Body Talk

For a recording of the live facebook feed to this please click on the picture below. Otherwise, click here for Youtube. 

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The main purpose of the talk was to show how by connecting with our body, we are more likely to  lose weight (the obvious) and keep it off, but also that we can change our lives by creating unity in body and mind, really literally being in “yoga.” 

Aside from the physical postures that we associate with “yoga,” the actual definition is “union between body & mind.” 

“IF YOU DO NOT LIKE WHAT YOU SEE, CHANGE THE WAY YOU SEE IT.” -Mary Englebreit.

This very quote has become my regular practice in dealing with everything/everyone where I find myself in discord.

If I am in discord, I have so chosen it, and can choose also to be in harmony, as per the above quote. 

The quote can be applied to anything from food, to our too fat, ugly, too thin, imperfect bodies,  to relationships, to work, to anything you can put your mind to. 
    
In specific relation to food – if you are at odds with what you eat, in discord- instead of resisting the very thing you wish so badly to eat because it is “bad for me, or unhealthy, or will make my hips grow” whatever it may be- let’s change the attitude toward that food. 

Instead of eventually giving in and binging on the resisted sinfully delicious item, look at it, love it like nobody’s business (whatever you choose to say in your mind), and tell yourself that “this is thee very best thing I can put into my body right now”.

 This idea, though unconventional as it seems, is very much in line with the past talks I’ve given: Let’s consciously allow whatever it is, whether an emotion, food, situation, a person/people, to play out as they are, for what they are, and not resist any of it. 

 You want to eat that crispy creme donut – or the whole ½ dozen – eat it/them with joy.

Someone’s projecting at you whatever business they’ve got going on in themselves, roll up your window instead of engaging (then walk away and consciously allow all your deepest darkest feelings toward that person arise- in the comfort of your mind!). 

 Your body is still the same old “ugly piece of fatness” after 4 months of working out so hard every single day? See it for exactly what it is- like a small child, trying to get your attention. “Stop avoiding me, I need you, (it says), and I”m going to carry on holding onto whatever you eat or drink, even if it’s “healthy,” until you stop and listen to me!”
 

You see how this is so incredibly tied to the previous videos where the focus was on the mind? One cannot be separate of the other.

In order to operate optimally, our body and mind are in “yoga.” 

Does it happen all the time? 
No- though with practice, it gets easier and easier. 

 Let’s go back to the crispy creme example. So you eat one – or six- you’ve altered your attitude towards the deep-fried, sugary gorgeous lump of dough, and this time instead of eating with guilt, fear, shame, anger, frustration, you just love your way through it, saying to yourself, “this is the very best thing I can put into my body.” 

Didn’t work? Still feel the guilt, fear, shame, anger and frustration? Well, let’s allow those things to come to the surface for once instead of pushing them down deeper and deeper. 
I can promise you this, if you’ve been like myself in any sense – me, who had food issues from the wee age of five, to anorexia and addiction/obsession to exercise at the onset of puberty, followed closely by bulimia, years of severe depression from my teenage years to physically self-destructive behaviors including suicidal tendencies throughout my 20’s, to hiding in the fitness/health industry for years to mask my addiction –  to NOW, talking my body through every single thing that happens to me, YOU can be more than OK too. 

 In saying “talking to my body,” I mean it quite literally. If it’s a minor cut, I apologize.
If there’s a pain in my left ankle, I apologize.
If it’s someone projecting their anger towards me, which includes my body, all that I am- I apologize to my body for having to go through that, and I ask for forgiveness, and I repeat, “I love you,” until I am ok. 

 You would be surprised how long any pain for “ill” feeling lasts, once you get into this practice of self-love. 

Back again to crispy creme- I’ve allowed you to eat them with joy, as often as you need- and you now do that. You are much happier, your body is much happier, and that little bit of weight you gained when you first started eating them happily has fallen off, and keeps doing so.

It’s not happening overnight- it’s taking months, but we’re not counting, because finally, you’re free of the guilt, shame, anger, frustration. 

And you know what happens next? You won’t even notice that you stop eating the crispy creme, that you swap it for something that’s “healthier.” Your body is changing, it’s shaping up. 
A year goes by, you’re not exercising any different from before, or maybe like myself, you don’t exercise anymore, you just walk and stretch..do things that feel good intuitively. 

Your eating style has changed tremendously, though it was a natural progression.

You start to tune into your body.  

You find out on your own what is good for you, what inflames you, what gives you the runs, what makes you feel over the moon.

You learn how to cook, really creatively cook delicious food. 

 And you know what? You are for the first time, shining like the brilliance that you are. 

That is what happens when body and mind are in yoga. 

It matters not, what size you are, or that anyone even notices that you’ve lost weight. It matters what you think of you, and how you ultimately feel about you. 


 
My current general routine (which itself changes organically): 

I wake up, and give thanks for another day of life
I take a seat on the ground in the living room, looking outside- just staring into nothingness, gently rocking from side to side
Eventually I fall into meditation, whereby I root to Mother Earth, nourish my chakras and connect to the Universe, allowing it to work through me on my behalf, guiding me to live out my highest purpose for the day, for the betterment of all. 
I set my intentions for the day, to be loving, to be honest towards myself, everyone and everything. 

I bless all souls with love, with peace, with serenity, with courage, with acceptance, with happiness, with nourishment, with patience, with forgiveness- whatever comes to mind in those moments.  

When I come to, I gently tap my entire body from the tips of my feet to the top of my head, as a way of saying “Good Morning Dear Child, I’m here for you, I got You.”

 From there, I head into gentle stretches. Sometimes Sun Salutations, sometimes The Five Tibetans, sometimes the exercises related to the Ayurvedic Intestinal Cleanse: Shanka Prakshalana, and sometimes I do exactly what comes to mind, like during menstruation, when I tend to do more balancing poses, if anything at all. There are even times when I wake up and don’t want to do any of the above, so I consciously allow myself to skip all of it. Nothing “bad” happens there’s no “bad karma.” 

 I do 24/36 hour fasts (only water with a coffee or tea), without any food, 2x per week, which is no more than giving this precious body a break from all the work of digesting, releasing and everything in between. 

 I eat a (mainly) plant-based diet, because that’s what my body tells me it likes best.

Before I die to the day and fall into sleep, I give thanks to all that was.

 That’s me, that’s my way and I encourage you to find yours too. There’s no better satisfaction in life than tuning into your “Inner Being/Source/Universe/God.” 

 That is true freedom, and at 40 years old, This Little Cookie is excited about every single day I get to share these bits of joy with you.  

 Once again, your freedom may well come a very different way than described above, and now that you’ve made it to this point, throw away my words, and carry on the best path for you.

Lots of love to you each and again, I thank you for tuning in. 

God Bless You. ❤ ❤ 

PS: here’s a short follow up video I did with a few pointers for your own body talk.(Youtube). I welcome your questions and comments.

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5 Foods never to eat…Bananas?!?!

Almost three years after writing this post and the mindfulness/love fest/alignment continues.
White bread & milk chocolate are no longer my crack, I eat every single thing that I love, minus what used to breathe- I love animals as they are, still breathing, still full of life.
And a banana’ll do once in a while 😉

#alignment #freedom
#fucktherules

This Little Cookie

As per the picture-I did exactly that.
I stopped eating bananas, and at one point, all fruit. Tomatoes too as well as carrots, & root vegetables, because they contained “too much sugar,” albeit natural…Oh, but all those items are high on the almighty glycemic index.

Ludacrous? Yes, I agree.

I had a six pack and I was lean(er) than now, though, truth be told, I wasn’t satisfied. Not satisfied with my life, that is.

There was a wonderful man by my side, my body was in great shape, but something in my mind still sucked, dreaded, loathed, denied….

I’d see images like the one pictured above, and go with it. Knowing, or rather, believing, that eating a banana would spike my insulin, causing me to gain fat blah blah blah. I talked about hormones and the importance of food in my TEDx speech, which, if I was given another…

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Soul Food Friday


If you wish to skip the story, here all the links you need to make the most phenomenal meal, to win over anyone’s heart and stomach.  😉

Falafel- By Sue over at The View From Great Island
Tahini Sauce- (also from Sue) 
Toum-
 By Kristen over at Bourban and Honey
Hummus– my version 😉
Pita Bread- By Delia of  Delia Creates
Mega thanks to all these lovely creatures and fellow foodies. ❤
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Back when I was a kid, we used to call it “junk food Friday’s,” which consisted of homemade french fries, heinz beans, fish fingers, frozen veggies and fried mushrooms.
Once in a blue moon we’d even head to McDonald’s, where we each got to choose one item (a burger) to be brought home and eaten with home cut fries.

All in all, my parents were pretty awesome about home made food, which I greatly appreciate now, and didn’t so much back then. Always the way, hey? I don’t even think I had a full “Happy Meal” til I ditched all the rules, took off, and began writing my own. Alas, no McDonald’s anymore for some years now, BUT I assure you, there are many happy meals being made.

In my stay at my parents place, I’ve fallen back into tradition with them for junk food Friday’s, though they really aren’t. Everyone eats pretty well around here, and indulges in the usual goodies of ice cream cakes and cookies etc, every now and again. The Friday has become Vietnamese/Thai from Pho Lee, (which does a mean Pad Thai), or seriously delicious Middle Eastern takeaway from London’s infamous Barakat, (with pizza every now and again).

This passing Friday, I announced that I would treat everyone for whatever they agreed upon, but got it in mind soon after that actually, what I really wanted was to replicate Barakat’s really really really yummy food.  And so I set out to do just that.

My vision, first and foremost “Toum.”
I must admit that the whole idea did begin with the greatest garlic sauce I’ve ever had. I picked up the recipe here, by the lovely Kristen, over at  “Bourban & Honey, and it turned out phenomenal.img_5968

(I did add aquafaba to it, (thought it’s not necessary) because I’ve been on such a kick of late and having made plant based mayo (which was a total hit), I knew it would work).

Though I’d had it before, I never knew it to be called “toum” rather just, “that awesome garlic sauce.”

Carrying on-early in the day, I prepared the dough for pita bread. Since coming across it, I always go back to **Deliaimg_5972‘s “Best Ever Bread,” recipe. It really is just that! It’s so quick to prepare, only needs a half hour rise time (though having made it in the morning, it sat most of the day before I used it- and was perfect), and tastes absolutely gorgeous. It’s also incredibly versatile, as I’ve made all sorts of things from it- pizza dough, buns, regular bread, focacciacrusty masala bread, and of course, the pita. Whole hearted thanks Delia. Two years later, and I would never abandon your recipe! 😉

**To make the pita, I just took a palmful of dough, lightly rolled it into a ball, flattened it and stretched it out with my hands. No rolling pin.

Pitaimg_5965 dough rising beautifully off in a warm corner, I got onto making the falafel mix. My folks had said that there was a mix somewhere, but you know me- if I’m doing it, it’s happening from scratch, – no questions asked.

Man, was it ever good.  I was so very impressed with how the img_5970beautiful chic pea patties turned out. They were indeed deep fried. For the first time making these babies, I went along with tradition, though I will go for baking next time…maybe. 😉  I did end up adding a little extra flour in img_5966the end to hold them together, though I’ve a feeling the oil wasn’t hot enough when we started frying. Make sure your oil is piping hot!

Having img_5964set the falafel mix into the fridge, I was onto the toum, as already described above. I hadn’t planned it, but when that was done with, I thought to make tahini sauce, another first, which couldn’t be skipped because it’s just so easy.

Finally, before getting to the main job of actually frying the falafel and making the pita bread, I decided on making hummus. There was some already in the fridgimg_5963e (store bought), but I really do love my own, and it tastes a million times better. I always pop a little bit of tumeric in these
days, for a little color, but mainly because it’s just great stuff. Food, drink, skincare, whatever- add a pinch, I say! Here’s an older version I made with roasted red pepper- you could simply omit that, add the pinch of tumeric, et voila, done. 😉

So then, onto the frying we go. I asked Dad to help out there so I could get onto the pita bread at the same time. On a side note, my father is truly a closet chef, really.  I think he secretly loves being in the kitchen, and jumps at every chance to create. (He made a delicious paneer biryani the other day!).
Mom makes great stuff too, though dad seems to enjoy the creative process more. Her job for our Soul Food Sunday was to replicate Barakat’s delicious salad, compete with pickles and such- and it was absolutely perfect.

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It really was a mighty team effort, and especially since mom was in such a funk prior to starting.  I just couldn’t be swayed from the brilliant creative mood I was in (much as she tried, I wouldn’t sing her tune even when directed straight at me).
Instead, I blessed the heck out of her, and within no time at all, she was the taste tester for my toum, tahini paste, falafel…and asking why I don’t open a restaurant etc.  Yep, I just threw in a little love vibe/soul talk there. “Truly, if you don’t like what you see, change the way you see it and the thing you see will change.” I just refused to see mum in her funk, and rather saw the perfection in her, which she came round to.

There were many high fives, and hugs later. “See, we did it. You did it,” I said…The whole process was worth it just to see sweet lil’ mama in joy. God Bless that little cookie. ❤

Back to the meal- dad’s brilliant idea, after having finished making all the falafel- “why don’t we deep fry the pita too?” No argument there, right? Done and done. I was making the pocket sized pita’s  on a large pan (no need for oil/butter), and the last few expanded beautifully in the bubbling hot oil. I have no pictures…but remember elephant ears? Now we know how to make them. 😉 I’m sure they’ll come up in a post soon-I’ve already been requested to make more bread dough, which I think will definitely be one of the recipes that sticks long after This Little Cookie is gone. 😉

Play- play til your hearts content. I know I’ll be initiating more of this kind of love fest as everybody wins. ❤

xxManj

Stop Trying to Understand ANYTHING!

 Carrying on with “Tuesday’s with Manj” this is the fourth video, which has everything to do with feeling good in your own skin and leaving others to their own devices, allowing them to be as they are- perfect, as are you.

To see the Facebook live version, please click on the picture below, or here for Youtube

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For starters, there’s a brilliant quote by some wise unknown soul that goes as so: 

“Trying to understand what someone is thinking is like trying to smell the color nine.”

 Totally something that would come out of Douglas Adams’ creative mind, something so nonsensical, yet so great, in equal measure. 

If you’re stopping to think about it now, how crazy does it sound?
We can probably agree that we don’t understand ourselves much of the time, and yet, here we are, trying our darndest to understand something or someone else. 

How about you? Does any situation come to mind about today, whereby you’ve driven yourself nuts trying to understand someone/something?

I caught myself just this morning, trying to make my way into the inner workings of someone’s mind before catching myself, blessing them and getting on with things. It hasn’t been and isn’t always a snap though, and is totally dependent on how present I am.
Needless to say, practice has effected great change, in that only just a few months ago, this very subject was one of the factors to my marriage falling apart.  That’s a whole other story, but the short of the long is that through conscious surrendering- one of the ways to get out of ‘trying to understand,’ we are very much together here & now. 

Surrendering is huge. Can you just imagine that The Universe/God/Source/Creator – however you wish to call It), waits for those magic words, “I give up, I surrender, I just can’t do this anymore…” and says, “finally, you got out of the way, and now I can do my job.” In other words:

LET THE UNIVERSE DO IT’S JOB! 

What if we’re just not supposed to know all the answers anyways…?

What is it about trying desperately to understand someone?
Are we not trying to understand someone else so that we can then better prove our position/point, or have control?
Isn’t that more about ourselves?
Isn’t that about not accepting someone/or something, trying to change, manipulate or coerce them somehow?

Guilty as charged. I’ve fallen under all of that- how about you?

…Get off. Leave them to their thing. They too have an inner guidance system, as you do, and it’s not up to you to connect them to it. Make your life easy and focus on YOU.

On surrender and in regards to Juraj, with my whole heart, I thought we were done. We both called it and agreed, “soul contract over,” with a great deal of love, respect and honor for one another. That sounds fluffy and nice, though I assure you, it was confusing as
F* €K!

I was still in a fog, coming to Canada, and our communication lessened. We talked like friends, and then it all died off. I stopped myself from trying to save “US,” and let it all go. In my mind, though I loved him dearly and wanted the best for him.
My husband and I just weren’t seeing eye to eye anymore….We were, however connected by heart, and in surrendering, and I mean really allow myself to die to the situation, allowing our relationship to die, it’s like we were born again.  That`s happened over and over again in so many different situations-it`s really really incredible.

Sure and truly yes, we fell apart, we died, and something remained, unbeknownst  to either of us- we just took the “call.”
We came back to one another like never before, more respect, love, honor, & support for ourselves (first and foremost), and then one another.

So, to Consciously Surrender is just one way to your personal freedom from understanding, the next way I already mentioned in my first video, though it too, is a common them: 

Conscious allowance of the feelings we have towards the person whom we are trying to understand. 

For example, you’re trying your darndest to understand that friend of yours who falls head over heals in love with all the bad-ass guys, who seem to have a history of addiction, livin’ on the edge, what have you.
You love this friend so much that it pains you to watch her go through yet another break-up, same thing over and over and over again. 

First of all, my darling- it’s not for you to make sense of.
You’re there for love and support, not to further abuse your friend- she is doing her best- we all are.
Follow me- allow yourself to hate your friend who you love so much, who you want nothing but the best for. (I’m sure she wants that for herself too).
In the temple of your mind, you are allowed to say whatever you wish, and I encourage you to exaggerate the crap out of Your “story.” By all means, make it a practice to judge her, to berate her, to belittle her – CONSCIOUSLY, AND IN YOUR OWN MIND. She does not need your projections, however well intentioned they are.   Does this make sense? Believe you me, if there was a time for Douglas Adams to return to this post, it would be now.

Freaking out in your mind about someone? Projections? Who- me, judgemental…? Me? Yes you, yes me. Let us stop trying to understand people/situations. Let us instead love our way through it all.

And on that note, one more way to stop the cycle of understanding: LOVE.
Love the one who’s judging. Love the one who’s trying to control a situation or person. Love the one who’s hurting – This is YOU I speak of. When we are “trying to understand, we’ve gone too far way from ourselves.”

Let’s come on back to the “state of love,” where our greatness resides, from where miracles occur, from where WE all shine.

In a heartbeat you can liberate yourself from others’ “stories,” by just allowing them to be. By loving them through whatever is going on. (21 Feb. 2017)

God Bless You each & so much love to You.
xxManj

…but, Who Are You..? 

It was after watching the epic documentary “Dr. Strange,” a couple of nights ago, that these very words came to me:

Who are you without your partner?
Who are you without your parents?

Who are you without your brothers & sisters-
who are you without your children?

Who are you without your family?
Who are you without your friends?

Who are you without your pet-
that dog to walk, that cat to pet?

Who are you without your colleagues & job?
Who are you without your boss?

Who are you when you’re standing naked in the shower-
Who do you become?


Without everyone and everything, who do you become? What do you do?
What do you not do?

Who do you become?


A few weeks back, I asked the woman at the counter, who was assessing the particulars of my passport for renewal, if she loved her job.

“It’s ok,” she responded.

“What would you LOVE to do,” I then asked?

“To help people,” she said, an answer that so many people come back with.

Is this you? Is it your calling to help others?

My question to you is: 
Who are You, beautiful one, when there is no one to help? 
Who do you become? 

Much love, as always,
xxManj ❤

PS: Do watch Doctor Strange– there’s a good dose of “reality” in there. 😉

 

 

Alignment: The Root of Happiness 

It was only a short time ago that this picture ended up on the doorstep of my heart. Sent along by someone very special, moments after I saw it, I attached the quote by Ram Dass, and shared it on social media.

When I first came across the quote, a couple of years back, from the moment I read it, sat deep in my heart as absolute truth.

It makes sense, doesn’t it?

If I go into the place in myself that is love,
And you go into the place in yourself that is love,
We are together, in love.

Then you and I are truly in love-
The state of being in love.

That is the entrance to Oneness.

I do. I love these words beyond measure…actually, it’s more so how they make me feel- a deep sense of resonance with all that I am- at peace.

When you become love, that is what you attract.

To those of you looking for the perfect soulmate, longing for that perfect person to show up on the doorstep of your own heart, first become the living embodiment of that which you desire…

Take the time, get aligned. Fall in love with yourself, over and over again. In getting aligned, and striving to make that your goal as often as you can remember, happiness awaits in abundance. Smile :*

God bless You ❤
xxManj

PS: I would very much love to give credit to the artist who did this sketch – it was the perfect thing at the perfect time for infinite reasons. Thank YOU ❤

 

 

 

Self-Love & February

Butterfly Spirit!

Image result for rumi love poems

The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That’s what I hope to give you forever.–Nicholas Sparks

It’s February and we all know what happens on February 14th, Valentine’s Day! I’m a romantic at heart, I adore love songs, have watched every romantic comedy movie, and like all things love inspired. I cannot get enough of this topic. I often think what if Valentine’s Day was celebrated every day of the year? Wouldn’t it be so nice if we appreciated our significant other, family, friends, co-workers on a daily basis? The feeling of love would be shared everywhere and felt instantaneously. In essence, Valentine’s Day should be celebrated each day of our lives. This being said, let us not forgot the sacred relationship with ourselves. This is…

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