Foods that fight Cancer

Foods that fight Cancer

Hello People!

Cancer– More than the disease, it has become a research topic for me. There is a lot more reading done by me on how to ‘live better with Cancer’. In the process, I came across many people who are living with Cancer and are pretty healthy, and active. I mean look at Kris Carr! Once you know her more, you can’t thank her enough for her books and blogs, and articles where she talked about her story, and how she is living WITH the disease, and doing everything she can, like a normal person. (Don’t trust me? Go to her Instagram!)

Her story inspired me to read more about how diet accelerates healing and contributes to our well-being. (as well as of Chris Wark who wrote Chris Beat Cancer). More and more research and I was amazed to know how a specific diet upgrades our body and vice versa. Current research has shown that certain elements in a particular food may significantly reduce the risk of Cancer is healthy individuals and slow its progress in those already suffering from the disease.

Nature is the best physician. She heals three-quarters of all diseases and never badmouths her colleagues ~ Louis Pasteur.

Preventing Cancer through diet is the equivalent of non-toxic chemotherapy because it makes use of the anti-cancer molecules present in food. These molecules fight cancer at the source before it can reach maturity and threaten the normal functioning of the organism. For example, fruits and vegetables contain appreciable quantities of compounds/molecules known as phytochemicals which are responsible for their color and organoleptic properties (properties affecting organs and senses)and show powerful anti-cancer activity.

While many articles that talk about what Cancer is, how Cancer cells work, and all the detailing because it makes my head go mad. I start imagining my body, and all the different reactions going inside. Lol. Therefore, let’s talk about ‘Healing’. And here is the list of the food which can do wonders. Yaay!!

  • Cabbage Family: Members of the cabbage family are known as crucifers or cruciferous vegetables. These vegetables contain important amounts of many anti-cancer compounds that slow the development of cancer by preventing carcinogenic substances from causing damage to cells. (They contain an exceptionally high amount of Glucosinolates which release two classes of compounds known as indoles and isothiocyanate when chewed). The vegetables which are included in the Cabbage family are Brussels sprouts, Collard Green, Kale, Watercress, Turnip, White or Red Cabbage, Brocolli, Cauliflower, bok choy. Brocolli and Brussels sprouts are exceptional sources among all these and should be eaten regularly. Cruciferous vegetables should be hooked lightly and thoroughly chewed to get the best of them.
  • Garlic and Onion: Garlic and Onion belong to the Allium family. What makes them special is that the odorless plants release a strong flavor and aroma. This characteristic is due to the presence of several sulfur-containing phytochemicals, molecules whose chemical structure includes an atom of sulfur. As soon as Garlic/onion is crushed, the compound Allicin is quickly converted into several compounds including ajoene, diallyl sulfide (DAS), and a host of others which have proved to show very strong anti-cancer activity in LAB. They are also known to flush foreign substances with carcinogenic potential out of the body. In fact compounds in garlic also attack tumor growth by directly attacking tumor cells and destroying them through apoptosis which in turn reduces the DNA damage.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric has an honored place in the Indian Ayurvedic tradition. It is considered a food with cleansing and purifying properties and is used widely to treat ailments including digestive disorders, fever, infection, arthritis. In fact, Chinese medicine also uses turmeric to treat liver ailments, congestion, and bleeding. The curcuminoids are principle compounds present in turmeric. They are responsible for turmeric’s intense yellow color Curcumin possess complex pharmacological activity, including antithrombotic, hypocholesterolemic, and antioxidant properties as well as very strong anti-cancer potential. The laboratory tests have shown the effect of curcumin on cancers including Leukemia cells, colon, breast, and ovary cancer. Other studies have suggested that curcumin prevents the growth of new blood vessels thus depriving tumors of their source of energy. It is important to note that a molecule contained in pepper increases the absorption of curcumin by a factor of 1,000, a property that can be exploited to maximize curcumin’s potential health benefits. The daily absorption of a teaspoon of turmeric to soups, salad dressings, pasta is a great way to increase its intake besides adding it to curry. However, don’t forget to add pepper to it!
  • Green Tea: Tea is a complex beverage, it contains hundreds of chemical compounds that give it its distinctive aroma, taste, and astringency. One class of compounds predominates, making up about one-third of the weight of the tea leaf: these are polyphenols knows as flavanols, most commonly known as catechins. Catechins are the heavyweights responsible for the anti-cancer effect of Green Tea. Green tea contains several catechins, the star among them, with the highest anti-cancer activity of all, is EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate.
    While the catechin content of green tea varies greatly depending on are of cultivation, harvest season, in general, Japanese Green Tea is better than Chinese Green Tea. (Here is the link on which Green tea is the best.)
  • Berries: Of all the phytochemical compounds associated with berries, Ellagic acid is the most likely to interfere with the development of Cancer. This molecule is a polyphenol with a unique structure found mainly in Raspberries, Strawberries, and certain nuts like Hazelnuts and pecans. In numerous laboratory studies, researchers at Ohio State University have found that black raspberries inhibit the development of oral, esophageal and colon cancers in rats. Besides ellagic acid, berries also contain Anthocyanidins responsible for all the vivid colors found in many fruits and vegetables. High  Anthocyanidins content is responsible for a strong antioxidant property available in berries. Blueberries and other berries may be eaten year-round. Defrost frozen berries and use them as a topping for yogurt, ice cream, and other desserts.
Besides this Omega-3 is also a wonderful add-in when you are eating to prevent or get rid of Cancer. I haven’t done my research on it and therefore couldn’t write much about it. However, I can assure that it is no less than all the above-mentioned superfood. My cancer diagnosis motivated me to renovate my own diet, and I have made sure to add all the above in my daily dose of nutrition. There has been enough research on how diet can help accelerate the healing but it makes me sad about how we take this factor not so seriously. The best healing can occur only if we complement the doctor’s treatment with a healthy and cancer-fighting diet.

When you have Cancer, there are many things you can’t control however, I can promise you that there still are things you CAN control. And it all starts with what you have on your plate.

Health and healing on your way..

Ankita

Reference:- Foods that fight Cancer

How to forgive? (or not!)

How to forgive? (or not!)

Hey peeps!

After new year’s eve, a video resurfaced where-in Pope Francis was greeting the crowd of pilgrims and children. The crowd looked excited, and everyone wanted to shake hands with THE POPE. Suddenly, a woman grabbed his hand. While he tried to move on, the lady pulled him back, and kept saying something. The ‘not-so-gentle’ pull annoyed Pope, and in frustration he slapped her hand and moved on (Video Link).

Do you expect something like this from a Pope? I know, I know, many of you would be surprised to know about Pope’s behavior because isn’t he the one who teaches the world about kindness, compassion?

And when it was time to practice what he preached, he contradicted his teaching!! Oh man!

However, I know there would be different set of people who would see pope as a ‘human being’, a person who in spite of his wisdom and teachings makes mistakes. And there comes real compassion (Pope later issued a public apology for the same).

“The act of forgiveness takes place in our own mind. It really has nothing to do with the other person.”Louise Hay

Now, what if you aren’t like a pope (which you surely are not!), and don’t forgive (which includes forgiving ourselves too) easily? I see your hands raised up! And you can count me in too!

I don’t forgive easily. I love to hold grudges, and decorate it in my grudge cabinet. Like talk to me about my boss from previous company, and I would pick one grudge from my cabinet, and would tell you thousand reasons for why I still hate her.

There are many articles I have read which talks about how good it is to forgive, and move on. They say that it can pretty much offload too much of weight from your shoulders, and I whole-heartedly agree to this.

While I have been successful in forgiving many annoying events and people in my life, there are still many events which are stuck, like a lump in my throat, and doesn’t matter how much I try to spit it out, it’s still there! A little part of me does not want to forgive! Forgiveness feels impossible in many cases. Are we in the same boat, mate? Cheers!

Days ago I was listening to a podcast by Tara Brach, and she said that when we are consciously or unconsciously, not able to forgive, it means we are holding onto a thought, or trauma just so that we can unconsciously protect ourselves from experiencing that pain again.

It simply means that we are yet not ready! Our body knows better. Over years I have learnt that healing is not linear. It takes times to heal wounds, and it take seasons to lighten the scars.

Same goes with forgiveness. It needs patience and love. A little part of our body needs us, and our inner child wants to hear that, ‘It’s okay if you can’t forgive now. We will keep doing it, and someday we will be successful.’  And I have noticed that it releases some blocked energy. I mean, it really works, even if you are not that ‘into’ your body to notice it.This simple ritual says that it’s good if we do not judge ourselves.

You see I can say to myself, ‘All the spiritual talks you talk, books you read is bullshit. You haven’t learned anything if you can’t forgive! You definitely need a spiritual retreat once again!’

“Be the one who nurtures and builds. Be the one who has an understanding and a forgiving heart one who looks for the best in people. Leave people better than you found them.” ~ Marvin J. Ashton

Come On! It don’t need anything external to validate myself. A little love, and self-compassion is what I need. Therefore, here I am ‘Forgiving myself for not forgiving’.

Once I tried to dive deeper into finding the reason about ‘why can’t I forgive’, and I found an underlying fear that if I forgive, someone ‘else’ will do it again. It’s like creating an imaginary shield in my mind. But the truth is whether we forgive or not, it has nothing to do with other person’s behavior. People do what they want to do. They rarely think from other’s perspective, simply because they can’t.

We can not control how others see the world, but then we can define our boundaries.The fact is, we do have a choice, though we are not aware of it most of the times.

I mean I HAD a choice when my manager talked rudely to me, and the choice was to respond though calmly yet assertively, and it could have led me to the situation where I had one ‘less’ grudge in my grudge cabinet.

As soon as we decide that we won’t tolerate ‘something’, there comes the power, and a plan on how we can do it. (I am still defining my boundaries, so count me in here too, mate!). And I am learning this slowly.

Over the years, number of self-help books have taught me that ‘how a person behaves’ has nothing to do with ‘me’, it’s all about his past life, his piled up stories, his griefs and insecurities. While it still causes irritation to think that ‘why I am being treated badly for what he/she has experienced‘, it actually helps to calm down a little bit, and let go of the anger. (Pic on right: Just to fill the page. Lol).

It reminds me of one of my annoying managers in India. Every time he would shout at one of the team members, we would joke, ‘Aaaj fir biwi se lad kar aaya hoga.‘ (He sure would have fought with his wife today again.), and this would cheer our mood.

Final thought: Every action which is inspired by ‘Love for ourselves‘ is bound to heal us. And while we stress enough on giving love to others, showering the world with kindness and compassion, the first person who deserves our is ourselves. While we all strive to be perfect, just accepting ourselves as we are now, and at the same time working towards healing, is incredibly powerful.

I hope we all learn to have faith in ourselves, and our unimaginable healing power.

I hope we remember to ‘Forgive ourselves for not forgiving others’.

Love and big hug,

Ankita

My 10 days Vipassana meditation experience

My 10 days Vipassana meditation experience

Hiee people,

What will be your reply if someone asks you about your most memorable memory of life?

Hands down, for me it would be my 10 days Vipassana retreat experience. If you are into reading self-help and spiritual books, a little dig into the pages and everywhere you can read about ‘being grateful’ for little things.

Eckhart Tolle says, “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” 

However, I could never connect to this feeling. I tried hard to feel grateful, but the miseries would hit my mind saying, ‘Duh! It’s fake! Isin’t it?’ And I would get back to my real world. My world which was full of pain, problems and mental agonies. But Vipassana helped me to see ‘MORE’, to be thankful to my body if not for anything else, for it exits and re-creates itself every moment to help me see everyone and everything I love!

It allowed me to understand that beyond my so called ‘miserable’ life situation, there is ‘LIFE’, which is primary, which is already whole, complete and perfect.

I guess its complicated to put it in words about how I felt, I would still give it a try to put down my day to day feelings about my stay.

So, here you go!!

  • Day 0: Husband and I left home at 3:30 in the evening as we had to reach the center before 5 pm and it was about an hour drive. 15 minutes remaining for the destination and suddenly we started moving on the roads surrounded by hills and big bamboo trees on both the sides. Who knew there would be a different world of awareness in between those woods hiding from our eyes! Once we signed in and got into our respective rooms (which was separate for men and women), we gathered in the dining hall where we did some formalities and met our course manager. Husband and I talked for the last time before 10 days silence and gave confidence to each other that we WOULD stay and complete the course. An hour later we gathered in the meditation hall where we met our respective Assistant Teachers. I had a blurred vision of my husband in that dim light standing at one corner on other side. First instruction for meditation was given and we went to sleep at 9:00 pm. (Do you see the gong in the picture?)
  • Day 1: The gong at 4:00 am reminded me of my school times. I was so excited to start the course that it didn’t take me time to get up. 4:30 am and I was in the meditation hall. Yuppie!! But then who knew that it would be a roller coaster ride! Two hours passed like two days as my mind couldn’t concentrate on breathing. 6:30 am to 8:00 am was breakfast time. And that we meditated again till 11:00 am. I could feel the anxiety now as my thoughts where dancing boogie-woogie on the floor of my mind. ‘I am screwed up!’. While eating lunch at 11:00 am, I felt like breaking the boundaries and run. ‘But then everyone around is eating silently!  Looks like I am an alien to this world. Phew!’  The next meditation spree started at 1:00 pm and continued till 5:00. Now I was super exhausted, more because of my mind. I remember my mind singing a bollywood song ‘kithe chali hai morni banke’ on a repeat mode. 😛 5:00 to 6:00 pm was snack/ dinner and tea time. At 6:00 we came back for another round of meditation and everyday’s Discourse (final thoughts) by Goenka ji (teacher who started this technique in India) where her would talk about next day schedule. I somehow managed to sit till 9:00 pm. Knowing that husband was there going through same mental chaos as mine gave me some relief and strength. My mind was super active with negative thoughts on bed, and I don’t remember when did I sleep.
  • Day 2: I had slept just for 4 hours and didn’t realize I have taken a good nap in the hall during morning meditation. ‘What am I doing? I am not here to sleep!’  Throughout the day I kept fighting with my sleep cycle though the mind was less chaotic, and I was able to sleep peacefully at 10:00 am. Strangely, I have started noticing my body sensations too.
  • Day 3: Day 3 was even better and it felt like I was enjoying the process. I was trying hard to find a way to know if my husband was doing okay. I was worried, ‘What if he runs away?’ Lol. The feeling of calmness was there throughout the day. With fewer naps than yesterday I managed to meditate almost 11 hours! I was happy I came here! Yaaay!!
        • Day 4: It started with the same routine but we would be getting actual meditation technique in the afternoon at 3:00 pm. The teacher said that for the last 3 days we were sharpening our mind AND attention to do Vipassana in a better way. However, I experienced something magical at 11:00 am. I was concentrating on my breath when my right hand started vibrating. It was very intense. I could feel it for 5-6 seconds and then it was gone. ‘What happened just now? It is said that we are made up of frequencies. Did I just experience that?‘ My teacher had an answer to it: ‘Observe it.’  My mind was like, ‘That’s it? Okay!’ In the afternoon we were given Vipassana technique.
      • Day 5: It was just half day that I had been practicing Vipassana, and I could feel my body getting heated up. My chest area, belly and pelvic area, hands, thighs, every part was burning.  But the technique said that we had to observe our sensations! Lol. Okay. By 7 pm my body was a coal mine. The heat made me feel like I would vomit and cry. Did I say that we were not allowed to move our body too. Ouch! Eckhart Tolle says that ‘every emotional pain we experience leaves behind a residue of pain which lives on in our body in dormant state. The moment you observe it with your presence, the identification is broken.’ (‘Read Power of NOW.)  I could relate. I guess I was holding too much of anger. While returning back to my room at 9:00 pm I noticed that I had a back pain 3 years ago (which I thought was gone) had resurfaced! Day 5 ended as a painful day. Though I was still going strong! 
       

      • Day 6: I expected that my morning would begin with same heat in my body, but it was different. The heat had subsided a little. It had now localized to some areas and was less intense. ‘When you become a watcher, pain-body or negative energy will continue to operate for a while. Since it has certain momentum, it would keep turning for a while and may create physical aches and pains. Be present. It will go away- Eckhart Tolle’. Now I could relate to what I had read in his book. By afternoon, many other body parts started paining again. When I asked my teacher about it, she had same answer for every question I had, ‘Observe it’.  Urgh!
      • Day 7: Oh! My teacher was so true! The shoulder pain got less intense! However, my whole body was sore. Day went by and I kept meditating. But at 9:00 pm when I went to bed I had some weird experience. I was trying to sleep observing my sensations when I felt a sudden surge of energy. It felt like there was a part in my body (lung area) where there was no blood flow for many years, and suddenly energy started flowing there after ages. I felt good for sometime, but as soon as the mind got into action, the sudden flow of energy made me scared. I suddenly switched on the light out of fear. ‘What was that? Something supernatural? I want to run. Should I bang manager’s door? Is there a way to escape?’ I was scared, scared of the experience, scared to quietness, scared of myself. The whole hostel was quiet. It felt like it was just me and my mind screaming and daunting. ‘I am not meditating for remaining 3 days. I will just walk in the woods, and stay in the room. God! Please help me.’

      • Day 8: I skipped morning meditation at 4:30 am but then there was this breakfast thing at 6:30 am. The morning felt a bit lighter and better. The mood made me go to the meditation hall once again. ‘Oh! Today is not as bad as expected!’. Accepting all my negative thoughts and emotions, I kept meditating. However, today I took more breaks, walked in woods, soaked the sun and drank the wind. I guess that’s what they mean to say when they say that nature heals. The environment made me calm, and I geared up to start my practice again. I was back on the mat and realized being much lighter. The body was still heated and soared but it was less painful as compared to day 5. My back pain too was almost gone, and it felt like I had released some weight I was carrying on my shoulders. 
      • Day 9: There were so many  ‘Go to home’, and ‘Stay here’ moments. The feeling continued throughout the day. One hour I was miserable and another hour, I was Okay. But then somewhere I knew, ‘I can’t do this anymore’. It was good that course was coming to an end else I would have a mental breakdown.
      • Day 10: Hurrah! We could talk today! Just after morning meditation session from 8-9 am, we were allowed to talk to each other. Everyone started chatting like anything! But I was still in the mood of quietness. I took my lunch plate and sat in the corner alone without talking to anyone. Suddenly a  girl passed by and said, ‘Looks like you still want to enjoy the serenity’. ‘Yes, I am just sinking in the feeling’.Please go! I don’t want to extend the communication’, my mind said. Few minutes of conversation with my husband in the dining area, and I felt like pouring my heart and crying. Any ways, we had to maintain the separation of men and women till day 11 when the course was about the end. I couldn’t sleep at night. There was a mixed feeling. I wanted to go/I wanted to stay. But the fact is that this experience was life changing. I thanked everyone around mentally for being a part of this thrilling experience and slept peacefully.
      • Day 11: We all gathered in the meditation hall in the morning. The final lecture with Goenka ji, and I bowed down in front of meditation hall for everything it had given me in last few days. I now knew I was tough. I now knew I could endure pain with a happy face. There was a feeling of exaltation and heightened awareness, as if something within me said, ‘This too shall pass. Stay present! Enjoy till it lasts!’ Funny enough, my 3 years of meditation experience was nothing as compared to what I had experienced in these 10 days, and still it was just the beginning. And I owed everything to this place! 

      I remember leaving my room with my bag when I saw two girls standing outside. We smiled looking at each other and suddenly I said, ‘Thank you guys for being a wonderful companion in my 10 days journey. I hope to see you all soon.’ And this time I really felt grateful saying this!

      As I listened to my inner voice, it whispered, ‘Dhamma Torana ! I will be back again! ‘

      Much love and peace on your ways…

      Ankita

      5 ways Green Tea could add to your Well-Being!

      5 ways Green Tea could add to your Well-Being!

      My Tea lovers!

      How does it feel when the aroma of freshly brewed tea enters your nose? It is a long lasting scent that helps keep you smiling and fresh throughout the day. Well, the first thought which comes into our mind as we hear tea is a box of ‘Lipton’ or ‘Red Label’ tea. At least that’s what I have seen growing up at my house! But are those tea bags of ‘Lipton’ really beneficial? What if a small change can turn this beverage into a ‘medicinal drink’? Here you go my love. 🙂
      Ditch your normal tea with Green Tea! 

       

      What turns it into the safest and healthiest drink?

      Green Tea is made from Young shoots of Camellia Sinensis bush, a plant from India. Of all the teas, Green Tea undergoes the least transformation. It’s processing is still done manually for most part. This helps to keep the medicinal value of Green Tea intact. 

       

       In his book ‘The 17-Day Green Tea Diet’, authors Simon & Schuster suggest that if you drink four cups of Green Tea everyday accompanied with few more diet changes, you can loose large amount of fat. So, technically Green Tea also helps you to loose that extra amount of unwanted stuff from your body!

      • Green Tea deactivates your Fat storage genes:- It turns off the genes which are responsible for weight gain, and makes weight loss effortless. Two of the primary nutritional tools to turn off fat genes are EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) and Folate that are found at high levels in green tea. 

      • Green Tea protects your body from toxins :- One study found that Macha, a Japanese Green Tea protects body against liver and kidney damage. Another study published in the journal Biological Chemistry showed that green tea protected the liver from stress caused by alcohol (If you are fond of alcohol, don’t forget to drink your green tea the next morning!)

      • Green Tea boosts the immune system :- What makes this Tea special is the presence of a compound called polyphenols, most commonly known as Catechins. Catechins are anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and help remove pathogens from the body. It is important to note that Catechin content of Green Tea varies greatly depending on area of cultivation, harvest season, and processing technique.

      •  Green Tea protects your body against Cancer :- Green Tea contains several Catechins, the star among them is EGCG. EGCG has been found to inhibit the growth of cancerous cells in human Lukemia, renal cancers, Skin cancers, Mouth cancers, and Prostate cancers. These studies are significant because studies conducted on animals have shown that Green Tea prevents the development of many cancers triggered by carcinogens (cancer causing particles). Study also shows that EGCG stops angiogenesis ( formation of new blood vessels) around cancer cells.

      • Green Tea protects your heart:- Green tea has significant amounts of Flavonoids, a kind of antioxidant that protect against heart disease.  It slows down the breakdown of LDL cholesterol preventing blood clots and improving blood vessel function.  Since drinking Green Tea is associated with lower Cholesterol it results in less case of artery blockages.

      Which Green Tea to choose?

      When looking for a good tea, look for something which has good content of EGCG . The picture on the left shows the ranking of teas with respect to concentration of EGCG. Gyokuro Tea is my favorite, and it ranks second in terms of concentration of EGCG i.e has very high concentration of EGCG followed by Sencha Tea, Matcha Tea.
      If you are in India, you might not find Gyokuro Tea, but Sencha and Matcha Tea can be found on Amazon website. As a general rule, Japanese teas contain far more EGCG than Chinese teas. 

       

       

       

      How should you brew it?

      The brewing period is also an important factor while making Tea. An infusion of less than five minutes allows only the extraction of 20% of Catechins. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to brew it for minimum 8-10 minutes.

      Tea is an exquisite medicine that may prolong human life. The mountain country and the valleys where tea grow is holy and powerful. If you collect the young shoots, use them to brew tea and then drink the beverage, you will enjoy a long life. –EisaiKissa Yojoki (“Drinking tea for health”)

      In summary, Green Tea contains large amount of Catechins, compound that boast many anti-cancer properties, and prevent you with various other diseases. If you do not like it’s taste or you have hard time adjusting to it’s taste, you can add little bit of Honey or any sweetener or a dash of fresh lemon juice to make it taste better. The tea master Sen-no-Rikyu said that the ritual of tea consisted of nothing more than act of boiling water, making tea, and drinking it. With all that we have learned since then, we can add a fourth action to the master’s list : Keeping us healthy.

      Love and peace always,

      Ankita

       

      How I connected back to my soul…..

      How I connected back to my soul…..

      Years ago, I came across an article which talked about soul satisfaction. The writer had experienced how using meditation, she connected back to her soul.  It was like a homecoming for her.

      Just a brief overview and I was eager enough to scroll. ‘Soul connection!’ -it sounded to be an alien term to me.

      It can happen only to sages and saints. No! It’s not for you, for me, it’s their world!

      It’s not that I did not believe in God, but I never had time to connect to the Universe. For me, God was only there when I had to crib and I needed someone to blame. ‘You don’t love me eh? I did not get this job? Why? Why are my things not getting sorted?’

      I turned blind to all the good things and would curse my destiny for all the bad things happening.

      I was not living my life, rather crawling through it.

      I remember, someone once told me about a miraculous story of how she got a job. I made fun of him showing in all the logics and calculations behind his success. Miracles do not happen, not on this earth at least!

      In short, I was someone who believed that I am here to live forever, old people have always been old, you can exploit your body for whatever reason you can and it would say nothing, and you are here on this planet to work, get married, have kids, get them married and die!

      Life changed after I miscarried. Not everything looked the same!

      Losing the first child was bad. Also, it did not fit my sequence of marrying and having kids. There was physical trauma, and a mental one too though I did not realize it then.

      Weeks later after my appointment with my doctor, I was heartbroken only to know that my baby had a heartbeat. I felt like a part of me was lost. The thought that it was more than a flesh hit me hard.

      I restlessly looked for some relief, for an answer to my questions!

      Why did this happen to me?

      Is there something more beyond this life?

      Can things change so suddenly for anyone? My friends still have the same happy life though!

      If the sequence of my life is not the one, I thought of or not the one everyone does, why am I here?

      While everyone in my friend circle was planning for kids, switching jobs, and having fun, I was trying to solve the puzzle of life.

      I still remember the day; I closed my eyes for praying. This time, it was different. It was not to curse the universe, not to ask something from God, and not to lure him by saying, ‘I will do this if you give me this.’

      I just kept quiet.

      I got a strong surge of emotions. It was different, it was divine. The flow of energy I had never experienced before! There were emotions I wanted to vent out but beneath it was something very calming, very peaceful. 

      Those few moments of calmness were enough to understand what a soul connection meant. Those moments of stability had an unsaid communication with me saying, ‘Things are Okay. You will be fine. Everything will be fine’. I started looking for more of those moments. It was like something I had never experienced before. Though it did not have answers to all my questions, it gave me something I craved for.

      There I started learning more about meditation. With 3 months of continuous practice, I could understand what is meant by ‘Homecoming’.

      A calmer mind would give all the space to question my existence. With time, I learnt about how powerful prayers could be. I was widening my spiritual dimensions by meditation, prayers, reading books, writing.

      There was more to life than to just run for a 9-5 job, have kids, and die! I learnt that everything which makes you feel lively is like a soul food. And we are here to see colours of life, learn from the mistakes, awaken our buried creativity and make the best of what life has to offer!

      I do not regret my past, I do not regret not knowing what life was about, for whatever happened paved the way for where I am, and I am really proud that I am moving, and growing.

      I believe we all need to broaden our spiritual dimension to feel alive!Many of us do it unknowingly, they do everything they love which keeps them alive and glowing.

      But there are a certain set of people like me who was busy sorting out life and fixing its problem, and such people need a soul connection.

      While there are ways to awaken yourself, it’s important to recognize what works for you. ‘Listening to music’, ‘Reading books’, ‘Walking in Nature’, ‘Dancing’- it can be anything.

      Following are the things you can try:

      • Sitting in the park or outside for 10 minutes while listening to birds chirping.
      • Sitting idle in a chair or bed for a few minutes, and thinking about all the beautiful memories of past starting from childhood.
      • Dedicating a couple of minutes to do what you love. It can be as small as reading a book or gardening.
      • Praying for 10 minutes while connecting to the universe.
      • Taking out some time in the evening with your favorite coffee while watching the clouds moving.

      While these are the things which have worked for me, you can definitely find something better, more natural to you. But the bottom line remains the same.

      Connecting back to ourselves is like charging our battery, it is important to charge it before the light gets so dim that we get misguided by the puzzles of life!