so about Pitta-Vata. I will be adapting my lifestyle to the recommendations by the doctor, and track my progress. Wish me luck!

***

The top lifestyle changes I will be making: 
1/ Waking up at 6am
2/ Meditation and cooling breathing exercises
3/ Eliminating cheese, canned and fried foods
4/ Eliminating spicy, sour and overly-salty foods
5/ Cooking with ghee in place of olive oil
6/ Focussing on foods from the 'Best' list on this table 
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5 Reasons I Am Going on a Gap Year
Wednesday, October 25, 2017

5 Reasons I Am Going on a Gap Year

This morning, I awoke at 3:30am completely frightened by the idea that I would embark on my gap year, and have only one month pass before I was filled with regret, loneliness and sadness with a nostalgia for my life back home.

So I am writing this post to remind myself of 5 reasons I wanted to take a gap year in the first place.


1/ To Become Me
I have lived an amazing life in Australia. And because my Mum is an absolutely superwoman, she has given me everything I have ever wanted and needed – and still continues to do so. This has been an amazing blessing; however it now means that I have been ‘babied’ by my Mum and really don’t know how to do anything on my own, or be on my own. As I have always had that support network there, I’ve never been in a position where I was forced to think or act alone, without someone to ask for advice from, to lean on or to take over altogether. From the big things like what to do when I need to make an insurance claim right down to, “is this microwaveable?”

I’ll be the first to admit that I am very co-dependant, and while I don’t believe there is anything wrong with that all; I also think it’s time for me to find my own wings.

2/ To Test Myself and Face the Fear
Someone I admire greatly has said the way to feel alive is to face the fear. To set yourself a challenge, and to overcome it. And I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always known this to be true, but I want to actively seek out challenges and put myself through them. Being alone – financially, physically, mentally – and blossom.

3/ To Be Free
I have always felt an obligation to something that I didn’t want to be a part of; school, a job, a routine or even a group of friends I didn’t particularly want to be a part of, but I was too stuck in the rut to just take a stand. I’m a big advocate for living a happy life and doing whatever it takes to get you to that point, but I feel like I’ve been in the same place, the same routines and around the same people for so long, it’s kind of like “Where do I go?” I’m also a bit of an extremist, so I don’t want to slowly roll out into a new life… I want a dramatic turning point. The “old” and “new” me. I want to see where my life changed and how I actively made it happen.

I don’t ever want to feel stale or stuck again. I want to live every single moment in my life with intention.

4/ To Marvel and To Love
I’ve always been a person that lives with my head mostly in the clouds. I used to see this as such a curse because it was hard for me to relate to a lot of people, especially because to be honest, I didn’t really care about what they were talking about.

I have my own way I see the world, and I’ve learned to love this. But (like I’ve said a thousand times) I have been feeling so stale where I am, it doesn’t really feel like I marvel at anything anymore. It doesn’t take a lot for me to find magic in everyday life, where it be in a moment, or in music, in a sunrise or in a person. And I’m excited to live in a life of magic and marvel again. 

5/ To Travel
At the very bottom of it all, even if my grandeur plan to fall in love with life again and to ‘find myself’ doesn’t work, at least I’ll be travelling, which is my greatest passion in life. We’ve all heard the famous question “What would you do if time and money were of no hindrance?” I’ve added to that and asked myself, “What would I be doing if time and money were irrelevant, and social media didn’t exist?” I don’t need to upload set up photos of myself in front of the Eiffel Tower or eating gelato in Venice, for me to feel value in travelling. I love travelling for what it is. Even the messy moments; the seemingly endless travel fatigue, the fact that you eat everything in sight and feel like crap, the creepy moments when a foreign drunkard chases you down the subway station.

I love the way we actively plan out every moment of our day to maximise every single moment of our life when we travel. I love that our priorities lie in finding ‘the best’ of everything – the best pizza, the best views, the best hikes. I love that smells are more pungent and sounds are clearer. I love that we actively seek to speak to other people – travellers, locals, crazy street performers. We are in an elevated level of existence and we want to make the most of every second - and if that's the way to live every day for at least a year, that's a pretty good deal to me.
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