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"Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary" - Cecil BeatonRead more..

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Hello there!

We're Hani Khaursar and Sandra Leong this is our blog about the discipline of pursuing your bliss successfully. You can find us online below. We can be friends :D

Wednesday
Mar282012

Loving that (wo)man in the mirror

There is more to sex appeal then just measurements. I don't need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much sex appeal picking apples off a tree, or standing in the rain.

                                                                                                     - Audrey Hepburn

  

If you were to take a picture of yourself today, right now, you would look at it and most likely have something critical to say about the way you looked.Too fat, a little spotty, my face isn't symmetrical, the curl of my lip makes me look mildly retarded, and why on earth do my nostrils go into a flare everytime I smile?!

Fast forward another 10 years or so, and I promise that when you look at that picture, you'd think you were just so beautiful (skinny, vibrant, happy, etc) back then.

See, I think we've been hard-wired to criticise.

Everyone likes to find something wrong with everyone else, and since the way a person's looks is their first line of defense in the big bad world, it is the first thing that comes under fire.

As much as you and I would like to deny it, it is a rare and beautiful moment when a woman (this doesn't apply to men as they typically abstain from passing cursory remarks about their fellow peers appearances for fear of appearing bro-inclined) concedes that another woman is gorgeous.

Not pretty with fat thighs. Not conventionally beautiful in a way you didn't find particularly attractive. Not really sexy but looking like a difficult woman. Just beautiful.

If we are hard on others, we are even harder on ourselves. The harder we are on others, the harder we are on ourselves.

They say life is a journey. I say for a lot of us, life is a never-ending tiptoe and reach for the perfect physical ideal. We are constantly prepping and polishing ourselves to impenetrable perfection, so a lot of the times, we miss that journey. It passed us by while we were on a diet.

So how do we feel beautiful all day every day without subsisting on a diet of self-loathing?

Here are a few tips from my personal feel hot book:

1) Learn to love that (wo)man in the mirror, faults and all

No one's perfect. Some women are freaks of nature and walk around looking permanently airbrushed and whippet like in all the right places, but even they find fault with themselves.

If our self-love were to be entirely dependent on our perfection, then it would probably end where our bellies begin.

I have a girlfriend who has a freaky looking earlobe. It's two-pronged. I asked her about it one day and she burst out laughing and declared that it was where she housed her camel toe.

I've never given that earlobe a second glance since.

Moral of the story? Learn to love your imperfections, and learn to laugh at yourself. There is nothing more attractive than a woman with a wicked sense of humor.

2) If you have nothing nice to say, plead the fifth!

The words that come out of our mouths are merely an expression of the thoughts that we allow to fester in our minds. By saying what we think out loud, we provide affirmation to these thoughts.

I strongly believe that we criticize in others the things we most loathe in ourselves. In other words, the more catty little remarks we pass about others, the more faults we find with ourselves.

So the next time you find yourself thinking nasty things about someone, stop yourself. Try instead to pick out a positive attribute about that person you're eyeballing, and verbalize that instead.

Importantly, don't forget to do that for yourself next time you look in the mirror.

3) Spend quality time with your mind, body and breath

Beautiful girls are the girls most in tune with themselves.

Through my years of teaching yoga, I've come to learn that most women with body image issues are typically self-conscious, awkward and extremely uncomfortable with the expression of their physical bodies. It's as though their minds are disconnected from their bodies.

Please note that this is not a criticism, merely an observation.

When we spend time focusing our minds inwards towards the sensation of our bodies and breath, we realize the endless capacity of our bodies and begin a relationship with ourselves that transcend the superficial.

It takes quality time spent with your mind, body and breath in order to develop a healthy and harmonious relationship between the three.

It takes time spent with ourselves in reflection and sensation to realize the worth of our bodies beyond what we see in the mirror.

Don't believe me? Pick up yoga, join a dance class, start going for runs or whatever else strikes your fancy and try it!

Friday
Mar232012

Living the dream isn't that easy

The way in which a man accepts his faith and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he keeps up his cross, gives him ample opportunity - even under the most difficult circumstances - to add a deeper meaning to his life.

- Viktor E. Frankl

Free falling, that's how it feels like...

See that quote above? Well, that's not me. When faced with adversity I crumbled like a 2 day old cake. I went from being a cheerful, positive, open-minded person to becoming an evil bitch. Yes. Seriously. I didn't like me very much. When I moved to Spain over a year ago I thought I'd rock it! In my (very active) imagination, people would swoon in awe at the awesomeness that is me. Yes, modesty thy name is not Hani.

Of course it was nothing like I dreamt it would be. In fact, it sucked. For me. I didn't speak the language, the culture was so different, I missed my family, friends and lifestyle not to mention the FOOD! And it seemed like everything I had taken for granted back home were just not available as easily here. 

Who was this whiny, complaining, controlling person? I asked myself.

Then I met a someone who told me wisely, "Ah you've been here a year? Don't worry, it'll all get better from here! It takes about a year for you to acclimatize yourself"

What?? I didn't know other people go through this as well! Then I felt ashamed thinking of all the other people who went through this with much more grace than I! 

In hindsight, now that  I am back to awesome (note to self: work on modesty issues) the past year has been such a rewarding, learning experience for me. I've grown so damn much I am energetically bigger than I used to be.

Some of the things I've learnt:

  1. When it comes to friends, hold out for the good ones! When in a new place it is tempting to be-friend any one who will speak to you and whilst I encourage meeting as many new people as possible hold out for the great ones to take as BFFs. I cannot stress this enough. It will save you so much headache in the future! It took a while but I finally have a good set of friends who sincerely enjoy my company as much as I enjoy theirs!
  2. Recognize that some of your reactions are from your past. I remember feeling like I had 'regressed' in the way I reacted to certain things. Then it struck me, when faced with situations that my mind classified as 'fear' I would regress to how I would react to things as a child! Things were so foreign to me that it was the only way I knew how to behave. When I realised this, it allowed me to actively choose the way I chose to react.
  3. Figure out what you need to 'learn' in your life. It was very hard to give up control on my life and trust someone else to take charge since I had always been a DIY kinda girl back home. So my lesson was to sit back and trust, let go and allow someone else take care of me. It helps to have a bit of a ponder on what exactly you are supposed to learn from all the twists and turns coming your way. The quicker you get it, the better it will be for you!
  4. If there is a new language to learn, learn is ASAP!! Learning Spanish opened so many more doors for me and yet in the beginning, it took me forever to decide to take classes! Now not only can I speak to random strangers (which I am wont to do), I can do a lot of things by myself which brings me great joy!! :D Hani is a big girl now!
  5. True passion will always remain. I say this because when I was feeling down, I remember thinking, "I don't know what I want to do??!" Even though Filmmaking and performing has been a passion of mine since childhood. But once I overcame, my passion returned without a doubt. So, true passion, will always remain no matter what...
  6. Remember point (1) ? Well, if it weren't for my old friend from back home, this experience would've sucked a LOT more. So making good friends goes a loooong way.
  7. And finally know that it won't last. Allow yourself to feel your emotions and work on your issues but not be defined by them. At the time I felt like such a failure because I seemed to be the only one who couldn't 'hack' it, but really, it was just my way of working through my 'issues'. Now I can hardly believe I felt that way.

So, these are some of the things I learnt and I keep discovering more and more as I meditate on my life! To be fair it wasn't all bad, I had a lot of great experiences but now.. it's even better :D This article has been highly personal and I thought long and hard about writing it. But what the hell, it's not who you were but who you are now that matters. And who knows, if it helps others going though the same thing, all the better!

Have you moved to a new place? Something been bugging you? Tell me in the comments! Or if you have any tips to share on moving, let me know as well! :D

xoxo!