Saturday, December 12th, 2020
It’s a tenner from my son, Sam who is 23, I very cheekily asked him and Krish (my hubby and Sam’s dad) for a tenner each to pay for a hair cut.
I fully expected to be ignored but Krish did a bank transfer and Sam gave me this actual tenner.
So, why is this so important to me? It’s only a tenner. If you knew my journey, the tough times, the rejection of being born a female in my family, you would know.
My background is a dysfunctional upbringing, one where nothing was done without an argument and beatings were perfectly acceptable. A few years ago, I decided the way I was treated by my family needed to stop. I made the decision to walk away, possibly the toughest, most liberating of all the decisions I have made. Walking away does not mean the pain goes away, it means I am protected, safe and I can control my environment.
There’s a Hawian saying “Ho Ho, Pono Pono” that Michelle Childs (goddess at Bizmums) introduced me to which remains on my wall. It’s something I practise on a deeper level, asking for forgiveness and practising forgiveness brings a level of peace to my life that nothing else has.
Odd for me, as I no longer hold onto religious beliefs or practice rituals as I did for many, many years.
So, as a mother to Sam, who has been raised in a very liberal household, where all topics are open to discussion and where we try to keep the peace and love in our home as a priority, if you compare the values I was brought up with to the values he was raised in, they are miles apart.
So, here I am, living with Sam and Krish in a peaceful, loving and fun home. I don’t believe there is any other way to parent. If you’d like your children to pay attention and respect you, then it’s got to come from the daily practice of striving for peace. I have just had a special birthday in lockdown and Krish, Sam and so many friends and family made it really very special, THANK YOU. It was full of happy memories and I shared the covid cake cutting and happy birthday singing on a certain book of face.
If you follow me on my socials, you may know that Sam has just graduated with a (Distinction) first-class Master’s degree which he studied during covid, moving around the house, dodging me and my Curry Club and spicing. He motivated himself and just got through what has been a difficult year for all. Here’s his graduation photo from his first degree. You know when mum’s say they wish their children stay small and cute, well, I don’t. I want to see him grow old, follow his dreams, travel, find joy in the simplicity of life because that’s where true happiness lies.
It’s a shame I didn’t have the same level of self-belief I had when I was his age. All I ever wanted to be was a teacher, but my upbringing and being told consistently that as a woman, there is no value in my education or my existence for that matter.
These people should be totally ashamed of themselves, do they not realise we grow to be future mothers and role models to the younger generation? Does that responsibility not deserve love and respect? There was no value in my existence and dark thoughts followed me everywhere, they will always be just one short memory away.
Does this innocent child not deserve to become the best version of a human?
So, how did I go from such a sad, lonely, depressed world to this peaceful, loving adult home, with an amazing family? Well, it has not been easy and if you’ve had to listen to me in tears or supported me through the dark times, I am sorry and thank you. It’s been a difficult journey, one that, unless you’ve walked with me, you simply will not understand.
I had a very simple strategy, if you trust yourself, I have every faith it will work for you.
Family meals have been the heart of all that I do, it’s quite simple, it started with two recipe books many years ago, Plenty by Ottolenghi and Veg by River Cottage. To encourage healthy eating and to ensure meal times were packed full of veg, Sam was given these books to choose the week’s meals. We would then, plan our shopping list around the meals chosen and cook, dine and clean together.
Throughout lockdown, somehow our marriage became stronger, where we rushed in our previous daily lives, we now used this time to support each other with our goals. This has been essential to spending time together and now Sam and I share an office.
I hope you will stop and spend the time with your families, building a foundation of love, trust and friendship with the people you live with. It’s the least you can offer yourselves.
Wishing your families unconditional love, peace and happiness for the future, Love, Lajina
Lajina Leal, Founder, Lajina Masala
Lajina had a Corporate Career as an Accountant for many years and whilst discussing an impending redundancy in an Indian restaurant with her friends, they persuaded her to set up an Indian Cooking School.
The fun started in October 2013 and the business has grown from strength to strength.