Recently I had a powerful Brainspotting session with my therapist. I had broached the issue of procrastination, being low on energy and not being able to complete projects. My therapist cued me to get in touch with corresponding physiological and psychological phenomena with me.
Through this process, I became aware of a younger part of me, perhaps eight years old. I asked this part what all of this was about. She complained to me about me. She said, "You're constantly taking on more things. There is no time to have fun." While I knew this at a theoretical level, hearing it from my younger self, in that child-like guileless anguish was like a gentle slap in the face. It woke me up.
I asked my younger self, how would you like to have fun? This was an answer I was not ready for. She said, "I like to learn to cook different things."
My mom getting sick with Alzheimer's when I was barely in my teens had meant I had missed many things related to traditions, culture and life lessons.
Cooking is one of my sore spots. Much of my trauma is attached to food, festivals and culture. Food is one that impacts me daily. I often find myself in tears, helpless, as I try to figure out what to make for myself. When I reflect on which part of me is having that experience, it is a very young part of me.
As I ended that session, I promised my younger self that I would teach ourselves to cook. I had already been doing that over the pandemic. I learned to make chillas and perfected my dal and baingan bharta. I also learned to make new dishes: A fantastic pesto pasta and my favourite, miso ramen. I thought I was doing it from my current, elevated self. Turns out, nope. My beautiful inner child was at work, without my knowledge.
That day, I learned to make rava dosa! Sid and I stood in the kitchen waiting for the dosas to lift at the corners. As I waited, practicing the paramita of patience (khanti/kshanti), I was reminded of the sweetest memories of my mom. When I would get impatient with her, she would quip, "Hoon gas par chadhi jau toh chhe." (May be I should get on the stove then!) I would respond cheekily, "Na, na, toh vadhare vaar thashe!" (No, no! Then it will take even longer.)
Ahhhh! Sweet tears. Sweet memories. Perfect dosas.
I have managed to keep my promise to my inner child and my current ambitious self. The next little while is going to be dedicated to my book and the podcast. I will not be taking on any more projects. I have been able to find more energy and focus as a result, and I have been happier and more productive as a result!
We often misunderstand our internal states or parts. Remember, all parts are good parts. All our behaviours have a protective element to it - it is a form of communication. We have to pay attention.
A couple of photos of my ramen and rava dosa. Excuse the lack of production flair.
Healing can be fun and rewarding. I am currently accepting new clients for therapy. If you're curious about Brainspotting, EMDR or how mindfulness-based counselling would work, you can set up a FREE consult with me via THIS LINK.