GUESTS ARRIVE AS STRANGERS AND LEAVE AS FRIENDS – My take on Airbnb

Six months ago we took a leap of faith in sharing our home with strangers, and we became Airbnb hosts. In this four months, we hosted a lot of people from different cultural backgrounds, and I can proudly say that I loved it. This is one of the best experiences we had in our lives. It not just helped us earn extra money, but we met amazing people on the way who we can proudly call our friends. No matter what our religion or beliefs were, we lived under the same roof and shared our food. It was overwhelming.

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While the United States was a new country for me, Airbnb made me feel connected to the people here. It gave me a window to look at the world differently.  I am not the primary wage earner for our household. However, I bring in more income for our family by hosting Airbnb in our home. It makes me feel confident.
The best aspect of this journey is meeting wonderful furry beings. We hosted cats, dogs and recently a bunny named Daisy ( She is my favorite) along with hosting heir parents.
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When was the last time you had Mexican guests cooking you red rice? I had that privilege. We bond with our guests so well and share our cultures including food. People come to us and talk about their families, their culture and their vintage houses in the northwest. They try to learn about our culture and it seems like #onewrold #onelife
Airbnb helped me share my hospitality with others. In this fast paced life hospitality has shattered to pieces. Airbnb made it possible for us to open our doors and our hearts to travelers across the globe.
This is what Airbnb gave me, and this experience is priceless.

Anyone craving some “Uber Cool” food?

You all know I have always promoted new bloggers and here’s me promoting one more. I feel their loneliness on this blogosphere as I was there once. Also, did I tell you how interesting this blog is? It’s a food blog 😀 And you can never go wrong with recipes, can you?

I tried, for real tried and the recipes are uber cool – Here give her a try – Backyard Recipes

An ode to the past

the-pastHis arms are no longer home to my soul, my room no longer smells his perfume, my skin no longer has his touch all over it. Why me? For the third time; why me? Trust is like feather; soft and breakable, and do not forget, it’s equally non-repairable. I am lying on my bed but the crumbles on my sheet are no longer made by his strong toes, my room no more has his silhouettes walking across the room. I looked at myself in bathroom mirror and all I saw was a single reflection. He is no more standing behind me to hold me from behind, clutching me tightly in his arms, wishing me a better day to come. His extra pair of clothes in my room, his toothbrush, his wallet and his aura has found their way to another abode.

I feel the vacuum in my ribs and then I cry; and then I laugh as I remember how happy we were together. A flashback of past and “could have been: future plays in my mind. It’s my redemption; at least that’s the way I look at it. May be that water taking him in, drowning him, taking his soul somewhere far away with its crashing way is the fate’s way of reminding me that even if he returns all those “could have been”, the thoughts leading him back to me, I would always hate him. And then I dream again. Today is the day for happy dream, I dream about we being infinite, him an I, we are happy today. At least in dreams he cannot take himself away from me.

So here’s the thing, we all should have just been born with the inability to love anyone, at least that’s what I feel. Life would be feel so much repaired instead of the damage beyond repairs. No tears, no drama, no pain and most of the movie songs would be happy songs. Love makes a man selfish and guilty but here’s a thing; I don’t know what’s worst? Drowning in the ocean of love or Craving for more love.

A Ballerina’s Story

Early in life, I learned to view my body as a sort of prison. While other little girls spent time playing and living carefree young lives, I struggled my way through ballet class– attempting to forcefully train my body to be graceful, obedient, and beautiful. Through my journey from student to professional, no matter my efforts, no matter how low my weight, or expertly I executed choreography, I never felt it was enough.

At the root of it all, I felt that my body held me back. “If I’d only been born with narrower shoulders, higher arched feet, longer legs,” I dreamed, “I would be better and do betterMy life would somehow be easier”, I thought. My soul was that of an artist, choosing dance as the medium within which to come alive, but my very human body never seemed good enough to match the ambitions I held for my dance career.

Over time, I began to resent the body I was born with, feeling limited by the “hand I’d been dealt”. I realized that while I couldn’t control the body I was given at birth, I could control how I operated it– working harder, training longer, and being as skinny as possible in order to be the best dancer I could be.

Eyes firmly on the goal to curate my identity as professional ballerina, I adopted so many ways to control, shape, and demand from my body. I used this discipline to transcend and ignore my basic human needs for rest and food– in true “no pain, no gain” fashion.

These habits served me fairly well, or so I thought, until my first major injury at age 29 forced me to take some time away from the stage in order to heal.  Forced to truly partner with my body (instead of dominating and controlling) for the first time in my life, I began a continually unfolding journey of healing and awakening, coming back home to myself.

When I began to understand that my body was something to respect and honor– that I had limits and finite energy that had to be acknowledged—and began acting as such, I realized that my body was an extension of me, my soul made flesh. I realized that my one, greatest responsibility in life was caring for this body every day, because she is my home in this lifetime.

Embodying this realization meant no more excuses, no more blurred boundaries with others, no crappy, convenient, or emotionally-charged food choices. It was time to go beyond the surface level frustrations I held and tap into what really mattered most.

I realized essentially that to hate my body was to, in fact, hate myself. And when I realized just how much I had been unconsciously hating myself all those years, I was heart-broken. I resolved to return to myself– treating myself as a loved one each moment.  Creating love, peace, calm and strength from within, first.

Here are a few of the tools I used:

I studied my unique, individual body.

Not the body, but my body, learning which foods, relationships, activities and movement helped me to feel good vs. relying on mass (confusing) opinions about what worked and what didn’t. When I got to the roots of what my particular body wanted and needed to thrive, my relationship to food changed drastically, I started taking more time for myself and releasing relationships and things that no longer served me. Most importantly, I became more confident about my body and within my life.

I stopped torturing my body with exercise I hated and found movement I loved.

As a dancer, I was taught to “suck it up” and push through intense pain on a daily basis. This meant smiling beautifully– tutu and tiara in tow– regardless of whether my feet were bleeding in my pointe shoes, or my muscles ached and burned from exhaustion.  Ballet requires fierce determination, training, and skill.  Pushing is required. But so is listening to the body and acknowledging the body’s limitations. When I committed to doing things differently—with honor and respect for my body– I realized I seriously disliked most of the ways I’d been keeping myself in shape.  As I began to explore different types of movement that felt great to me, I created space to witness, in awe, all that my body was capable of. It took time for me to release these patterns of forcing and pushing, but come to find out, both my body and I do much better with a gentler approach.

I healed my relationship to food and healed my body in the process.  

Like many of my clients, I was constantly confused and frustrated in my relationship to food.  I never knew what to eat (or what not to eat) and I struggled with consistency and emotionally charged eating.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, I also suffered from a lifetime of food allergies that left me feeling bloated, ill and lethargic regularly.  By returning food to its rightful role in my life—as fuel, nourishment, and a source of healing instead of comfort, stress-relief, or a mindless sport—I began to witness my body change.  My digestion healed, my weight stabilized, my energy increased, and my skin became clear for the first time in my life. By eliminating the foods and eating habits that plagued me, I was able to focus more fully on what I wanted in life.  I finally felt healthy and strong and had the energy and vitality to do more than just constantly obsess over food.

I released obligations, relationships and things that no longer served me. 

Most women are chronic “over-givers”. Our time, energy, and nurturance often go toward everything and everyone else except ourselves.  Recognizing that I needed to make some serious changes in my life starting with my relationship to myself, I knew I had to make my own well-being a priority.  Not out of selfishness or laziness, but out of self-love and self-respect. I implemented stronger boundaries on my time, saying no more frequently and made downtime, relaxation and stress management necessary components of each day instead of occasional luxuries to be had when everything else was complete. Subsequently, I released those people, relationships, and commitments that no longer served me or left me feeling drained.  I made the activities and relationships I needed to feel incredible in my life mandatory priorities.

I transformed my inner dialogue.  

As a dancer, I thought I was happy and healthy because I was thin and active, but my inner world anything but.  I was uncomfortable in my skin and felt like something was missing from my life.  The more I studied holistic well-being, the more I realized that true health goes much deeper than yoga, quinoa and size 2 jeans. If I was cruel and cold to myself internally, no amount of green juice or Pilates would change that (and I love green juice and Pilates!). I had to change the way I spoke to and related to myself on a fundamental level in order for things to really shift. Once I began to treat myself like a loved one, I flourished in all areas of my life and became more consistent in my habits from a place of devotion vs. rigidity.

I started relating to my body as a “she” not an “it”.

When I began to see my body as a living, breathing, female animal with needs all her own– instead of a disobedient beast that held me back from what I really wanted– it became difficult for me to refer to my body as an inanimate object, an “it”.  If I could acknowledge my pets for their innate being-ness with pronouns like “he” or “she”, but not my body, there was a serious disconnect happening.  As I changed this one, simple way of referring to myself, I began to see that my body was truly my best friend, supporting and carrying me through each day like a loyal companion who deserved love, honor, and respect.

As my relationship to my body healed, I began to think of my lineage– my mother, my grandmother, and women and children of future generations. How would their lives be different if they were taught to honor and respect their bodies from the beginning? To feed themselves exquisite food as fuel vs. stuff themselves out of boredom, for comfort, or as a way to soothe painful emotions? If women came to love the bodies they call home—these miraculous creatures we’re entrusted with care of—what would that change in our world?

Our bodies are our windows to life. When we are overweight, sick, tired, overwhelmed, stressed, and downright abusive to ourselves, it seriously inhibits the way we show up in the world. Most women are taught that their bodies are flawed. They receive images in media, comments from others and other constant reminders of all the ways in which they don’t add up, but it’s time for us to rewrite this story starting with ourselves.

It is my deepest belief that when a woman loves the body she calls home, she embraces her power to create the life she was born to live. I am living proof of this as are the hundreds of women I’ve worked with in my Nutrition & Lifestyle Coaching practice.  I am consistently inspired and amazed when women take these lessons to heart and I’ve seen lives heal and change in major ways as a result of reconnecting to their amazing bodies.

I invite you to love the body you call home.

Thunderstorms

I miss thunderstorms. Like suddenly from the past few days. I have always loved thunderstorms; the darkness, the mist, the smell of early rain drops, the sound of leaves hustling through wind, window panels making weird little noises, everything about thunderstorm is so beautiful in my mind. The bolts of lightening, a streak of light illuminating the night sky, California is sunny and beautiful and my present residence but I MISS THUNDERSTORMS

When i arrived in United States 6 months back, Houston was my home town. Houston is like a hub of thunderstorm and while majority of the people seem to hate it, i totally love it. Probably because i have an alter ego that is dark 😉

Let me share a story

I remember vividly.

It was raining that afternoon. They were wrapped under covers eating hummus off each other’s fingers and cuddling away like there’s no tomorrow. His face had the biggest smile and her eyes sparkled brighter than the North Star. They watched a sappy Bollywood movie and kept mocking each other about all the things they get annoyed by.
When they made love that afternoon, it thundered. It took time and effort for both of them to separate themselves from each other. As she got dressed, she found him with his head buried in his hand. She sat down on her knees.
‘Did i do something wrong?’ she hesitantly asked well aware of the fact that his answer might once again stab her heart.
He looked at her and smirked. He lifted his face and put his hand over her head. Gently he kissed her on his forehead. She felt the drop of tears that ran down from his eye. In an almost broken voice, he said ‘You won’t ever leave me, no?’

She said, “I crave the depth of your mouth and I won’t pull away from you any sooner. Time is a temporary glitch in our insignificant lives. I’d rather kiss your hard and walk away than stare at you for hours not knowing if we’ll ever burn bridges again.”
“You’re the other kind of selfish.” he said. “You make me want to want you all for myself.”

And then, they made love again, until the sky was no longer blue.

When he woke up later that night because of her routine stirring in her sleep, he thought to himself, ‘I will be the last man standing, for her.’ He kissed her on her forehead again and went back in time to think how she came into his life and found him.
She sang Young and Beautiful that night. That voice in his head whispered slowly, assuming that in the loud music of the bar, he would miss it. When he took that sip of his whiskey on the rocks and looked at her that very minute, he knew. She is the one.
I still remember how he said his story. I still remember how much he ached to love her. I still remember how much he tried.
I still believe him.
But She, does not.