Dear Yogis,

This morning I am going to talk to you about COOKING as a means to empowerment.  Usually, and I am sure you have felt this too, cooking is a way of being relegated to the kitchen… but look how many women (and men) have used it as a way TO GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN.

Take for instance Nardia Hussein.  She started her cooking life as a contestant on The Great British Bake Off. She had an arranged marriage (luckily to a good husband – good Karma), quickly had children and was marooned in her house all day in an industrial English town.  She suffered with depression, alienation and other emotional stresses, as you can imagine.  Whatever propelled her to enter the competition I don’t know.  She was the only Muslim, wore a voluminous black headscarf throughout the whole show, and doubted herself until the last few shows where she started to see her own potential.  She won.  When she got the prize she said “whatever happens, I am never, ever going to doubt myself again”.

She still battles her depression, but the person you see on the television is totally different now.  She has cooked a cake for the Queen.  More importantly, she has ditched the black for beautiful colours.  Her clothes and her headscarf are BEAUTIFUL colours.  She is shining through.

When are you going to take off the headscarf.

What made me think about this is because at one time my hair was the only thing I really felt I had control over (although I couldn’t have talked about it in that way).  Colours, curls, short long.  It changed all the time, but of course didn’t give me any control…. except on that one small thing, and it was only a temporary fix.

For the last 8 years I have grown it.  It is fast.  Last weekend I had such a strong urge to cut it – a need to feel differently about myself.  I examined that urge, and at the base of it was CONTROL.  Everything in our world has changed, and like you, I am still finding my feet.  I thought I was doing well, until that “hair thing” re-surfaced.  Luckily, I recognised it, and I didn’t manifest that anxiety.  I did what I tell you to do.  It hit the mat.  More yoga and certainly more meditation and more sleep, and I danced around the yoga studio to this song….