Mind vs Energy

It’s incredible how ones mental state of mind can severely affect their physical ability to do anything.

It really doesn’t even matter if you got plenty of rest.

The past few weeks I’ve found myself pretty beyond stressed out over one thing or another.

Today I stood up to practice dance – and within 3 seconds I was gasping for breath, exhausted, and sat back down.

A healthy girl who dances on a daily basis should not be this physically drained or feel so mentally aloof.

At first I couldn’t understand why I was so tired taking into consideration the fact that I had probably close to 18 hours of sleep over the past 24 hours lol. You can thank flipping from graveyards for that.

Then I realized I have to work on my mental health every day before I work on my physical activities.

I think we all have to.

Because if we are not feeling well up there, then we are using up ALL the energy we have just to function at a baseline normal.

If I’m using up all my energy just to be normal… where am I going to have energy to do any physical activity?!

The big take away here? You have to be happy and relaxed before you can successfully and efficiently complete whatever tasks have been set in front of you.

Painting our own narratives

The past few days have been eye opening. As the decade came to a close, I realized I had been through so much this decade (for better or for worse) and came out a much stronger person.

I also realized, as I was scrolling through my Facebook memories this morning, that we paint our own narrative. And boy is mine sulky.

Yes there will always be people out there who want to hurt us and they will go out of their ways to make life hell when they can. This is life, nasty people exist. Things out of our control happen. But we have to paint our own narratives by taking control of our own lives.

I spent much of the 2010s allowing myself to blame people for my miserable moments. To be fair, I genuinely tried to be a good friend, partner, family member, but when it was not reciprocated I blamed others for the way I felt.

This morning I realized that blame game needs to stop, because ultimately it’s my own fault. If I took charge of my own life, I wouldn’t allow myself to be in circumstances that made me uncomfortable.

It doesn’t really matter what other people want.

Ultimately this is my life to live and everyone else just goes home and goes to bed. They don’t care if I’m losing sleep over something that they did or said.

So the 2020s – I think will be the decade I stop living for other people, and start living for myself. It’ll be the decade where I figure out who genuinely has my best interests at heart, before committing to having an interaction. It’s the decade where I start being a healthy selfish.

It’s the decade where I stop blaming people for what I allow them to do to me.

We all need to stop blaming people for the things we allow them to do to us. If a situation is negative, step out of it. Nothing is physically preventing us from pursuing our own happiness.

Time to paint a positive narrative. Time to be happy.

Only took 3 decades of developing maturity to figure that one out.

How the 2010s have defined family for me.

I’ve had a lot of time to sit and think about what family means to me. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. In the following blog.

My whole life people have talked about blood = family. And I agree, biologically. But family are the people who have your best interests at heart, who love you unconditionally, and prioritize you over themselves. So how can being related by blood be the criteria for defining family? Many times, blood doesn’t even prioritize you over themselves, many times love is conditional – which can be as simple as “If am your sibling or parent, then I have to do xyz things for you”. See how that’s transactional and not from the heart? What if an individual was a horrible sibling or a horrible child? Or even if the individual is an amazing person – if blood “family” just does the “basics” aka food, shelter, education, discipline… that’s no different than what a caretaker would have done anyway.

Family goes one step further. Family has an emotional bond. Family tries to go out of their way to sustain a relationship by emotionally being there for one another, at the expense of their own needs. Family listens. Family understands when someone is looking out for them and is appreciative of it. Even if it doesn’t align with their own desires. Family understands. It doesn’t take long for true family to know a person inside and out. If an individual been alive for 25 years, and despite being blood “family” you’ve decided to create your own impression of that person rather than truly getting to know them – then no you’re not family.

Often times this pseudo “blood family” will try to be controlling, and when an individual tries to find real family – they try to control by saying things like “only we are here for you, all your friends are just outsiders”. When they say these things – they further isolate you emotionally. They’re not there for you, and they don’t allow you to feel comfortable with an “outsider” either. Which by the way is really toxic for emotional health. Feeling alone can lead to depression, suicidal behavior, or anger, frustration, and more aggressive behaviors.

It’s really not fair.

The truth is, sometimes friends are just as much family if not more. In my own life – friends have sacrificed their sleep to be with me during my lows. They sacrificed going to work (when they could) to sit with me, they driven long distances to be there with me. Amongst many things. And I’ve done the same for them. Blood related family may (if you’re lucky) always be there for you – but contrary to common belief, true friends can often match them step for step.

My husband (from since when he was “just” a boyfriend) – he has listened and heard me. He has (time and time again) understood what I needed without needing much help. It only took him less than 2 years to understand what makes me tick, and how to tackle it (albeit the same is true vice versa).

My best friend has cried with, and for me. She has been mad at people despite not even knowing them, because I was mad at them. She has felt my emotions when I was feeling them. This girl has had my back 200% because she understand the definition of loyalty. And honestly I’ve never experienced loyalty like that before. Only given it.

None of these people are blood – but they don’t have to be. They’re bound to me by the heart. So how can anyone say they are lesser family than blood family?

The 2010s have helped me realize this. Blood family is always there for the most part, at least for most people (however, keep in mind when interacting with people, this may not be true for all). But friends, and spouse are equally a part of our hearts. They cannot be excluded. Not all friends of course, but you know when someone has crossed that threshold of just friend vs family.

Cheers to friends, and cheers to my husband for also helping mold me during my 20s. For keeping my emotionally and mentally healthy when things could have easily gone the other way.

You are also, 100% my family. And anyone who says otherwise – is wrong.

Why do brides cry?!

I can’t speak for all brides because a lot of them do go from their parent’s home to their husband’s directly – so yes they do have a reason to get all sentimental. And let’s not forget arranged marriages, which can be a little nerve wracking for the bride.

But the funny thing is, I cried too. And I couldn’t understand why.

I’ve lived away from home for the past 11 years. 11 years. Been there, done that. I basically got married for the legality of it all, but literally nothing changed. Not my living situation, not my job, not my name. Nothing. If anything I moved even closer to my parents home.

So naturally, I couldn’t figure out why I was crying, and being the cancerian I am – I had to sit and overthink about it.

I came to the conclusion it was all psychological. I wasn’t physically leaving my parents, but mentally/emotionally it meant I had to leave being a carefree child behind – and had to do “big people stuff”. Not just bills and rent, but like – actually think about taking on the responsibility of kids, being more patient, and cooking every meal (that was light humor in case you missed it).

Secondly, it meant my independence was legally gone. Yes it’s supposed to feel wonderful to be with this one man (and it does feel wonderful cause he’s my best friend) but there’s still a realization. Legally understanding that I’m bound to this man and there’s no going back – even if he were ever to wrong me, there is only going forward. Again this is funny cause we’ve been together for years and he’s awesome… so in the real time plane, nothing has changed… it’s all psychological.

Lastly – it was a major identity crisis. I’m Sayli Natu, always have been, and always will be. When I look in the mirror that’s who I see. How does one suddenly start responding to another name? How is it that the name I identify with, affiliated with the man who made me who I am today over the past 30 years, is to be scrapped for the name of a man who just met me? Perhaps every girl goes through this. I think if I ever changed my name, it would purely be for love, or for kids – but my identity – I’d have to build a new one affiliated with that name… and in today’s day and age – I’m too old to do that now. I’d rather grow my current one to include the “new” one.

Anyhow this last point is also psychological because at this time I’m not changing my name, and the hubs doesn’t necessarily want me to either. But that everyone keeps talking about me no longer being a Natu is little tough. Actually no – it’s bittersweet. It’s nice to be accepted wholeheartedly (sweet) and bitter in respect to identity.

Here’s a fun fact – every time I started crying I looked at Sagar’s smiling face – and the tears disappeared. That’s the degree of comfort and assurance I get from him.

Anyhow, now that I have dissected my feelings – I suppose I can put them to the side since nothing has actually changed. I can go on my merry way, back to the daily grind – and yes, I am enjoying my married life thanks to my best friend (hubs).

❤️

Hinduism and Menstruation

With all due respect to people individual beliefs – please keep following your customs, but I felt the need to speak up before you impose your views on others without having a strong supporting argument or proof.

Yep. I’m going to openly talk about periods in a public forum where 50% of my readers are male.

If you’re immature, or backwards… please close this page now as you will not be able to handle the topic and will be greatly embarrassed that you have subjected your eyes to reading about periods. You will also likely judge me for being shameless… so before getting into that… please do not read further.

Today I briefly want to discuss periods and our take on it in the Hindu culture.

Growing up I was often told I couldn’t pray, or participate in any God related activities during my period – because “That’s what it says in our religion” I used to follow them and feel ashamed of my cycle because of it. Unfortunately, I still am told to abide by such rules today. I abide by them out of respect for others. But in some cases… it’s impossible to abide by these baseless rules.

Fortunately, now that I’m grown up, and have actually taken the time to STUDY my religion – I’d like to ask “Where?”.

Where does it say we are “impure” and “‘not allowed” to do things during menstruation?

Yes it’s uncomfortable and I prefer to do nothing during my period (pray, eat, work, talk to other humans) but no I’m not restricted religiously from doing anything.

Not a single Veda, not the Gita, no scripture says anything about being impure during periods… and if one took the time to actually study real Hinduism instead of blindly following a corrupted version of Hinduism that is man made… he or she would know the vedas actually discourage discriminating against a woman for her bodily functions.

So where did all of this begin? Women in ancient culture used to pray/visit the temple on a daily basis. However, during the monthly cycle – often times women feel weak, sick, and are constantly cramping. Therefore, women were told that God would be understanding if they took those days off from praying due to their hardship. This was a way to give women a break during an uncomfortable period. This was NOT an indication that God found women impure. I’d argue that periods are in fact the most pure thing – as they are what ensure that our human race will continue (and hence Gods work for religious folks). When periods stop… so do reproductive capabilities. Basically, if I get my period it’s a problem, and if I don’t get my period it’s ALSO a problem. What’s up with that?! God is literally the being that made it so. Why would he shame his own creation??

However, over time, as everything else with Hinduism… the lack of education and the lack of ability to think has corrupted people’s understanding of this originally amazingly open minded religion. Additionally, when someone tries to apply logic and think about why something is the way it is… elders immediately shame their kids for being blasphemous under the name of God. Incapable of thinking, we basically end up with the blind leading the blind, and no one thinking or applying logic. Telling a woman she cannot pray while having a period to me is equivalent to questioning God’s creation of the menstrual cycle. Is that not more blasphemous?!

So ok fine, we don’t want to think for ourselves right? How about picking up one of the Vedas… (or all 4, or 5 for those of you who believe in the extra one) and read it for yourself. Take a class. Someone sat down hundreds and thousands of years ago and did the thinking for you! Instead of subjecting some man made myths on others… start studying the original source. Yes there are stories and myths that may imply one thing or another but those are myths… again, not the original sources.

Start studying. Start thinking. Start applying logic. Start understanding the history behind an action.

Stop following a corrupted version of Hinduism.

50% of the worlds population bleeds. Deal with it.

Stress – to take or not to take

I have a type A personality.

I like things to be highly organized and intelligently handled.

I do not like interacting with people who lack common sense intellect.

No you don’t have to be well educated to have common sense. My grandmother only studied till 4th grade and she was the most intelligent person. You just have to know how to think.

Which apparently many people don’t (know how to think).

So here I am just trying to live my life – and frankly everything in my life is sorted! But for the people I love – something or another is always off… and I literally am losing hair over it. Taking their problems into my own hands, fixing them.

All this while I’ve been there for the people closest to me getting things done. And they don’t worry… cause they know I’ll take care of it. What they don’t realize is that in a family where folks have black hair till 75+…. my hair started turning white at 23. My hair started falling out from the stress, and my face shows it. As I get older I realized my body can’t take the constant stress and it’s going to end me the way most type As go

Cardiovascular-ly.

And then I had an epiphany. Like a sense of calmness.

“Who cares?”

No literally… who cares?? All these people I stress out for, they’re adults! I’m not stressed out about anything in my own life. So why am I allowing my physical appearance to degrade for people who are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves??

My goal is for me to survive. If something happens to someone else, it’s a result of their own actions or inability for them to survive. That’s not my problem. I have to detach myself from people’s problems. Yes I am emotionally attached to these people but I have to realize there’s only so much I can do.

And when I decided to stop taking all these burdens on my head it felt weird… but for once my hair follicles felt like they’d allow my hair to stay upon my head.

To stress or not to stress? I think not… cause everything gets resolved eventually… some way or another!

Younger innocent days

Today, browsing through Instagram I saw that one of my now acquaintances recently got married. I haven’t talked to him in maybe… 15+ years and truthfully we were just on smile hi/bye terms throughout the school days.

But why I bring him up is because it triggered a memory from elementary school. The first decade of life… where everything is so innocent. (At least it used to be in the ’90s).

I’d like to share a silly but cute incident with all of you.

Back in the 5th grade, 9 or 10 years old… I had the honor of being appointed the class paper monitor. That meant whenever someone wanted paper they’d have to ask me and I’d go and get it for them. One sheet at a time. One day, this so called now acquaintance… then classmate… mustered up all the courage he could in his little 4’7″ body to ask me for paper… and while I was getting it for him he whispered something to me that caught me completely off guard.

“I have a crush on you” he had said just as the teacher announced it was time for recess.

Of course it was a kiddy crush and meant nothing at that age… but our reactions are what make me laugh.

I pretended like I didn’t hear him… AT ALL while simultaneously turning as red as possible, eyes wide.

He, too scared to reply to my big “HUH?!?!”, turned around and ran as fast as his little legs could carry him… as far away from me as possible (for all of 15 minutes).

And we never spoke of it again.

Makes me laugh because here we are today getting married… and possibly having been through our fair share of real relationships respectively over the past decade. Maturing with each interaction we’ve had with the opposite gender. Learning how to talk to the other gender… learning how to confess our feelings or turn down someone else’s feelings. Gaining confidence, understanding heartbreak, understanding love, bit by bit losing our innocence as the years creeped by.

But in that moment – we were running on zero experience. It’s captured in my mind clearly. Not the literal events but the innocence of the moment. Of a crush that meant nothing but yet had the most childlike of reactions.

That was my first encounter. Do you remember your first kiddy, pre teenage hormones, innocent crush incident?

Time flies when you’re having fun

So they say. And truly, it does. We all want to have fun, enjoy life and the journey that it is.

It’s nice that time flies when you’re having fun.

It also sucks.

The days preceding marrying your loved one go by in anticipation but when you see them everyday – before you know it, it’s time… to seal the deal!

And then you’re having such a blast all of a sudden you’re 80, celebrating your 50 anniversary with grandkids.

Maybe my views are a bit morbid working in a hospital – so while I want all that (80 with grandkids) I just wish I could freeze the first year or two of marriage while continuing to have high intensity fun. Traveling with my best friend, spending time doing so many things besides just work and home(work).

Each day becomes a routine and before we know it life passes us by.

Truthfully it’s a horrible thing that most Asian / Indian families live by. They work so hard they forget to have fun. They’re so invested in their kids they forget to be a couple. (This is actually why it’s so important that your partner is your best friend and not someone who makes your life hell). They’re so invested in saving they don’t actually do anything with the money they’ve saved.

It’s important to use that hard earned money to enjoy life. Don’t just work hard but actually play hard. This life isn’t worth the small stresses and as long as you can put a shelter over your head, food on the table, and education in your kids heads… it really doesn’t matter how much money is in the bank in excess of that.

I realize the importance of participating in memory creating activities. And most importantly doing it with my best friend. And whatever little best friends may be a result of our best friendship ☺️

I say that last part because people say you can’t have fun after kids. And yes maybe it’s hard, but I don’t want to submit to that mindset. I’d like to think my parents had a blast showing us the world, and I’d like to do that going forward as well.

Now perhaps I sound a bit privileged talking about “spend that money” and I realize that not everyone has the funds to travel or spend lots of money. (Truthfully I don’t either). But that doesn’t mean you can’t make memories. Vivid memories that can last you a lifetime… for free, in your own home. What matters is how you spend that time and with whom.

Time flies when you’re having fun. You can’t freeze time. But you can definitely absorb and savor every moment of it. The more vivid it is in your memory the better you can replay each moment in your head – and that replay… in essence is time traveling – and perhaps that’s how you freeze time.

Break the cycle.

The Importance of Getting OUT.

I read the above meme the other day. I felt like it especially addresses many Asian cultures. And so I wanted to address it.

That’s right. I literally see it so much around me. As I grow up more and more cases spring up. Maybe they were always there, but I was too young to know.

Today I have so many people approaching me about “what to do” (even though I don’t have kids I’d my own) but I have to say… Parents – show love. And minimize the negative interactions in front of your children or grandchildren. Your interaction and unhappiness shapes your child’s idea of a relationship. It teaches kids that marriage is a horrible place to be. And it really isn’t! It shouldn’t be! You think your kids don’t see it but they are professionals at picking up vibes.

If you have a son it teaches him either how to negatively treat his partner or how to be ok with being abused.

If you have a daughter, it teaches her either how to negatively abuse her partner OR how to be ok with being abused.

You don’t want that for your kids do you? No? Ok so if your relationship is so toxic beyond repair… get out. Because this isn’t about you anymore it’s about your child. You’re hurting them more than helping them. This is something our culture will put me on blast for encouraging but it’s true. We have on avg 75-100 years on this planet. That’s a long time to suffocate… and one limited life to waste.

Is your relationship fixable? (You’ll know the difference deep down inside – as to whether it’s fixable or not). Try every method to see if something wrong can be fixed, maybe love still exists but needs a therapist to work it out…

That’s why I never could stay in an environment that was toxic… whether that’s romantic or blood, doesn’t matter. Small fights – learn to patch them up…. but if you’re in a manipulative or abusive or toxic situation…. You have to break the cycle somewhere.

It’s hard. At first it’s exceptionally hard but believe me when I say that hard phase lasts maybe 1-2 years. Then it blows over. 1-2 years of difficulty is nothing in the face of 50 years of suffocation.

If I could do it. You can too. Please, for the sake of future generations.

Break the cycle.

Either get a therapist. Or get out.

How does one smile?

As I look at my performances or any other pictures these days I notice that I’m smiling… but I’m not. The smile looks so fake, like plastic.

I notice this with many people my age or older. Heck I see it with celebrities the most.

What? Are we exhausted? We aren’t even that old. Working in a hospital I can tell you that old starts after 75-80 and that too only in some.

I look back at younger day pictures and realized the difference.

We’ve all been through our shares of ups and downs by this point in life. And it’s weighed heavily on us – making us resort to plastic smiles.

Because we forgot how to smile with our eyes.

That’s right… true smiles are not created by the lips…

… they’re created by the sparkle in ones eyes.