18 Jul 2013

Birthday- is it just another day in my life, or is it a day to contemplate and introspect?


Today 18th july, 2013, as I celebrate 45years of living a blessed and fulfilled life, I take a few moments to think about a few changes which have happened to my soul, mind and body in the last few months.

I decided on a whim one fine day when I woke up on May 9th, 2013 that I was going to adopt a “plant based diet” for life. During the Everest Base Camp trek last may, I had a short 2 weeks experience of powering myself on plant based simple food of daal bhaat ( lentils and rice), ginger lemon tea and lots of home grown green vegetables and felt energised in body and mind and could trek almost 5 to 6hrs in the Himalayas! I am a lacto-ovo-vegetarian (which means essentially vegetarian but also has milk and eggs) since birth and since reading about the innumerable benefits of plant based food and a book “eat and run” by Scott Jurek ( an ultramarathoner) who powered himself on plant based food and the memoir by Mahatma Gandhi “ The story of my experiments with truth”, I was mentally prepared to dive in and discover the benefits for myself.

 Simultaneously,I am  also training intensely to run my first ever 100kms Ultramarathon this December and as always fundraise to send a few rural kids to school at Isha Vidhya in India. Alongside the changes which adopting a plant based diet did to my physical body which was 1) excellent energy throughout the day 2) faster recovery from hardworkouts 3) reduced muscle soreness 4) better quality of sleep 5) mindful eating with discipline and various other positive health benefits,I also noticed that I was changing inside out to become a better person.

Some of the ways I noticed I am changing for the better are

  •  I became consciously grateful for everything everyday- I started documenting this in a “gratitude journal” which I have been diligently maintaining since the last six months and it has made me a happier person. "Gratitude allows us to celebrate the present".

  • I broadened my horizons by connecting with people on health, nutrition and lifestyle and started taking online courses which will help me understand the relationship of mind, food and body. I am channelizing my learnings towards becoming a “health, wellness and lifestyle” coach as Hippocrates, the father of medicine aptly said “ let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
  • I started having more energy to give others- with all the extra energy that I received by eating wholesome, nutritious, mindfully,reducing processed foods completely, exercising smartly, meditating, I noticed I was having conversations with people around me whenever I was out. I smiled more often and even strangers became friends.
  • I started experiencing true zen “living in the moment” and not worry about the past or the future. I started honing into the present and fully engage myself with whatever I was doing right now.
  • I started meditating daily and noticed amazing benefits in terms of “inner happiness”. There is a new clarity and calmness within. Clarity, an aha moment when everything is crystal clear and it all just makes sense. I find it comes to me when I’m not trying to achieve it, but allowing my mind to relax
  • I started giving back to the community in my own way- visiting local farmers market and buying fresh produce from them and having friendly conversations. Giving up my seat in the bus or train to someone who deserved it more and always looking for small, little ways in which I could make this world a better place. "Be the change that you wish to see in the world." said Gandhiji
  •  I became experimentative and creative in the kitchen always trying to dish out something different and tasty
  • I became more compassionate and accepting of people as if they were me
  • I became more creative and started experiencing childlike playfulness in things. One example of an explosion in my creativity which I would love to share here is putting up the various travel magnets which we started collecting everywhere we travelled, on a white board marker and hanging it on the wall. Everytime we crossed the wall hanging we felt good, a sense of accomplishment and most of all blessed.
  •  I became open to change and more of a person following my heart. Surrender to the experience of what unfolds when you follow your heart. Abundance will flow into your life through many different forms
  • I started giving up my attachment to materialistic things, social network sites in the virtual world and started focusing more on experiences, friendships, reading and being with people and places
  • I started welcoming life lessons. Elbert Hubbard  said “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade"

If you think positively, sound becomes music, movement becomes dance, smile becomes laughter, silence becomes meditation, and life becomes a celebration.

"Sometimes the best journeys aren't necessarily from east to west, or from ground to summit, but from heart to head. Between them we find our voice" ~ Jeremy Collins.

Yes life has taken a 360 degrees turn in my soul, mind and body for good and all that I can say for now is it is all for the better. I am celebrating life, are you?