The Rich Vegetarian

SIMPLY BEING | SIMPLE BEING

Body balloon apparition

Ours is a family of skinny people, and over the last many months, we have gotten skinnier.

This is a matter of concern to some of us, and as we strive to add pounds to our frames, the topic of intermittent fasting comes up for consideration. I, for one, don’t think that skipping dinner is necessarily contributing to reduced weight, just as I don’t think that eating many meals a day should necessarily result in extra pounds.

I wonder if sustainable weight gain (or loss) may have little to do with the food we consume or the meals we skip. Indeed, I won’t be surprised if the figure on my scale starts to inch upward even as dinners continue to be skipped. (That certainly has been the case with my husband.)

I spent a year in Cairo, ’02-’03, and when I returned to India, I thought I resembled a South Indian film heroine. My frame, that is… It was a year of bad sleep, fatty food, zero exercise, emotional drama, et al. Small surprise that the pounds piled on, maybe? Anyway, I came home, enrolled in a gym, and the weight came off easily. And it remained steady for years until it began to drop. I consulted my Ayurvedic physician who saw no reason to worry. “It’s probably all the ama (toxins) that are gone,” she surmised.

And now, once again, the weight has reduced.

You know the typical questions a doctor asks a parent that’s worried about their child’s health… Does he sleep well? Does she poop on time? Is he active, energetic, enthusiastic? Does she look happy? Perhaps these are the same questions one should review as an adult, too. And if you come up with “yes” on all counts, then there is little cause for worry, I think?

The human body is so remarkable… and I am not even talking about its internal mechanisms and functioning. I am hinting at its physical appearance. When I look at my husband’s face, it occurs to me that he looks a lot older than he did a few years ago BUT he looks a lot younger, also. And I feel similarly about myself as well. My hair is “a fountain of grey,” (the husband’s description) but my face looks younger. The frame is smaller but it feels more solid. The wrists are skinny but they are stronger.

And then I wonder, is this body a mere apparition? Is it a simple projection of “my mind” in space? Is it the shape and form of my wishes and desires? Is it a balloon? 😄

tone of voice

There are compliments, and there is this.

“I just wanted to say that I really like your approach/way of giving feedback during design reviews.

The way you present your thoughts and the tone of voice you use to do so really puts me in a state of mind where I see things and new ideas come up 🙂

Somehow it feels very collaborative.”

“Tone of voice” is an interesting thing. What our voice actually conveys to others is a mystery, no? Because it has little to do with the content of our speech and everything to do with the sound of it.

I was ruminating some weeks earlier about our “voiceprint” and its uniqueness, and how we respond to “voiceprints” at a subconscious level. I have an acquaintance whose voice feels rather loud (even at a low decibel level), and it sets off an “Ohhhh” response in me. Then there are friends whose voices are pure warmth and honey—so relaxing and comforting even when they are speaking of mundane matters. There are some people whose voices make me feel that they are on the verge of tears all the time.

I don’t always know how I sound unless I record myself, of course… and I don’t do that a lot. Over the years my voice has changed, maybe? I am not sure. I used to think I sound like an excited teenager but these days I think I sound like an enthusiastic young woman.

All very interesting and mysterious, I think. (For Human Design enthusiasts, I have an undefined throat.)

And if you are wondering how I sound, there are a bunch of videos on this site under the Videos tab.

life reveals itself

Windows Blinds

Ever so often I fall into a pattern that makes me stop and wonder. (Ponder?)

A few years ago I was set in my yoga practice. I had found a teacher and class I really enjoyed, and I went regularly. I felt that my understanding of Hatha Yoga was expanding, and so was my level of body awareness. It was exhilarating in so many ways, just like yoga classes mostly are.

Then things began to change. Perhaps this was the beginning of my “hermit” phase when I weaned off many social and group activities. I stopped going to class—maybe the teacher was gone for a bit, too? I cannot recall exactly but I began to practise at home instead, and it was really enjoyable. The pace was my own, and so was the sequence of asanas. I could change things up as I went along; I could play music if I wished; I could rest as long as I wanted, and I could end with seated meditation. Of course, these solo practice sessions weren’t as energetic as an in-class one but I found that my experience of Hatha Yoga ran deeper, and it also felt that the asanas revealed their nuances to me over time.

I sometimes wondered if I was merely being my “lazy” self who preferred to hang out at home instead of going to class. But I also knew that that was not the truth—I simply preferred to “fly solo” sometimes.

Fast forward a couple of years… I found myself at a yoga class, and it was a fun experience. Perhaps the years of solo practice had prepped me nice and proper, and I was able to experience more depths (and heights, bends, curves, etc.) in the class. I became a regular, going thrice a week.

Then India trips happened (Nov-Dec, Apr-May), so I couldn’t go to class any more, and I was back to practising on my own… and once again, I experienced the joy of deep, introspective, solo Hatha yoga practice.

And then I found myself at the same spot again… so comfortable in my home practice, so reluctant to go to class.

It’s so funny, I know! A group class takes me “far” but solo practice takes me “deep.” I wondered if the India trips had thrown me off-routine, and that’s why it was a challenge getting back. Now I wonder if it’s something else.

Perhaps Life reveals itself to us as we are. Perhaps it is reflecting to us what we are. Perhaps it isn’t us that’s responding to Life but Life that is responding to us. Perhaps it was my own strong wish for solitude that manifested in a series of events that made it simply hard to go to a class. Previously I thought “Life is the way it is, hence I am the way I am.” Now I wonder if I have been thinking in reverse all this while.

unique beauty

Guruvayur Temple, Kerala

There is a woman I follow on Instagram, and let’s just say that she is a lot of things I am not, physically speaking. She is petite, curly-haired, plumpish, chubby faced… cute as a button. So, I get “cute” a lot myself but she and I look nothing like each other. I find her very beautiful, so much so that I can scroll endlessly through her profile, leafing through her posts and pictures and videos. Also, she writes beautifully. (Beautifully different from my own writing which I find beautiful, too.)

All this to say that beauty (or our experience of it?) is a singular and unique experience, beyond any kind of comparison and/or competition. My mother is beautiful as she uniquely is, and there isn’t a question of if/how she is more (or less) beautiful than anyone else. I am beautiful in a way that only I can be, and it has nought to do with how my looks fare on any scale, Indian or international or whatever.

And this is likely why I find my friends so beautiful, each one looking wholly different from the other. Reminded of something an Art of Living teacher once said, “Praise is unqualified.” I didn’t get it at that time, and maybe I am still unclear about the true import of that statement… and yet, I wonder if the sentiment may not be extended to “Beauty is unqualified.”

And if we were to extend the idea even further, it makes sense that our experience of ANYTHING is absolutely and utterly unique, beyond comparison to anything else. Radical, no?