Articles, Lifestyle

The Inner Self

I’m the kind of person who speaks her mind most of the time. It doesn’t mean that I am loud or extroverted but rather open about my thoughts and opinions. They translate into words but also into paintings, articles, movements. I’m being myself. When I don’t feel well, I’m on the contrary very quiet. 

When I feel at my lowest, I often have the feeling that I am disconnected from my inner self. I tend to put aside everything that I like, everything that gives me energy and feel even more depleted. The inner self is who you really are, what are your purpose, values, vision, beliefs, motivations and goals. 

When I was younger I had a hard time finding my way, deciding which path to follow was hard and I often felt like I also had to please those around me. Lately, I felt like I had lost myself in relationships by putting another person’s interests before mine. Maybe this can resonate with you too.

Sometimes we distance ourselves from our inner selves to please others. We put masks on, we try to be someone else. Sometimes it is simply our ego speaking: we want to prove ourselves, our worth, we want to win at everything. 

Not only is it useless as it can only last a short while, but it is also counterproductive for our personal happiness. There are no benefits in comparing ourselves to others or doing something for the wrong reasons. We should rather listen to our own heart’s desires and do things because we feel like doing them. It doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes, it’s necessary to teach us through experience. 


Distancing myself from my inner self repeatedly taught me valuable lessons. 

I came to realize that I am the happiest when I am true to my Inner self. This means when I trust my intuition, follow the path of self-discovery and when I do the things that I feel like doing instead of the things I think I am supposed to do. I’m also more at peace. Being true to my inner self became a priority. To reconnect with my Inner self I did (and am still doing) a lot of introspection. Finding your inner self requires both introspection and awareness. Once you do find your inner self, you can just be yourself. 

From experience I understood the importance of just being myself, no matter if it doesn’t please those around me. When you are being yourself, you attract those who will feel your energy, and feel you in general. In the end, you’ll surround yourself with people who will support you and love you for who you really are

I discovered that the law of attraction perfectly refers to this. It can be described as the ability to attract in our lives whatever we are focusing on. It supposes that the power of the mind can materialize our thoughts into reality. Basically whatever we have in mind is achievable.

Let’s say you’re having a very bad day and you send out a lot of negativity around you, ranting and being unpleasant to others. You’ll probably attract a lot of negativity back. As human beings we send out our emotions and thoughts and attract more back. It is therefore essential that we check on our own thoughts and emotions.

If we fail to do so, we might send out the wrong messages and attract unwanted things back. Same things goes with intentionally sending wrong messages to try to please people. Whatever we receive back won’t be aligned with our desires. Every decision we make in our lives, good ones as bad ones, have been the result of our thoughts and emotions, and have been determining factors

The law of attract is said to go way back, originally been taught by Buddha himself:

“ What you have become is what you have thought ”

My intention is not to serve you some inspirational life guidelines that you can find in personal development podcasts. I rather think that we are entirely responsible for our own happiness. While we can seek external help for advice and guidance, this work is in the end, very personal

My intention is rather to remind you that in your life, possibilities are endless. Once we do understand that, we realize that we are and always will be, as long as we are living, able to make different choices and decisions. It’s an essential thing to be aware of who we really are and of all the possibilities that exist. It is difficult to learn and to remember,  especially when things are not going well. In dark times it is easy to think that worries and sorrow will last forever. Just remember it won’t.

Stay true to yourself, trust your intuition. To reconnect with your inner self, you can try meditating, going inwards is a great way to find balance. You can also simply pursue things you love. Be gentle with yourself, trust yourself, the process never ends, it is a lifelong journey.

Food, Vegan, Veggie

Masala Chai recipe (Vegetarian/Vegan)

I’m a tea fanatic, I drink tea every day in winter and in summer. My ultimate favorite is Chai masala. The best ones I’ve had were in India. It’s actually one of the best memory I keep from my first visit in this country. My friend and I could simply not stop ourselves from having a masala chai break whenever we could.

In Europe we often order Chai tea, chai tea latte. Originally, in Hindi Chai means “tea” and masala means spice. That’s why in India we call this beverage Chai masala (spiced tea). An authentic Chai masala is not just tea, it’s a strong, sweet, silky, delicious drink, traditionally made with black tea, thick buffalo milk and way too much sugar. What makes it special is the use of spices.

In India, each person has its own recipe and unique combination and it can be tasted at every single corner. There is no right way nor perfect way to make Chai masala, if like me you’re an addict, you can simply find your own perfect combination. Here’s mine…

Preparation time: 20 min

Servings: 2 people


Ingredients

  • Fresh ginger roots
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cup of water (1/4 L)
  • Organic black leaf tea (2 tablespoons) or 2 black tea bags
  • 1 cup of milk (soy, oat, almond, coconut – as you prefer)
  • 1.5 tablespoon of coconut sugar / agave syrup

Preparation

  1. Cut the ginger in slices. Add as much as you want. I usually put a lot of ginger because I really like the extra spiciness
  2. Crush the spices (cardamom pods, cloves, anis)
  3. Bring 1 cup of water to boil
  4. Add the crushed spices, ginger slices and the tea to the water. Let it boil for 2 minutes, then let it steep on a low flame for about 10 min.
  5. Add 1 cup of milk and bring the tea to simmer again for a couple minutes. For a thicker, richer tea, use less water and more milk.
  6. Sweeten your tea by adding the coconut sugar or agave syrup.
  7. Strain and serve


Notes

I prefer to use organic soy or oat milk, wereas the indian tradition would rather be to use whole milk. Choose what you like most.

To sweeten my tea I like to use 1.5 tablespoon coconut sugar or a dosis of agave syrup. You can choose to add brown sugar instead.

Yoga

Essential oils & how to use them for yoga/meditation

I have been exploring alternative medicine options for a while. Two years ago, I healed an otitis in a couple days using only essential oils. Since then I use essential oils every day for different purposes. I integrated them in my yoga and meditation practice as well. There are so many benefits, I wish I had started using them sooner.

Essential oils are basically compounds extracted from plants. Generally extracted by distillation, they are used in aromatherapy, a form of alternative medicine that employs plant extracts to support well-being and health.

Essential oils can be inhaled (vaporized, diffused) or diluted and applied on the skin (using a carrier oil or in a bath). Some (not all – be careful) can be ingested.

Aromatherapy is used to induce relaxation but also to treat health conditions such as:


Stress, anxiety
Headaches, migraines
Insomnia
Inflammation, infections
Stomach aches, indigestion, constipation
Skin conditions

Essential oils have various spiritual properties, and can be used in spiritual rituals (meditation, prayers, chakras balancing) with different purposes: grounding, cleansing/purifying, expressing gratitude, enlightenment, aiding spirituality etc. Finally, essential oils can be used daily to freshen up laundry or clean surfaces for example. Here are my favorites:

Patchouli

Probably my favorite. Very distinct smell: a mix of woody, earthy, sweet yet spicy fragrance.

Medicinal properties: Anti-inflammatory, treat skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, eczema, anxiety, stomach ache, constipation, indigestion, fatigue, Insomnia, insecticide, antifungal, antibacterial

Spiritual properties: Stimulation of the conscious mind. Clears the environmental energies (perfect for yoga and meditation practice). One of the most effective aphrodisiacs.

Chakras: First (root) chakra: healing feelings of separation, isolation
Second (sacral) chakra: helping with impotence, feelings of uncertainty, lack of confidence
Third (solar plexus) chakra: relieving nervous tension, stress
Seventh (crown) charkra: quieting the mind

Lavender

Floral, fresh, sweet, slightly fruity fragance. This essential oil gives a feelings of relaxation and happinness.

Medicinal properties: acne, allergies, stress and anxiety, asthma, burns, cystitis, depression, headache and migraines, hypertension, insect Bites/repellent, labor pains, rheumatism, stretch marks, vertigo

Spiritual properties: relaxing body, mind, and soul. Opening to spiritual healing. Increasing awareness. Balance, harmony, and inner-peace.

Chakras: Fourth (heart) chakra: opening the heart
Seventh (crown) chakra: connection with the spirit

Frankincense

Woodsy, spicy fragrance

Medicinal properties: Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, cicatrisant, diuretic, expectorant

Spiritual properties: Emotional detox, balancing and purifying, intuition and spiritual connection

Chakra: Sixth (thrid eye) chakra: obtain spiritual wisdom.

Cedar wood

Woodsy, warm aroma that creates a relaxing and comforting atmosphere


Medicinal properties: Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, diuretic, insecticidal, antifungal


Spiritual properties: Energy purifier, toxic emotions release, spiritual growth. Increases feelings of love, protection and purpose.

Chakra: First (Root) chakra : connect our energy to the energy of the earth. Increases stability, sensuality, and survival feelings.


Tea tree: perfect to treat skin conditions, I use it daily for acne
Lemon: antiseptic, disinfectant. Add a few drops in water to clean your floors and surfaces.
Eucalyptus: purifying, cleansing, clarifying, immune-boosting
Peppermint: cold, headaches. You can try putting a few drops on a tissue for inhalation when you’re having a flu.
Ravintsara: cough, cold.
Rosemary: boost mental functions.

Oil blends for yoga and meditation

Aromatherapy can be easily used during a meditation or yoga session. Rubbing a few drops of oils onto your skin can help you relax, go inwards and enjoy the practice differently. Blending oils will positively affect your mood and your mind. Apply a few drops on your wrist or on your neck before the beginning of your practice.

Here are some examples of blends for your practice:

Lavender, cedar wood and patchouli:
Deep relaxation, reduce-stress
Perfect for meditation or a yin or hatha yoga session

Orange, lemon, grapefruit, lime
Boost your energy
Perfect for ashtanga

Rosemary, lavender
Deep focus, calms the mind
Perfect for meditation

Sweet Orange, Tea Tree, Lavender
Happiness
Perfect for meditation and all types of yoga

Lavender, Chamomile, Cedarwood
Deep relaxation
Perfect for meditation, yin yoga, savasana

BUYING ESSENTIAL OILS

Tips:

  • Avoid essential oils diluted with vegetable oil. Watch out for ‘fragrance oil” “nature identical oil”, “perfume oil” terms. You want pure, non synthetic oils. Put a drop of oil on a piece of paper, if the drop leaves an oily ring the oil is not pure.
  • Buy essential oils sold in dark glass bottles. Avoid clear glass or plastic bottles (spoils the oil)
  • Look for detailed information about the oils and background (origine, content).

Shop essential oils in The Netherlands

Doterra : https://www.doterra.com/NL/en_NL

Holland and Barrett: https://www.hollandandbarrett.com/shop/natural-beauty/aromatherapy-home/pure-essential-oils/

Yoga

30 min outdoor yoga session with me

I’ve recorded a 30 min outdoor yoga session. It’s available in English on my YouTube channel as well.

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The session was not prepared but spontaneous, I went with the flow and moved how my body felt like moving, enjoying some morning sun (sound on for birds chirping ) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I’m not a certified yoga teacher, not pretending to be. My teacher training in India is postponed due to the covid situation. But I thought.. why not sharing anyway? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Yoga has so many benefits, both for the physical and mental heath. Wellbeing is very important, especially these days. This video is about sharing a happy and relaxing moment with you, maybe invite you to move a bit with me. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Stay healthy, stay happy
Namaste 🙏🏼 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀