What's your story

Healing and story: journey to wellness

You do not have to be good
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. —Mary Oliver

What is your story? My story feels as though it is being written mid sentence. There I was, going about my life, happy, joyful, busy but also half asleep, half drunk, always hungry. I mean hungry in the most metaphoric sense. I was always stuffing something into myself, hoping for a sense of fullness. I stuffed in literature, art, long drunken existential conversations, wine and then some more wine.  It was not until I stopped stuffing things in and took a breath with my feet planted in raw rusty earth, that I was able to feel a sense of being full, being enough just as I was. Not mad and half starving in the existential scheme of things.

Seeking raw natural space in which to live my story

My story was one of survival. I survived intense bullying at school. My sensitive soul was held to the flame of other people’s cruelty. I bore the scars and for a long time this was my story. My story was also one of bumping in to good fortune, lost and drifting. I found amazing friends and a husband that loved adventure and built homes for us with his hands. My story, I told people, was one of pure dumb luck. Wandering aimlessly with my backpack, a dog eared copy of Walt Whitman poems and persistently strapped for cash, I bumped into good things. This was the story I told.

It does me a huge injustice. To wear my bullying like an identity card around my neck and insist that all the wonderful things in my life were sheer accidents. It is true to say that I had not planned on the wonderful things, but it is not true to say I did nothing to invite them. I opened my heart and ventured into the landscape, literally and metaphorically.

I invited the Beauty into my life

It does me a huge injustice. To wear my bullying like an identity card around my neck and insist that all the wonderful things in my life were sheer accidents.

Recently, I feel as though I have created a blank page. I picked up the pen and now I am poised at the desk watching the small finches dart in and out of the shrubs. I am pondering, musing and developing. It is time to re think the story of me.

Freud taught us a lot about story and the psychoanalytic process. He promoted the idea that we create our destiny with our stories and that the buried stories are often the ones leading us. My story from now on is one of simple every day pleasures. It is a sense of wonder in the natural world and a roaming free spirit that grows and strengthens like a worked muscle. It is a story about wholesome food that heals and nourishes. It is a story about travelling, not aimlessly but mindfully. We Invite space in to our hearts and seek spaces that do not bear the print of man and “development”.

Lou Lou – before

 

Lou Lou – after

It does me a huge injustice. To wear my bullying like an identity card around my neck and insist that all the wonderful things in my life were sheer accidents.

In a few weeks we will head toward the sunshine towing Lou Lou, a renovated 1960’s caravan. She is structurally sound, licked with paint inside and out and practically bolting in her pen. We haven’t built the furniture yet, but in the recent mornings the cold has nipped around our ankles like a feisty Jack Russell. It is time to head north. Rock can build the furniture on the way. We will spend a few months on the Ningaloo Coast and I will live my story, practice yoga and walk on the stretch of forever coast. I will continue to develop nourishing recipes and write my wellness blogs. I am writing a book on healing from addiction and weight gain. This is my story, it is one of healing and growing in beautiful places.

I am not my past or my future. I am in this moment. It is enough. The finches dart with purpose and the milky sunshine drips through the leaves. All is well.

This week I am posting a recipe that combines the best of raw nutrition and cooked seafood. It is inspired by paella which in my grain days was an absolute favourite. This is just as good, the freshness of the raw salad marries well with the steamed seafood and it is easy to convert to a vegetarian option or just eaten as is without the seafood.

Paella inspired Cauliflower “rice”

 

=R1=

Any seafood can be used and the “rice” is delicious on its own for a vegetarian option, also, consider grilled mushrooms and haloumi as a replacement for the seafood.

 

Enjoy x

 

 

Healing and story: journey to wellness

By: Bell Harding

What is your story? My story feels as though it is being written mid sentence.


Servings

Prep time

Cook time

Recipe


Ingredients

  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon plus one lemon in wedges to serve
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • pinch saffron
  • 4 garlic cloves – crushed
  • 1 tsp smokey paprika
  • pinch sea salt
  • large handful fresh mint – chopped
  • large handful fresh parsley – chopped
  • 1 red capsicum – diced
  • 1 green capsicum – diced
  • 250 gm cherry tomatoes
  • 200 gm fresh peas or beans (I used sugar snap peas)
  • 300 gm fresh prawns – cooked and peeled
  • 1 dozen fresh mussels – debearded and steamed open

Method


  • Place lemon juice and zest in a large bowl – add a pinch of saffron and leave for 15 minutes. Add red onion and leave for another 15 minutes to soften. Then add garlic, salt, paprika and a big glug of olive oil. Stir to combine.
  • Blitz cauliflower in food processor or chop by hand until it resembles rice. Place in large separate bowl; add parsley, mint, capsicum, tomatoes and peas. Combine the onion soused dressing and mix well. Place on large platter or paella pan and top with seafood and lemon wedges.

  

Tried this recipe? Mention @wellbeing_magazine or tag #wbrecipe!

Bell Harding

Bell Harding

Bell is wholefood cook and a barefoot gypsy. In search of a life less ordinary, she packed a tent and art supplies and took to the road. Seeking the dirt and poetry in the Australian landscape, she also discovered a path to wellness. Bell discovered what it means to be well by healing herself from weight gain and alcohol dependence. She draws on a professional career in cooking to create recipes that celebrate real food and shares her journey as a curious nomad.

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