Thursday, May 21, 2015

Is a Massage a Week Too Much?

I'm on a bit of a massage thing at the moment, trying to sort out the clench of my shoulder blades and my hamstrings, the twinge in my lower back. Trying to relax. I go to those places at the shopping centres, where tiny ladies lean their elbows into you and your muscles explode. Amazing. Patentable.

I don't want to have to justify my habit, if you want to call it that--Reliance? Program?--but sometimes I feel the question rise up in me: Is a massage a week too much?

Here's what I think: Fuck no. Is sex too much? Or shavasana at the end of hot yoga? Or the bit of ice cream dripping down the side of the cone, or tongue-slidingly-silky chocolate mousse, or those amazing head tickling things you are seriously not going to pay $25 for (but maybe?)?

How about when you do whatever it is you love doing, and you get into the flow of it and time tips over on its side, but what does it matter because you've had a killer coffee and you're doing what you love doing--that thing you'd do if it were your last day on earth because it makes you feel so right.

Yes, that. And massage. And maybe sex, too.


Every day, we stress about dying or work or gravity, and none of it binds us. Stress isn't some miracle that keeps us from decomposing, and it doesn't mold us into the people we truly are. Who we are comes from looseness--physical and psychological and creative mobility. When we wear our skin like a naked mole rat does (and look how long they live!)

"Hold your story loosely," says Alan Watt, in his book on writing.

As far as I'm concerned, that's the answer to everything. Don't try to pin it down too soon, force it into something: if you let it breathe it can become so much more. More than you can ever imagine.

So can you.

Make space in your self--oceanic, atmospheric, blood-rushing space. Feel life rush in.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

How to Be Awesome

You don't need a Thermomix to be awesome. 

You just need some leftover veggies, herbs, sea salt, a couple splashes of olive oil and a blender or food processor. A glass jar, a fridge. 

You need to look at yourself naked, and be ok. Scars, floppy bits, all of it. You're you, and you're beautiful. 

You need to listen to your heart more, follow it whenever you can. 

You need to sleep, move, eat. Live and love like you're mortal, because you are. Grow things. See the way light strikes your world. Examine, feel, taste.


Awesomeness comes from the foundations - the basis, the stock. It pours up like water through a tree, so find your roots and nourish them. 

Whatever you need to be awesome - that's what you need. Nothing more. 


So stand at the stove. Watch the water bubble off the bottom of the pot, stir in the veggie paste, tip in the skewers of pasta or the hard kernels of rice. Wait, and they will soften, pull in the flavour of the stock and the salt; absorb it. They will take it in and transform, become their better selves, truer somehow. 

Watch it happen. 
Amanda xx

Veggie Stock Concentrate
like the stuff you make with a Thermomix, only without the Thermomix

700 grams raw mixed veggies - offcuts, extras, scrubbed peels, random bits
a handful of mixed fresh herbs
1-2 cloves garlic
150 grams sea salt (I like Maldon)
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

I first saw this veggie stock concentrate at a friend's Thermomix demo and had to steal the recipe. (I found a great one here.) I don't have a "Thermie" but I do have a super-powered blender, which easily smoothes up the veggies. You'll need to have a good food processor or blender for this recipe because we don't dilute it with water - that's the point, actually. It's a concentrate, full of flavour and salt*.

*On that note, DO NOT skimp on the salt, even if it seems excessive when you measure it out - it keeps the concentrate fresh and seasons the food perfectly. 

Just blend all your fresh, raw, clean, chopped veggies and herbs and garlic and oil and salt into a paste, store in the fridge (or in cubes in the freezer); it'll keep for weeks (or longer). 

Use it for everything - 1 Tbs per 500mL of water.  
Life-changing. Seriously.