Life Update & Tahini Sauce
Life Update and My #1 Favorite Go-To Sauce:
It’s been a long hot second since I last posted a recipe or blog post on The Healing Root. Many people may be wondering why; especially those of you who follow the blog but not The Healing Root Instagram. So let me take a moment to fill you in on the last few weeks.
It’s been a very emotionally charged and turbulent time. A time of deep confronting of old, underlying limiting beliefs, a time of acknowledging the places in my life where there is imbalance and a time of really beginning to engage with those imbalances and actively work with myself on a much more intuitive level to restore balance and healing. It hasn’t been an easy time, but it has been a time of deep reflexivity and immense growth and change.
Lots has been going on: I have recently gone through a mutual, but no less heartbreaking break-up, there’s been some family dramas, personal emotional lapses and stumbles, a lower back injury, an upper cervical neck sprain, a strain of illnesses (chest infection, adrenal fatigue, throat infections, stomach issues etc.), massive gastrointestinal/tummy issues and to top it all off an intense psychological “break down” … all of which left me physically ill, having lost a large amount of weight, feeling weak physically and emotionally and just exhausted. All of these have been very taxing. BUT, they have also been immensely profound teachers. Each and every one. Each one has been a sign and signal from my body and mind to, for various reasons: slow down, go inward, start listening to what I need, still my mind, go beyond the physical to find peace and stillness within, let go of old habits and ways of coping that are no longer functional or conducive to my own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around me, let go of identification with things that don’t serve my individual needs and start to LISTEN to what my own Truth knows is right for restoring my balance.
It’s like each one of these experiences and difficulties I’ve experienced the last few months have been a very important guide. A guide towards teaching me how to truly begin listening to the subtle signs of imbalance that arise in order to take appropriate corrective action in my everyday life in order to facilitate a restoration of balance in every aspect of my being and life. I’ve been learning that I don’t have to wait until I’ve sprained my neck or worked myself to the point of burn out to listen and effect change. That actually, if you still the mind and slow down more as a daily practice, you can observe even subtler signs of imbalance that arise in order to protect you from further, more serious imbalances that arise when we ignore the smaller cues. These subtler signs of imbalance often teach you what and where you need to change something in order to avoid and prevent the more catastrophic/dramatic imbalance from even occurring.
For example: slowing down and taking better care of yourself when you feel a slightly scratchy throat instead of only slowing down and taking care of yourself when you are sick in bed with adrenal fatigue and a chest infection. Another example: physically slow down when you feel a slight strain in the neck instead of being forced to slow down by a sprained neck because you’ve pushed too much (which consequently will leave you pretty much immobile for weeks! Take it from someone whose been there ;)) The body is always serving you in its’ constant pull towards finding or rather, restoring balance. When you do not listen to the body’s subtle cues, it will create less subtle cues until you actually start to listen.
I am also not saying that every single flu or accident is something you have “attracted” into your life to “teach you because you’ve been doing something wrong”. I am simply saying that you can begin to shift the way you engage with these types of imbalances or accidents in your life so that they can begin to serve you in your already innate search for living a more integrative, balanced life.
Two of the most relevant two quotes that come to mind in this moment are:
1. “You teach what you must learn”
2. “You become the teacher you needed”
Why do these resonate so deeply with me? Well. I find there to be immense truth in these two quotes. As a Yoga & meditation teacher and as someone who teaches and shares about health, nutrition, mindfulness and finding balance and becoming attuned to internal intuition I find it quite ironic and funny (in hindsight at least) that those are the things I have had to learn the most (especially this year) in order to facilitate my own healing and equilibrium. More importantly and honestly, though, is that those are still the things/areas I need to (and am currently) working on the most.
I’ve realized that exploring deeper into these aspects of what restore individual balance is an every-single-day endeavor. I’ve realized that there is no “arrival” point in the journey of healing, health and wellbeing. But rather that it is a constant unfolding process of listening and attending to. These healing techniques or means of restoring balance have been, and are still, always unfolding and I am constantly learning day in and day out. I feel in today’s day and age with social media and even how we present to the world and people around us that sometimes the difficult times and struggles get pushed under the carpet. I suppose I’ve felt this more because as someone who teaches others about this I’ve felt, in a sense, that I should have all the answers, that I should be healed already, that I should not have difficult days because how can I teach others about this but not take my own advice? BUT, instead, I’ve now learnt to soften to myself. To quieten that voice and to recognize that I can share what I DO know now from what I HAVE been through and from what I am still learning through/from. The things I have learnt from those times of struggle are the most potent, so why should I (or anyone) feel shame in experiencing them still? I am realizing that there is no shame in still having difficult days. I DON’T need to have it figured out in order to share what I have learnt and am learning, I don’t have to feel that me sharing inspiration or information and health and healing is inauthentic if I am still struggling with those things myself: because this is HOW we learn.
Our needs are always expanding, always dynamic and evolving and they change in any given moment, on any given day according to our unique and constantly evolving needs. I am slowly becoming better at listening, at quietening the mind and at taking my own advice/teachings in order to connect to myself and those around me with greater softness, compassion and understanding.
Now, I am stepping into a new phase where I am more appreciative of my struggles, of the lessons I’ve learnt and I am feeling very inspired to share with you all what I’ve been learning. If it resonates with you, AMAZING. If it doesn’t, that’s totally fine, too. We learn what we learn as we must learn it.
I’ve also realized that it is often what we care about doing/sharing the most that we tend to feel initially hesitant to share because it means we are vulnerable (because we care about it so much). In my Yoga teaching for example, when I first started to teach, I was so freaking nervous. I felt so vulnerable and open to judgement; this is because it is one of the things I care most about in life and because I care so much about this one thing, naturally I want to teach to the best of my ability in order to facilitate what has been facilitated for me in the past: growth, healing, space and nurturance. However, when we care about something so much it also makes us fear criticism more than usual because of that deep desire to feel we are doing justice to that task/medium/art. But often, this exact fear is what hinders your ability to fulfill that potential to be the best you can be because it inhibits openness. Eventually, you just have to take the plunge and DO IT. In the doing of it, and in the acknowledgement that you don’t need to know it all in order to share what you do currently know, you crack open.
In my Yoga teaching practice, I had to really take a step back and realize that although I desperately want to be the best that I can be, I must also ensure that I don’t personalize it to the point where I lose sight of the fact that it is about the Yoga, and not about me. It is about my students’ experience, not my own. It is about their healing and growth, not about how I feel in that moment because actually, in that moment I am just a channel through which the healing art of Yoga is being conducted through. It is not personal. It is about facilitating a space whereby people feel safe to explore their innermost truths and energy. Yes, do the best you can, but remember, it is not about you. It has always made me laugh: the way the mind can spin a thousand stories that result in a clouding of the mind.
ANYWAY, looping back to the life update, this all ties in because over the last few weeks and months I have been confronting the parts of myself that don’t feel worthy, the limiting beliefs that inhibit the trust in my ability to share and give freely, and most importantly, I’ve been learning how to take my own advice and actually listen to what I need for my own optimal wellbeing and health: learning that what each individual needs is highly individualized and is influenced by so many factors in our very unique lives. Thus, I have come to the very embodied (finally!) conclusion/understanding that there really is no one diet/lifestyle/exercise program/mindfulness technique/etc. that fits all. I used to be very extremist in my views: believing in fixed lifestyle choices that work for all. An example being, “eating a raw food diet is number 1” or “every single person needs to eat a no-oil diet” etc. etc. etc. All of the mental identifications that I tied to – believing that what brings one person immense health and healing will do that for everyone. Boy, was I wrong. I am learning more and more that what any given person needs in any given moment from food, diet, lifestyle, exercise, emotional/psychological needs etc. is different and is so largely dependent on an individuals’ psychological, emotional and physical disposition in that moment, their history and their perceptions.
I am so happy to say now, that this long long Winter has passed and I finally feel so much more balanced, joyous and receptive to my true needs in any given moment. I feel I have turned A MASSIVE corner in my life after all the lessons I’ve learnt this year. So much has become clear, so much has become real and so much has found its’ place. It feels to me like it was the last big dragging-through-the-mud that needed to happen in order to catapult me into a re-birth of some kind. I feel like a renewed human being. I feel a new zest for life, a wave of inspiration and yet also a deep acknowledgment that there will still be difficult days, and that to think otherwise is setting myself up for failure.
There have been so many things that have helped me along this journey one of the most potent being: the ancient healing science of Ayurveda. The only healing science that, in my opinion, most accurately and fully encapsulates the profound bio-individuality that I have now discovered is truly the root of being able to facilitate true healing and optimal health for each individual. I am currently busy writing a more in-depth post about Ayurveda: what it is, how it has helped me, and how you can use it in your life.
A few other things that have helped me immensely have been:
1) MEDITATION: every single day. JUST DO IT. Even on days when I feel so much resistance or days when I am so busy and jam-packed, even ten-minutes can be the difference between a day of absolute mental chaos and intensity OR a day where you are appropriately responsive to your surroundings and interactions and can maintain some sense of calm even in the storm.
2) Working with a psychologist who I resonate deeply with and has helped me with holding reflective and compassionate space for myself and working on a deep sensory and cognitive level to understand all that’s been going on – energetically, physically, mentally and emotionally.
3) Learning to open up to people and trust that they are there for me and supportive of my journey and trusting that I AM LOVED
4) Letting go of shame and guilt – these two aspects have been the two things that have most inhibited growth and change in my life. We hold onto them because we have a misinformed idea that they will help us to change certain patterns in our lives by making us feel bad about them – but, in fact, they simply perpetuate negative patterns, habits and limiting beliefs. So let go of that ish. Now.
5) SLOWING DOWN. Connecting to softness and letting go of rigidity.
6) Seeing a dietician who has been helping me with practical ways of trying to gain weight – especially with my horrid tummy issues that were making it near impossible for me to maintain my weight for most of this year
7) TRYING NEW THINGS: painting classes, workshops, infusing the days and weeks with new adventures and exciting little trips to the beach, or to a week-end getaway or even simply going out with friends
I’m going to do a longer, more in-depth post of the top things I’ve learnt this year. I will hopefully get it out by years’ end – but it will be a long one because it’s going to be FULL OF JUICY LESSONS I’ve learnt. Through all of these processes, one massive thing I have learnt is to be AN ACTIVE participant in your own healing. It’s not going to happen to you passively. But, it will unfold if you intend for it to and if you are open to it. Healing is possible. Always. To varying degrees, of course, depending on circumstance, but unfolding in peace and balance is possible always. Even if just through acceptance of what is.
And, before closing off with one of my favorite recipes. I just want to say the BIGGEST thank you to all of you beautiful souls out there that were supportive of my journey these last few weeks of taking time away from teaching yoga, posting recipes and a general retreat from life in order to connect back to LIFE. Your supportive messages and healing words meant more to me than you know. For now, here is the long-awaited tahini sauce recipe that is my absolute favorite go to sauce for just about everything and anything.
· ½ cup tahini
· 5 teaspoons of lemon juice
· 6 teaspoons of soy sauce
· 4 teaspoons of sweet chili sauce
· 5 tablespoons of water
· Optional add ins: freshly minced garlic/roasted garlic/thyme/rosemary/basil/spring onion or cilantro/sriracha/sundried tomato OR a personal favorite Sambal Oelek a spicy condiment that adds a delicious ZING etc.
1. I would recommend mixing the tahini and soy sauce first. Then add the lemon juice, water and chili sauce – it just makes bringing it all together easier. Alternatively, you can simply place all of the ingredients into a medium-large bowl and whisk together with a fork until well combined and at the consistency and seasoning of your preference.
NOTE: Keep in mind, that this is a sauce – so tasting it by itself it should be a little on the saltier and intense side because depending on what you put it on, some of that flavor will be absorbed. For example, if you put this sauce on pasta the starch absorbs some of that salty flavor meaning it could result in it tasting slightly bland, but if you make it a little saltier than what you would prefer it to taste like if you were eating the sauce by itself is good to keep in mind because when you add it on your other food it will be just right.