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My one-woman circle

Hey you,

I miss writing for writing’s sake. I have this new website for my mini yoga business and future women circles (which I keep writing about but not actually doing!), and I even got back to social media for it after having had a glorious break, but I have not found my true way with these new Nina-outlets.

Maybe I am meant to be writing in English after all. It goes much easier, funnily. I think that is partly because since it’s not my main language, it feels less sincere and important and more fun. But of course in this case, my yoga copy is supposed to be selling yoga classes (eventually…), instead of just filling up a random blog named Munching on a Dream. 🙂 So that’s a different story!

And also, I would really want to have a huge positive impact in the world and I would love to use my writing for it, and my voice, but I have not completely found my way yet. And I am being quite hard on myself.
I keep thinking, it creeps up on me, that there is a way for me, as if it should be a very clear one-direction road and I should be able to see it in front of me. So I tend to wait until I see this road.
While instead this road ahead likely is a meandering one, and it is okay if I only see a few steps ahead instead of my whole life planned out. I only have to take one step at a time, right?

So yeah, I want to facilitate women circles, but the truth is that I am scared. I love the idea and it keeps coming back to me, regardless of how hard I try to ignore it, but I am scared that it won’t work, that I am not able to do it.

It’s good that I am writing this out, because it helps me to see it more clearly.

I am scared that the women who show up will get bored or disappointed. I am scared that my women circles will not be entertaining enough. I am scared that I don’t get the right words out, that my mind goes blank and I cannot speak. I am scared that I find it difficult to judge when to interrupt a person who has been speaking quite long. I am scared that a woman will feel hurt and that I don’t know how to be there for her, that I cannot decide whether to comfort her or to let her be. I am scared that too little women show up, like zero or one, and that it will be awkward. I am scared that the women who show up don’t take me seriously, or that I don’t take myself seriously. I am scared of not trusting myself. I am scared of being too tense and not being able to relax.

Maybe I am also scared that my judgement will be that it is not for me after all and that I have been making all that fuzz in my head about it and then I have to let it all go. And I will be left with nothing to dream about.

And maybe I am also scared that it will be amazing, a great success story. Maybe I’ll totally love it, and the women who show up love it and then I’ll have to keep doing it. It will be a lot of work for me, and I don’t know if I can handle that…

That would really be great because I would love to work towards something that I deeply care about, like creating a safe space for women in which they can fully be themselves. I would love to create the space that I long for so deeply. But it is also scary to go for it.

This is interesting! I should continue clarifying the vision of what will happen if it will be a great success. That is actually more frightening than what would happen if it won’t be, because it may change my life for good. Hence the fear of success. Hello my friend!

Ah, that was great. What a good practice. I will continue this in my diary.

Thank you Munching on a Dream and readers for letting me fully be myself. This blog is my one-woman circle. 🙂

But please pop in if you have somehing to share!

Starting out as a Yoga Teacher

This is to let you know I am officially starting out as a Kundalini Yoga teacher! I am having my own class, in the early morning of Wednesdays. I made posters for it and spread them through town!

At first I was pretty nervous about spreading the posters, because I was afraid people would not like them or me. I felt vulnerable, especially since I drew and wrote the posters by hand. But actually I really love how they turned out, so after hanging some I feel confident again.

And hey, I’m just starting out! I get plenty opportunity to grow as a Teacher and as a person! Every week in my class, for starters. 🙂

More info on those weekly classes (in Wageningen) on Sita-Angad.com.

I promise to come around with non-yoga- or slightly-yoga-related posts some time. I have a new (Fair)phone with a good camera so I can re-start gathering vegan food pictures for the vegan food gallery, for example (insofar it’s still relevant in current vegan-friendly times).

Happy Winter Solstice!

We have arrived at the winter solstice of the Northern Hemisphere! We have successfully navigated through the darkening days, the period in which darkness grows. We have come through Halloween, and the full length of autumn.

Autumn was really sweet this year, wasn’t it? Autumn colours prevailed for a long time.

And now: Happy solstice! Let’s celebrate this point of maximum darkness, and the turning point after which the tide turns towards more light.

What will the light bring? What’s in it for us this upcoming season?

For all people who do not particularly value celebrating Christmas, including me, I wish for us to celebrate the solstice instead. After all, isn’t this how Christmas started?

Living with the cycles of nature is wonderful. It’s crazy to think that we humans are getting more and more loose from these cycles, because of artificial lighting and what-not. So until quite recently, we were much more in tune with the natural cycles of nature and the Earth. I’d say we are likely even built to be so in tune, our internal clock is should be attuned to these rhythms.

If we let our minds be for a minute, really feel our bodily sensations and listen carefully to this body, we may still sense this attunement.

Maybe it would do us good to appreciate and use this gift of being human in this world with its seasons and other rhythms. We have our own rhythms too, which complement the ones we see around us.

I for one would love to spend more time in nature so to experience its seasons. And I think I’m not the only one who could use more alignment with nature and less alignment with, say, TV, computer or smartphone screens that mostly disrupt everything that’s going on inside of us.

Also crazy is that we are entering a whole new decade! I did not realize this until last week. I am glad I do now, because this is a significant moment in time, at least in how we humans perceive it – in boxes of 10 years. We enter the 20, the 2020s! I have not experienced 20s in this life yet so I am psyched!

So if you have any weight or baggage you have been wanting to shake loose, now is the time! Any dreams and intentions you’ve been wanting to actualise? Now is the time! Harness this wonderful moment for some long longed-for transformation!

I am transforming my life quite a bit at this point: I quit my job and I am starting out as a Kundalini Yoga teacher in January! I finished my Level 1 Teacher Training, I launched a simple first version of my new yoga website (which I told you about in the last blog post), and I am doing it! No more lurking in the shadows, I will be the yoga teacher I am! I am, I am.

And for the occasion of this perfect moment in time, tomorrow I am celebrating winter solstice at Ecstatic Dance. Let’s do some transformative dancing! I suggest you do some dancing too.

I wish you all a beautiful season of holidays with gratefulness, warmth, insights and laughter! Let’s gracefully go through the motions of life.

Life/plans taking form

Sat Nam,

Yes, I am a yogi now, so this is how I greet you. 😉 In all seriousness, I have been incorporating Kundalini Yoga in my routine, in baby steps. This past weekend was the fourth weekend of my L1 Teacher Training and I gave my first yoga class*! This happened during the collective morning practice, the sadhana. I liked it a lot and I wasn’t even nervous about it on the day itself. Maybe I found my thing at last. Or part of it. (*I taught the Kriya for the Lymph Glands, it’s a great one, like most are.)

More serious news is that I am in doubt over whether to renew this domain or not. As you may notice right now: I have not been using this page, and I doubt if anyone has found it useful in the meantime. One reason for all this doubt and non-behaviour is that I am starting a new project and website in the future: sita-angad.com. Sita Angad Kaur is my spiritual name, hence the domain name.

Sita Angad means Universal Mother, Limb or Integral Part of God. This is my new identity now. 🙂 It is the name of my soul. I love it very much. I did just realize that it’s a pain to type as a domain, though, so I hope that will work. I hope it’s easier to say and remember than Munching on a Dream at least!

I will use this new domain to promote my future yoga classes and other workshops and projects. I do not know yet what that entails. I am slowly working on it in my head, not yet in practice, sadly. I do want to keep up blogging, because I simply love writing.

Even though the domain ends in .com, I have to write in Dutch or bi-lingual, since my classes and such will mostly be in Dutch. So yeah, where does that leave what we started here? I chose the .com-domain so that I could speak to non-Dutch folks more easily, so I keep you and my love for writing this website in mind. I love writing in English, so starting in Dutch instead will be a whole new adventure.

In the meantime, and: More reasons for the huge writing leap: I am also searching for a better suiting job than my current one. Anyone need an Environmental Sciences grad? Sustainability anyone? Plus, my partner and me have moved and have been getting used to our new home and our ever-shifting work-life-rhythm routine, which is growing more steady now, for how long it takes. Autumn just started. Pumpkins are completed. It’s dark outside.

A new time for introspection arrives. I hope for me that I will obtain and retain the getting-things-done vibe instead. I will let you know what I get done, broadly.

Do you miss me? Let me know what I can mean to you, if anything.

Writing feels good. Here I can play in all seriousness. I hope you appreciate it.

Love,
Sita Angad Kaur

PS If this domain discontinues, you can still find us on munchingonadream.wordpress.com.

Music makes all the difference

There are times in which certain kinds of music can cause a great shift in your mood or even consciousness. Sometimes I forget about this possibility, and I get surprised by how powerful music can be. On that note I want to share some of the music I’ve been very thankful for in the last months and year.

Ajeet Kaur: My favourite song is the live version Kiss the Earth (live in Amsterdam), it is absolutely beautiful and soothing. My second favourite song from her is Peace: I love the shift that occurs in the middle (this is a spoiler, but it’s good to know for people who don’t like slow music!). And then Suniai. Relevant to note is that Ajeet Kaur is a kundalini yogi! This may explain some of the quality of the music and how easy it is so be carried away by it. (I’ve only listened to her music through YouTube so I don’t know all yet!)

Rising Appalachia: This female duo makes very soulful and uplifting songs. I think their music really motivates to be optimistic and to live with a vision, to live a better life and to take care of the earth. Their YouTube channel contains many songs, so have a listen there!

Mose ft. Suyana – Live at Heart Culture is a live set of 2h and is it gorgeous. I have listened to it over and over and I just love it so much. It is optimistic, it holds tension and relaxation at the same time, I love the beat and the vocals, it takes you away. I love how it is such a long-stretched audio, so you can really listen to it for hours.

So, what are you listening to?

On my path & the kundalini yoga chapter

After my latest burst of inspiration for my blog in November, I have again found other inspirations elsewhere. I drifted away, again. I came back now because I keep having this need to justify and explain my writing behaviour and patterns. This comes forth of my need to live my soul purpose and to justify to myself why I am not fully doing that yet.

These months I am doing a lot of inner work. The purpose is to get clear on my purpose and my very next moves, and to transform some inner blockages. I am full of dreams, but being practical about it, is not one of my strengths yet.

Part of my difficulties seems to stem from the fact that my main interests are hard to put in boxes. I cannot even put it in words yet. I am interested in sustainability on a systems level: I love the interactions. I love to see, on the broader scale, what goes wrong and what goes well. I love to relate our personal experiences to universal ones. I love to see how we as individuals impact the world around us. I love to see that we are not just an individual. Instead, we are more like a network of human beings influencing each other and everything around us. All these influences start within ourselves.

I see many ways for me to go about it, many angles to focus on. In order to pick one or several, I need to have a clearer vision of where we as humanity are headed and of my role therein. That’s some work in progress.

One thing I have found is the courage to enrol in the Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training L1! I am very excited about this. I am sure it will bring me a lot. ❤

Another thing that keeps coming up is that I do truly love writing and communicating in other forms. So this blog, whatever it is, will not suddenly end. It will be transformed, but it will not vanish. 🙂

If you wish to share how you are contributing to the world in your unique way, or what themes are currently important in your life, or something else, please do. I’d love to connect with you.

With love,
me

PS: The drawing was a self-portrait of me of a few months ago as I was embarking on a journey for self-knowledge. The words are in Dutch. I currently do not have a personal computer so you’ll have to do with non-edited quickly photographed drawings. ^_^

New ‘barefoot’ shoes – an old way of walking

When I walk in the streets with my new shoes, people seem to look at me kinda funny. I happily let them take a good look, for the shoes represent a natural way of moving everyone should know about. Besides, I live in a small city, so soon the funny looks will be replaced by recognition and people will simply go ‘oh it’s the woman with the cool shoes’, hopefully followed by a ‘where can I get those?!’.

The shoes I’m talking about are from a company called Wildling. Wildling was born from the observation that kids’ shoes do not allow for a natural movement of the feet and the body, leading to unhealthy feet. That is why Anna and Ran decided to come up with kids’ shoes that do allow for natural movement! Wildling was born.

And I am very happy it did! I have been looking for and awaiting pretty barefoot shoes and Wildling shoes make the cut. I’ve already owned a Vibram Five Fingers pair for over four years, but these shoes I mostly use for running and other sports. I do use them for walking too, because it simply feels amazing, but more ‘normal’ shoes were welcome. (That is, more normal than shoes with five toes.) Also, the Vibram pair is not especially made for winter.

Currently, Wildling produces and sells shoes for size 18-46 – so for adults too! The shoes are unisex. The soles are thin and flexible and protect your feet and allow it to move. Wildling has quite an extensive range of shoes already, with different models for different seasons – including winter! The winter shoes are lined with either a woollen lining or a polyester one. Wildling is based in Germany and the shoes are produced in Portugal. They also use ‘sustainable’ materials like hemp and organic cotton (read their blog post about sustainability here).

Wildling

This image shows the main characteristics of the shoes!

Peacock for autumn/winter

I recently got myself the bright blue Peacock shoes. I originally opted for the more neutral Chamois, but these were sold out at the time and I was so enthusiastic that I could not wait any longer! So then I went for the funky blue ones. Both of these models are made for autumn/winter with a polyester plush and they are vegan. Read More

The Goddess at Boom Festival 2018

Boom Festival 2018 was absolutely beautiful. It took place back in the summer, and I have been wanting to share one glorious thing. You’re already seeing her: this gigantic and beautiful artwork of the Goddess. She was situated right next to the main stage. She’s made out of wood, and her heart is filled with nature. And how impressive she already looks like this; in she evening she would transform to an even more magnificent work of art through exquisite light projections, highlighting all different details of her, and changing rapidly so to form this living breathtaking presence.

I am gigantically impressed by Boom Festival, by the beautiful location which is prepared with so much care, with artworks situated basically everywhere. The transformation between day and night was very impressive too. I really hope to go back there again, potentially in the summer of 2020.

The picture is taken from the official Boom Festival 2018 art gallery, and specifically from the work of esWEB. You can check out the gallery to see more of Boom Festival 2018, the Goddess, and also the other editions. There are also plenty of videos online and many of them also show the Goddess at night in action. 🙂 There’s also a Boom Festival movie about how the festival developed over time, but it does not feature the 2018 edition.

PS There was also a large yoni artwork on the ground, made out of sand or something similar. Aww.

Yes to Nose & no to plastic surgery

Recently I read a blog post in which the author openly described the process of her considering plastic surgery on her nose so to improve her looks. My reaction? A blog post-worthy comment. I was so inspired because I have had my own troubles relating to my nose and to other parts of my body. This post is a further exploration of my thoughts and feelings.

I cheer for everyone who chose to not use plastic surgery but to accept themselves as they are instead. Or to at least aim to learn to accept themselves. Getting to self-acceptance takes a lot of practice, I acknowledge that.

I cheer for this because the positive effects of plastic surgery are so little. I would almost say that they are insignificant to the unwanted side-effects. The only positive thing about it is the change in looks, really. The other effects include: physical stress or damage, financial costs, negative side-effects that are associated to making the surgery happen (e.g. carbon emissions, involved money flows). Then there’s the psychological effects of the change in looks. Let’s explore how positive these are.

The desire to look differently than you do, is a symptom of the notion that you are not good enough as you are. It is a symptom of our culture in which especially women are being cultivated to be in constant competition with each other. It is a symptom of a culture in which women are taught that their looks are their most important asset and that these looks are never good enough.

How I see it, by physically altering your body through plastic surgery only for your looks, you reinforce these un-truths of our culture, and you thereby maintain the need for others to have surgery too. And you maintain this need as perceived by yourself.

We tend to think that something is wrong with us and we look for a quick fix.

There is no quick fix. We can alter our bodies all we want, figuratively speaking, but it won’t fix us. It won’t make us happy. The only thing it does is allow for a shift in our focus: is the nose fixed? What about the other parts that aren’t good enough?

Here is my story:

I used to have trouble accepting my nose as it is. I perceived a responsibility to look a certain way and my nose looked different. I felt responsible for my nose looking different. I expected others to hold me responsible for it, as if I had chosen it and I had chosen wrongly. I felt like apologising for it, like telling others that I agreed with them and did not like my nose either. As if liking my nose would mean that I had bad taste. I was pressured by our cultural idea of beauty to dislike my nose.

Now I find these experiences very shocking. Thinking about it makes me feel so much love and compassion towards myself and my nose. Clearly my nose was underappreciated all along. My nose functions perfectly and I am so thankful for that. I do not have to apologise in any way for my physical looks. People can look at me and think all they want, but I am not apologising. I love my body.

I like how our bodies and faces have different looks. I like how this has a great social function: it helps us to tell each other apart. I love how we can recognise each other so easily. I love how others can recognise me by my distinct facial features. Also, I love observing people, especially faces, and seeing what makes them themselves. It is one of my favourite things to do, actually. Our different looks are somehow expressions of our different personalities and qualities. On top of that, each of our bodies is amazing in itself.

Our diversity shows us the way to acceptance of all there is. If we are triggered by something we see, this trigger can be seen as an invitation for us to learn to appreciate the thing we are triggered by. If we judge a certain nose as ugly, which is the example in this post, this can be an invitation for us to learn to appreciate this nose. This new-found appreciation can help us to appreciate all other noses. It goes even further. If we can learn to appreciate one nose we did not like before, this means we can also learn to appreciate other things we do not like. It can be a gateway to a more loving life.

As mentioned before, using the ‘quick fix’ of changing the physical part of yourself that you do not like to ‘more accepted features’, actually strengthens the thought patterns that make you dislike parts of yourself and others. Read More

Female Power Friday #03

Evolution! From this edition onward this rubric is about female power instead of female empowerment. This (Dutch) One World article explains that the word ’empowerment’ implies that the person ‘to be empowered’ does not already have power (of their own). I am not sure to which extent the use of this word is problematic, however, I do think female power sounds more powerful than its predecessor because it is more active. So there: a change in name.

I am not fond of the news, so I only just heard that Alicia Keys stopped wearing make up over two years ago. That is amazing! The more people dare to show their natural faces, the more people will dare to join them. #nomakeup

I personally stopped wearing make up over six years ago, but of course I’m not famous. I have to say that these days I feel uncertain about whether the norm is to wear make up during job interviews. Therefore I consider using mascara to be less insecure about it, which occurs to me as ridiculous. Besides, I like my face better without.

Check out the artworks of visionary artist Helena Arturaleza Scholman. My partner just birthday-gifted me a print of one of her artworks, one that was painted on a festival we were together. ❤ Helena’s artworks are amazing – super inspiring on such a deep level. I cannot describe it, you have to see it for yourself. I do see in them an expression of female power, and of the greatness of humans and the universe. (She even sells Yoniverse stickers! She’s my hero.)

Recently, I got two body-positive clothing and accessory items at Monki that make me happy and that I’d like to share. Check out the amazing Body rights tote bag and Periods are cool briefs! They’re from the campaigns Monki × RFSU and Monki × Lunette × The Cup. I love ’em! And I like that Monki is promoting body positivity in some way. Monki scores a C on sustainability, according to Rank a Brand. The slogan that goes with Body rights is: You have the right to own your body. The items I got are made from organic cotton, which makes them better than the Monki average.

 

 

Speaking of which, I recently found this period-positive tee in a dressing room. It reads ‘menstrual cycle’ in Dutch! The owner was not present – she was bouldering – so I stole this picture. I love how it’s very neatly done and in pink.

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Do you show off female power or period-positivism through your clothing or tote bags?