In this blog post, I will share with you three lessons on love that I took from the movie and book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
This week I reviewed one of my non-fictional favourite movies. It might have been the third or fourth time I watched, but it is amazing how we always find different nuggets of wisdom each time we watch or read something again.
I took some days off from work and I came to Lisbon. I don’t know why I keep doing this – I am living abroad for three years now and every time I take some time off I come here, only to find the same stressful situation: I can’t relax over here.
Now that my parents live in the middle of nowhere, it is even worse. I don’t go anywhere because I don’t drive and I don’t have a car. The internet is as slow as it used to be two decades ago and I don’t have a private space where I can hear the silence and take a deep breath. And to make everything better, my iPhone died by the time I got here and I haven’t been even able to go outside and record some content.
I know I’m overreacting; of course I am. I should be happy and content with the amount of green space I have around me and the fact that the sun has been out all the time. The truth is that in two weeks I haven’t been able to relax and I can’t wait to go back home, a place I know it’s going to annoy me again soon because I share the house with three men and I’m tired of bumping into them in the kitchen, in the stairs, and every time I’m desperate to use the toilet. In other words, I’m fed up with pretty much everything and right now I’m annoyed by the non-stop barking of the dogs outside and the neighbours fighting with each other pretty loud.
I’m listening to the radio and there is a Portuguese song playing that gently reminds me that I have been this grumpy since my last serious relationship started to crumble. That scarily goes back to… 2012. I need to make a trip to that time and sort myself out but I have been avoiding to do that.
The song is about having “a love for a lifetime”. And I lost mine.
We would have been together for 8 years next month.
Yesterday I saw an Instagram post with shrimps… I ended up craving it and bought some prawns today. However, I was craving something with an asiatic twist and so I put my imagination to work a little bit. I embedded the prawns in sesame oil and chia seeds and served them on a bed of spinach and pineapple. The final and secret ingredient was really the Sweet Chilli Thai sauce.
Here’s what you are going to need:
a dozen of prawns (I got mine from Iceland)
sesame oil (easy to find at Aldi’s)
chia seeds (easy to find at Aldi’s)
two pineapple slices (canned)
Here’s how I did it:
pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees
in a bowl, put the prawns, add some sesame oil, a little bit of himalayan salt and a sprinkle of chia seeds
mix all the ingredients together and make sure the prawns are well coated
put some kitchen foil in a trail and distribute the prawns evenly
put the prawns to bake and reserve the bowl to the side
use the same bowl (don’t wash it!) and cut some spinach leafs into it
cut the pineapple slides in squares and add it to the bowl as well
mix the spinach and pineapple – the sesame oil and chia seeds left from the prawns should be enough to temper the salad
remove the prawns from the oven when you’re happy with their look
place the prawns on the spinach bed and…
finish the plate by dressing the prawns with some Sweet Chilli Thai Sauce
This is by far one of my favourites! Let me know if you decide to try it. I personally think I’m going to repeat it again tomorrow!
Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas – a holy season for some and certainly a special event to gather the whole family for many other. However, and as with everything in life, this can be either perceived as a good thing, if you have a good relationship with your family, or a bad thing, if conflict is more present than not, and thus you don’t fancy this season at all.
The good news is that changing the way we perceive reality changes the way we feel and respond to it as well. Therefore, if Christmas is not such a pleasant time for you, using the following strategies can help you to cope better and save you from some of the distress and dread that may come with this holiday.
When we’re under stress, it’s hard to have a good time. A way to improve our mental state and our mood is to think about what we are grateful for in life. From little details to bigger achievements, when we go through such milestones and memories it’s like we are automatically uplifted. This happens because as we recall such positive events we somehow relive them mentally and we produce the same hormones as we did in the first time. Plus, we put a stop in what is feeding our negative outlook.
If you’re familiar with mindfulness, savouring will be an easy concept to put in practise. Savouring is all that we do or think that intensifies the positive benefits of a moment, either by extending its duration and/or enriching its quality. This sounds good but still rather abstract, right? To help you out, here are some concrete savouring strategies that you can use: share what you’re feeling in the moment with others, increase your sensory perception (e.g. pay attention to smells and sounds), and focus on the good side of the situation. In sum, everything you do to enrich your moment to moment experience will allow you to savour the present and also build up more vivid memories that you can recall in the future and feel grateful for.
In line with savouring, appreciation means that you focus on the good side of people or the situation you’re in instead of solely paying attention to what is wrong or not so positive. For instances, if people start moaning around you or chatting about all the bad things that are going on, either remove yourself from the conversation or decide not to contribute to the shared negativity. You can also opt for driving the conversation to something more positive – after all, it’s Christmas and it’s time to celebrate the good deeds.