image of chocolate in a post on decoding chocolate cravings by Haripriya Suraj in When Spirit Meets Science
energy medicine, self love, when spirit meets science

Decoding Chocolate Cravings

There is something very comforting about the sensation of chocolate melting in your mouth!

While there may be many physiological and/or psychological reasons for chocolate cravings, I personally find that I crave chocolate when I am under stress or am having to juggle multiple responsibilities at once.

Being a mom to an active ten-year-old plus a super active toddler keeps me on my feet each day!

The current spike in Covid cases has made schooling go virtual again, which means more work than usual for parents. Apart from constantly ensuring that my son is focused during class time, there’s more homework to oversee, more sibling squabbles to handle through the day, and bigger messes to clean up around the house.

On the one hand, it does feel amazing to have the beautiful energy of children light up your home. You get to enjoy kisses, hugs, joy, laughter, innocence, and playfulness throughout the day. On the other hand, it can also be exhausting in some ways and you end up feeling like you need a break from all the noisy activity and clutter. If you are a parent, you most certainly understand what I mean!

On most days, I do have my family oversee the kids for a while so I can take some time off. But there are days when I am the sole caregiver throughout the day.

Recently, I had one such day. I was on parenting duty from morning until night. When my husband finally arrived and I was able to enjoy some solitude, I began to crave chocolate!

I stood near the refrigerator pondering if I was reaching out to chocolate for the right reasons.

I asked myself if I should give in to my craving or manage it with grit and determination and allow it to pass naturally.

And you know what?

I chose to give in to the craving!

My reasons for doing so –

From the perspective of health, I would have been concerned if I had felt the need to eat an entire bar of chocolate. Since Reiki practice helps me stay very tuned in to my body, I am very conscious of what I put into my body, and also how much. As far as chocolate is concerned, all I ever eat is one piece or a maximum of two (if the pieces are tiny). And I have no medical conditions that make chocolate a no-no. As I understand, a small amount of chocolate is not harmful to my body in any way.

From the psychological and energetic perspectives, I had had a difficult day, laced with some bitter moments.

So was I craving some sweetness on the subconscious level? Possibly.

Would this amount to comfort eating? Most likely.

While I am certainly not for comfort eating as a routine, I am OK with it as an occasional indulgence. I am human. I believe it is OK to indulge ourselves in small ways at times. If a piece of chocolate can help me re-connect to the sweetness of life on difficult days, then so be it! It’s not like every day is difficult.

And guess what?

I did feel lighter and energised after allowing myself this small sugary indulgence.

After spending the evening being ‘Snappy Mom,’ to my children ‘I was back to being ‘Happy Mom!’

I hope this article inspires you to decode your chocolate cravings!

This is an image showing unconditional love in a blog post on love by Haripriya Suraj in the blog When Spirit Meets Science
self love

Love Is All That Matters

Have you ever noticed that adversity softens the heart spontaneously?

Be it a family member diagnosed with a serious illness, a friend that lost a loved one, a sick puppy on the roadside or a neighbour whose marriage broke down, crises make us put differences aside and reach out to others in love and compassion. Often, we also feel the pain and suffering of fellow human beings, almost as if they were our own.

I wonder what blocks the flow of love during the more routine phases of life.

Is it the unrealistic expectations we place on ourselves or others?

Is it the reluctance to accept that we are human and imperfect?

Is it the inability to acknowledge our difficult emotions and vulnerabilities?

Is it perceived differences and attitudes of ‘them vs us?’

Or a combination of several factors?

No matter what, as long as we still have some capacity to feel love and compassion, everything is not lost.

Healing the heart is seen as a significant milestone on the spiritual path.

Unconditional love is an experience many yearn for.

In truth, unconditional love is the only kind of love that exists.

Unconditional is the nature of love itself.

However, as humans, we have created the concept of ‘conditional love.’ This can feel safer and comfortable to many of us. Experiencing unconditional love requires us to accept people as they are, flaws and differences being part of the package. This isn’t always easy considering the kind of conditioning and baggage many of us carry.

Sharing unconditional love with self may be a good starting point. Being unconditional with ourselves can make it easier to offer the same to others.

This can be taken further by extending unconditional love to the people closest to us.

For instance, can you love your spouse or romantic partner unconditionally, despite the differences between the two of you? Can you accept her or him with all their flaws and quirks?

What about your children, if you have any?

Please note that while the experience of unconditional love is a wonderful milestone to work towards, it does not imply that one has to put up with unreasonable or abusive behaviour. If you have to be firm and draw boundaries in a relationship, it must be done without hesitation. In cases of abuse, external help may need to be sought. Even if you love an abusive person unconditionally, if they do not mend their behaviour, they may have to be let go of. All of this is the logical aspect of life and is the sane thing to do.

But wherever applicable, unconditional love is a state that all of us deserve to experience in our lifetime.

In the presence of unconditional love, differences pale into insignificance, rigid boundaries dissolve, hearts unite, minds come into peace and life flows with ease.

Does anything else matter if love can be primary?

Love is all that matters!

This is an image of Haripriya Suraj in an article on Inner Child Healing in the blog When Spirit Meets Science
inner child, personal, reiki, self love, when spirit meets science

Bad Days: A Doorway To Healing

Have you ever had one of those days when a slight disruption in the morning sets off an explosive chain of negative happenings unfolding through the day?

Routines are shaken up unexpectedly, people you depend on don’t turn up when required most, gadgets malfunction mysteriously and you stub your toe to make things worse!

And we may then say we are having a ‘bad day.’

These bad days, while truly annoying on the surface, often offer hidden opportunities for growth and healing.

I believe these bad days are partly the result of the Law of Attraction at work.

In New Thought Circles, we believe we attract people, circumstances and situations we deeply resonate with, consciously or subconsciously.

In other words, our outer world is often a reflection of our inner world.

So, on days when it seems like everything’s going wrong, it may help to tune in to our inner world and check on what’s brewing there.

I recently had one of these days. I was frustrated and angry from the break of dawn.

I knew my reaction was disproportionate to what was actually unfolding in my reality.

When time did not heal my negative feelings and I continued to feel that way well into the afternoon, I realised I had to take matters into my own hands and work on healing myself.

I lit a few candles and meditated for a while. I then picked up my journal and began to write down everything that was bothering me.

I wrote and wrote until I reached a point where I couldn’t write further.

The final point in my writing revealed I was being anxious about my child for specific reasons.

When I delved even deeper, I discovered my anxiety was nothing to do with my child per se but more to do with my ‘inner child.’ I had been projecting my subconscious fears onto my child and this was causing me to feel frustrated and angry that day.

This is the point when we say we have touched the ‘root cause of an issue.’

As tears of joy and relief streamed down my face, I took the opportunity to connect to my own inner child, the little girl of nine or ten I was years ago, and comforted her.

I hugged her (represented by a soft toy) and told her she will be alright, and that she deserves the best that life has to offer.

I then tore into pieces the paper on which I had vented my feelings. This is symbolic of release and letting go of something you don’t need anymore.

I felt light as a feather after doing this Inner Child Work.

I felt wonderful that I got to be my own therapist that day and that I made the choice to set right that which was going wrong. This was the gift my ‘bad day’ offered to me.

It was a joy to connect baggage-free with my own children again!

This is an image of relxation in the post on Reiki& Going with the Flow by Haripriya Suraj
energy medicine, reiki, self love, Spirit

Going With The Flow Of Life & Reiki

After a week spent doing much creative work, I suddenly felt saturated to the brim.

And stuck…

I could not pick up my pen to journal nor my laptop to blog.

A part of me was distressed wondering what was happening.

When I tuned in to my inner voice, it whispered I had to let it all go for a day and simply be.

The body followed suit and got me feeling all achy and sore.

I knew I had to take a day off and give both my physical as well as creative muscles time to recharge.

My personal Reiki time felt extra special for I had no agenda on my mind.

As Reiki infused my body, mind and soul with its gentle warmth, I felt deeply rested.

There was nothing to plan for the day ahead.

As I soaked in my Reiki experience, I contemplated the meaning of going with the flow.

I felt blessed that Reiki practice forces us to slow down when we start to race! I’m glad I chose to honour the needs of my body and mind when they were begging for rest.

I could not take an entire day off because I have ‘mommy duties’ to attend to.

However, I did try to make the best of my ‘REST!’ And that was good enough.

No matter how busy our modern lives may be, don’t we all deserve these little breaks?

This is an image in the article on inner child wounds , self love and self esteem in the blog when spirit meets science by Haripriya Suraj
inner child, reiki, self love, Spirit

Self Esteem & Self Love : Two Keys To Unlock Magic

As I sat down to pen this post, my head hurt and my heart felt heavy.

As children, many of us sought the attention and approval of people in authority, teachers and parents being primary. I found myself in a similar situation recently; like a little school girl not feeling good enough, because an authority figure refused to give me the validation I was unconsciously seeking!

How we viewed ourselves as children depended largely on how our elders viewed us. We felt good when they showed us their love and gave us their approval. We felt miserable when they withdrew their love and approval on account of something we did or didn’t do. If we had siblings, we may also have experienced bouts of jealousy when our sibling seemed to receive more attention or praise than us.

All of this is understandable because children are largely dependent on adults to meet their needs.

However, if we experience such emotions even as adults, they are like ‘wounds’ and need to be healed.

Such wounds can be healed completely or at least managed well when they show up. We do have the power to help ourselves.

Taking my own example, thanks to the intense inner work I have done and to my spiritual practices, I am able to manage my childhood wounds when they show up unexpectedly. I am aware enough to know when I am being sucked into a negative spiral. After some time spent moping, I make it a point to pull myself out of it with the support of tools such as Reiki, Meditation and Emotional Freedom Technique ( a healing modality that involves tapping on different points and areas of the body while making specific statements).

Self-esteem and self-love are two common areas that need attention in many of us.

While self-esteem points at how good we feel about ourselves, self-love is about our ability to love ourselves, exactly as we are – good and bad, amazing and flawed…

The easiest way to feel good about yourself is to go back in time and connect with the infant or young child you once were. You were born a blank slate. Your mind was empty and your heart pure. You were perfectly comfortable being who you were.

However, if you were repeatedly told you were a ‘bad boy’ or ‘bad girl’ or ‘hopeless kid,’ there is a possibility you may have internalised those labels. As an adult, you may not feel good about yourself unless certain people tell you how wonderful you are.

It is important to catch yourself when you find yourself seeking excessive approval or validation from others. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that external validation is not a measure of your worth. You are worthy simply by virtue of being a human being. Your talents and achievements build up your personality. They add value to your life and to the lives of others. But they are in no way a measure of your innate worth.

Bring your attention to your positive attributes. Think of at least three strengths you possess simply because of who you are. Give yourself the validation you seek. This will shift the energy and help you feel good about yourself instantaneously.

Learning to love yourself is another important milestone. The easiest way to love yourself is to accept that you are human, which means, you have feelings and emotions, good moods and bad, good days and bad. No one on this planet is perfect and neither are you. This does not mean you must make excuses when you err or make the same mistakes over and over again. It simply means you love yourself through all your ups and downs, highs and lows, good and bad times, empowered and weak moments.

I have personally found Emotional Freedom Technique to be very helpful when you need to address and release intense emotions and love yourself through it all. Explore this if you feel called to.

The reins to self-esteem and self-love must only be in your hands. Never hand them over to others.

Love can be shared more generously with others when you love yourself first.

You can help others feel good about themselves when you first feel good about yourself.

Loving yourself unlocks the magic of life!

It elevates your vibration and makes you a magnet to draw more goodness into your life.

Vibe high!