“That was a good one, yeah?!” A man with a beige fishers hat and a proper English accent asked as I paddled past him. “Yeah,” I said, “But I think I didn’t take it so well.”
As soon as the words left my mouth, I thought, “No, no .. why the added doubt”?
In the same moment, I saw my thought reflected in the puzzled look that had now appeared on the man’s face. “But.., you were on it,” he said.
How have you been? 😍
On my 10-day silent meditation course, I had several momentary insights. Insights, which before this 10-day experience, were just uninternalized quotes and cliches that hadn’t hit home.
One of these insights was that we are already enough.
Staring at the bushes and trees in front of me, unwilling and unable to move for a minute or so, I felt complete.
In that short window, I understood there was nothing else that I could or needed to do to justify my existence.
I didn’t need to do another spin-off, or read another self-help book, or get better at this or that.
For the first time in my life, and maybe the last, I couldn’t possibly be more than I already was by just being.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that experience lately, and also, about that man and that wave.
And I’ve started paying close attention to my inner doubts and the never-ending never-enoughs.
I’m trying not to let any negative thought pass by carelessly. And when one does come up, I analyze it and rationalize it, in the same way, I would do for a friend who’s criticizing herself.
I’m forgiving myself, caring for myself.
And yes, I was on that wave. It’s enough. And, yes, it was a good one.
Here are my current favorites that are helping me to be a little more nourishing to myself.
Hair Product I’m Actually Liking
🧖🏻♀️ Ouai Hair Oil
This hair oil defines my waves beautifully and gives them a subtle gloss too. The product also doubles as an overnight hair mask. Plus, whenever I rub it between my hands, the whiff of Ylang Ylang always makes me pause for a moment and reminds me to breathe in, and out, in, … and out.
Fats I’m Devouring
🥄 Fix & Fogg Crunchy Almond Butter
If I could get away with it, that is, without my Cronometer setting off a fire alarm, I think I could spoon out half a jar under a minute.
While on the ketogenic diet, I found out that not every olive oil is all that great. The healthy ones are made of 100% olive juice (also called 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil or EVOO). While the not-so-healthy-others are blended with refined olive oils (often marketed as “light” olive oils).
The Cobram Estate olive oils, however, are made of olive sap only. I first discovered their Extra Virgin Olive Oil · Classic in Canggu, Bali (where’s it’s oddly enough easier to find good olive oil than good coconut oil). It was love at first gulp. I now also have their “Light Flavour” EVOO and “Première” range EVOO.
Related reading: Everything I Know About Fasting & Going Keto
Ritual I’m Loving
🍵 Preparing Oolong tea kung-fu style
The Gongfu Tea Ceremony is a traditional way of making tea. Simplified (tea purists, please look away), it comes down to brewing the same amount of tea leaves multiple times in a tiny teapot.
The traditional style is rather elaborate though (I’m yet to manage to watch a YouTube tutorial until the end), so I’ve adopted a more casual style. Here’s my take on it:
Add 5 grams of loose Oolong tea in a small cup or glass (pre-heated for a yellow belt), pour 100ml of boiling water (100°C) over the leaves, let it all steep for a minute, then strain. Repeat the process with the same tea leaves about five times or less.
One of the teas I’m enjoying a lot right now is the Duck Shit Dancong (yup 🦆 💩) from Pekoe & Imp. The tea workshops I did with Pekoe & Imp, by the way, were also one of my 2017 favorites.
Service I’m Experimenting With
📋 Okay Relax · Virtual Assistant Service
Since last summer, I have had a dedicated virtual assistant. Her name is Jenny, and judging by the unrecognized login alerts I get, I’d say she lives in the Philippines.
Most of the time, I ask Jenny to find and research things on the wide ol’ web, fight customer services, and place orders.
Right now, she’s also helping me to archive my travel posts. And, indirectly, Jenny is teaching me what it means to be an employer, and with that, how to be a better employee.
Words of a Poem I’m Pondering
🔖 “Keeping Quiet” by Pablo Neruda via Brain Pickings
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
With love and crates of avocados,