The Struggles of Writing a Novel

This journey of writing my novel started way back, I believe it was almost 8 years ago when I got the idea to write a book. I started it off and a year later I changed my mind and didn’t continue with that story. It all went back and forth and I was having inspirational periods of time when I really put all my energy into it, and becoming disappointed at the process a few months later. The struggles of writing was a fact. I had always been writing poems and journaling, so that never really stopped throughout this time – but my book story was halting and was eventually paused for a few years due to lack of inspiration.

I intended to write a story that involves a lot of multicultual aspects to it, and things were by that time happening in my life that made me feel that I didn’t need to write that story anymore, until I went to India a couple of years ago. Something really hit me during that trip and everything came back to me, my desire to write my story. That is what I am doing right now. I am more determined than ever to complete it this time around. The intention is to write almost everyday, or at least sit with it every day and see what comes to me. If I ever find myself doubting or having writer’s block, I now know that I can get through it and move past it. It’s all about how much motivation and desire to write the book you have, because if you don’t have that, the book is never going to write itself.

I have made myself a little soft deadline to follow, which makes it easier for me to follow through. By the end of this year I will have a complete draft version of the entire story. I will edit it several times after that and ask very nicely to one of my dearest friends if he wants to read it, which he’s promised to do. 🙂 I just haven’t finished the book for more than 6 years. Long overdue. The idea is to try to get it published, otherwise I will self-publish it and distribute it myself. For me the importance is to get it out there and have it completed, that is my ambition and goal. I hope that my story can can help someone who’s been in my situation as well.

Stay tuned here for more information on this topic. I know several of you have been cheering on throughout the years and wanting to read it, I am very grateful for having all the support from people all over the world. Writing is our passion but it is just as well a very difficult passion to have. No matter what, you can’t live without it.

Peace and Love,

Kimmi Niroopinder Sandhu

P.S. Some of you might have noticed me using my real names interchangably, and there is no other explanation than an identity crisis. 🙂 Swedish vs Indian. Always struggling, always real.

Travelling is my Drug | Nomadic Traveller

Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.

– Anthony Bourdain

I can’t seem to help it, this underlying urge to always leave and be on the road to somewhere else. I love the feeling of not belonging to one place, I like belonging to the world. Open. Free. Endless possibilities. I believe it has to do with my two cultures, Swedish and Indian. I love them both, almost equally. Almost. I weigh them back and forth, compare and contrast, which one do I like the most. For the moment.

Being a TCK (third culture kid) or more like a CCK (cross-cultural kid) in my particular case, one will always have to deal with these emotions of not belonging to a certain degree. Rootlessness. Mixed cultural belonging. Struggle to fit in. All of these things are all based in a TCKs/CCKs childhood of being brought up in a mixed cultural environment, where the guidelines of how to deal with it has been missing. Especially during the 90s/00s in Sweden. Growing up in Sweden, in an area where there were no immigrants, has its impact in the long term.

The travelling aspect of my life doesn’t only have to do with physical travelling from one place to another, I am almost always somewhere in a bubble. Typical Pisces behaviour, for those that know astrology. It’s a hard struggle to always remind myself to come back to reality, but when dreaming becomes part of your everyday life to survive, it’s hard to resist. If I knew how to astral travel, I’d be addicted to it. Sounds like such an amazing ability to be able to visit both places and people in all kinds of spaces.

Someone was describing how a TCK walks through life, as if we stand constantly at the airport gate, anxious, waiting for our flight somewhere, walking back and forth until we board our flight. That’s when we calm down and relax, in the window seat of the plane, viewing the endless skies and clouds overlooking everything. That feeling makes me truly feel alive. Never understood why, until I read about being a TCK. Check out my other post on what it is about and my experience up until now, here.

Peace and love,

Kimmi Madeline

Piku|Hindi Movie – My Thoughts

“Apni roots unko agar ukhad do, toh kya bachega..”

– Piku.

I have watched this Hindi film around three times in total. I rarely watch a film more than one time unless it’s a film that has left some impact on me. It’s a very simple film with many layers of importance and deeper meaning that really show when you start looking deeper at what is happening.

The whole aspect of accepting your roots and where you really come from, to be at peace with that is necessary to be able to live a full and complete life. She struggled a lot with the idea whether to keep the house in Calcutta or not when her dad will pass away. When Irfan Khan’s character tells her the sentence that’s written above, which roughly translates to: If you rip out the roots, what will there be left..

I got shivers down my spine, and felt instantly very emotional, because of how I could relate that so well with my relation to India and my roots. I started crying, at first without really knowing why. It’s been a very rocky road to get to this state of mind, for me to accept and be open and fine with being multicultural. Today vs me 10 years ago are entirely different people, and I am so thankful for that. I am ever grateful for being able to say that I enjoy these layers of my roots and accepting them, not ripping them out and hope that there would be something left. I can’t believe how one is suppose to build anything without the roots.

Highly recommend the film to anyone who like an Indian cultural drama which brings up any everyday topics in a both light manner but also to end it with a lot of different emotions. It is truly a roller coaster ride in your inner world, especially if you’re anything like me and have had struggles with acceptance of roots and a mixed background. I do believe that it might only be fully appreciated by someone who understands the quirks of growing up in an entirely Desi environment.

Peace and Love,

Kimmi Madeline

Can’t Sleep – Above and Beyond

It’s been more than 10 years since I first heard this trance track, back in the days when I got introduced to electronic music by a friend who I don’t know anymore. He introduced me to this track, it’s one of the most beautiful songs that have been with me since then. This song is the reason why most of my posts are scheduled at 4:30 am. 😉
I always come back to listening to these lyrics. Found this acoustic version on Youtube. Enjoy!

Peace and Love,
Kimmi

 

What writing means to me

I write to feel the emotions of the words that are flowing through my fingers. It’s a language I know how to speak, a way of communicating my emotions when my voice is not enough. The rough and deep down buried melancholy can be digged up, word by word, telling a story I cannot speak. Sometimes when writing the words are flowing almost automatically, as if my subconscious is trying to give me messages. Almost like meditation. Being connected to the deeper self is what drives my creativity and passion for writing. Connecting through written words is more important than spoken. Words don’t always need to be spoken to be understood. Telepathic communication is far more powerful and mystical. Sending out words into the universe and hoping for a response back. That gives me inspiration. Being a writer is never an easy task, always constant struggles of writer’s block and lack of motivation due to lack of inspiration. You just need to find what situations and moods inspire you the most and try to recreate them in different ways. Finding the moments where the flow of words are the the clearest. The connection between the universe and you is the strongest so you’re able to use your fantasy and creativity in the most interesting ways.

Why is writing important to you?

Peace and love,

Kimmi Madeline

Journaling

My door is not wide open

I just came came back from a Reiki session that went on for like 70 min. In the south of Stockholm there’s a place called Crea Diem which I found online in a spontaneous whim. I think my body knew that I needed this today. It was my birthday yesterday and every year has its ups and downs. All emotions were enhanced when I woke up this morning after. I always carry around a huge sorrow and melancholy in my chest which is hard to describe, and I guess I am not sure why either. Sometimes I think it’s just the combination of being a scattered Pisces with Libra moon. The struggle of the two fishes swimming in opposite directions for as long as I can remember.

Reiki healing

The Reiki healing itself was exactly what I needed today to balance myself on these emotional days. After the session I was talking to the guy who performed the healing, and he was telling me what I should think about so I don’t get so low and all in my head with these thoughts and feelings. I didn’t need to tell him about my pain, it was visible in my heart. I should stop listening to what everyone else thinks and feels about my life and start tuning inwards and listen to what I want, because that is the hardest thing for me. I always get lost on the way of listening to other people who don’t even know the half of my inner true voice. Can you really expect anyone to ever know you completely? One thing I have noticed though is that the few people who have given me Reiki healing have always gotten to know my inner struggle and what I’m battling with constantly. It’s amazing how you can hide some things from everyone subconsciously but not at all from the ones who have practiced with the energy. He has my respect. The Reiki master. 🙏🏽

When the pain in your heart is slowly dissolving and trying to go away, it doesn’t go quietly. Tears are needed to flush away all the pain and suffering from all the accumulated years. I already feel a little lighter today.

Peace and love,

Kimmi Madeline

Psoas muscle, Solar Plexus & “dharn” | Ayurveda + Western Medicine

I have experience of going to a physical therapist for what I would describe the condition as restless legs, although this was never diagnosed nor was it ever mentioned by anyone. While I’ve been having my sessions, I have tried to get to the bottom of the problem. It isn’t that big of a deal really, that’s why I haven’t prioritised it until now; it’s just been at the back of my head. We’re not meant to sit still all our day in front of a desk, and years of doing it has taken it’s toll I assume. I realised that I want my body to be as healthy as possible for my age, and sitting still is surely not going to help me nor is it going to fix the whole “restless legs” issue. I have now been able to connect three different areas of knowledge about the same isse; Ayurveda and the Chakra system and Western medicine.

It all started when I was coming back home from a trip to Paris, and we were sitting in a bus from the airport which was unfortunately located 80min outside of Stockholm. We were coming home late in the evening, which I didn’t think much of at the time of booking, but during the bus trip I cursed my former self for even thinking of booking such late tickets. I had this creeping sensation in my legs as if there were something crawling underneath my skin around my knees and thighs, I couldn’t even describe it properly. If I moved around my legs it became better, but only for 2 seconds, so I sat there forcefully trying to move around my legs for the entirety of the trip. If one doesn’t go mental then this might. I let this situation pass and didn’t think much of it until I found myself in a similar situation and I put two and two together. A cinema visit late in the evening, which was basically the same time, having to sit still in the same spot and not being able to get up (unless I wanted to be a pain and let the whole row know my pain).

Months passed and I started getting really frustrated, turning down friends’ offers to go to the cinema or anything that required late evening sitting still. The criteria for seeking professional help has always been, if it interferes in your daily routine, so I went to the doctor.
Said and done, tests were completed, results came back and nothing was wrong physically. Just to be on the safe side, CAT scans were done and some weeks later the results came back – nothing abnormal! The doctor suggested me to contact a physical therapist if my issues continued – I gave the issue a rest for almost a year.

During my first visit to the physical therapist she did a bunch of physical exams, looking at my spine, checking my legs when I’m lifting something, the flexibility etc. One of the tests involved massaging to the right and left of the navel while I was lying down. I am a very high pain tolerant person, but this pressure of her fingers in my stomach hurt like hell, more so on one side than the other. She said that it’s the hip muscle, more properly called Psoas muscle that seemed tense or short. I wanted to know more, so I have ever since read a lot about it, trying to massage myself, and doing the exercises that were given to me by her. Now to the interesting part.

Throughout my whole life, I have heard about the punjabi/hindi word dharn which is basically an imbalance in the solar plexus area, or what some call it a “navel displacement”. The Ayurveda and ancient Indian way to describe this has never really had a good equivalent in Western medicine and I believe that is why there isn’t a holistic view on this problem. I fully believe that the psoas muscle being strained and tense is only ONE way to describe the problem.  The other connections to the same problem are the 3rd chakra, solar plexus being imbalanced which causes physical symptoms in the body after going long enough with the imbalance. How do we resolve this problem?

The Chakras. Solar Plexus is the Yellow wheel in the core of the body

According to my physical therapist I only needed to do my exercises that she had given me, which I’ve done for a year and haven’t noticed a huge change in posture nor the core strength which is key here. Changing habits is the main key here. Being more active and not sit still for longer periods of time. Take breaks, walk in the nature, do yoga and stretch. Practicing mindfulness and meditate daily has started to create a shift in me lately. I can sense that when I incorporate both Western medicine and the old ancient Indian Ayurveda find solutions to dharn; it will work. It’s not an easy solution, I believe it’s more of a lifestyle change, back to how we used to be; hundreds of years ago. We’ve become too convenient and lazy lately, that’s only the truth. It’s harsh but if we don’t do anything about it now, the issues will just increase.

If you have an issue with restless legs syndrom or psoas muscle, try looking at your body as a whole. Listen to your body, what does it need that it so desperately wants you to notice? More movement, more healthy food and/or more calmness?

Namaste,
Peace and Love,
Kimmi Madeline

Mumbai Dreams…

It’s been 2 ½ weeks since we came back from India this time around. The India fever has been running high ever since I came back home, been binge-watching Hindi films during these past few weeks to try to grasp for the last few straws of India that I had left in me from the trip. Why do I feel this way these days? Am I making up for all those years when I didn’t feel that I belonged neither here or there? Am I getting more sentimental with time, more than I already am? I don’t have an answer to all these questions, all I know is that writing has been my only saviour; it helps me cope with my complicated and scattered emotions about belonging.

I just started reading the book The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri and have also watched the film by Mira Nair based on the same novel. That film hit a spot in my heart and I can’t help but to cry tears of recognition and melancholy. The pain and the suffering is too close to heart. Writing these words after watching the film, aren’t written without a tear in my eyes. At least they clean the vision and hopefully I can see clearly now what I have long wanted to see. Me and who I truly am. There’s never been a need to pretend but I didn’t realise that when I was younger. You don’t have to try to fit in when you know you don’t. Being unique is what is best.

Ever since the second day of visiting Mumbai in November, I knew that I had found my missing piece of inspiration. My long lost inspiration for writing my story, my book. I found it again, in the heart of Mumbai. I could see the waves coming into the shore and we were driving by the south side of Mumbai, feeling the breeze from the opened window. My hair was getting messy in the wind, but I didn’t mind at all, I felt at peace. I knew I had found my way back, to my core. I think that’s why I have had my “identity crisis” with the endless watching of Hindi films, trying to see if I can relate to any of it. I don’t feel the need to relate anymore, I already know what was missing all along. My acceptance.

Peace and Love,
Kimmi Niroopinder Madeline

my missing puzzle piece.

India, it’s been a while since I told you what I really feel. It’s not like I didn’t care or forgot about you, but I guess I hadn’t found my way home. In my heart. And my aching soul.

While growing up I lost a piece of me here and I couldn’t find it for over a decade. I was always looking to find my way back to that part of me. It was disconnected for so long. I almost forgot. I almost lost you. Disconnected.

I never understood the lump in my throat. Hidden emotions stacked under the surface. Ready to burst at any moment. Triggered by the invisible pain. Deep down in my soul.

A ray of infinite light has enlightened me now. I can see you clearly now. You were always there for me. Right in front of me. Day or night. Dark or light.

It was here all along. My forgotten puzzle piece. It was so hard to find. I didn’t forget about you. I was just lost. But you, still accept me for who I am. For that I am grateful. For that I am proud. Proud to call you my home.

Dealing with Depression

Inspiration: 2010 12 19 – video footage of talking to myself, suicidal thoughts.

No one can tell you how you feel. They're not inside your mind and know your thoughts. You, and only you know your truth. Always.

I found a video footage of me talking in a vlog to myself in 2010 12 19 about being severely depressed. I talked about the fact that I seriously needed to seek help for it or talk to someone. People think it's always so easy to just reach out and tell people that you're depressed, but truth me told, from own experience, it's hard to even tell yourself to start with. You just starting to feel low about everything around you, nothing feels as fun as it used to be anymore. When you get too deep that's when you really need a hand, but it might already be consuming you from the inside – which was what was happening to me on 19th of December of 2010. It had happened to me in the past, it wasn't the first time I felt this bad so in a way I thought it would pass. You can't just shrug it off, it affects every single aspect of your life. It's not always caused by a specific reason, which many people seem to think.
The video I found was on my real old hard drive that I found today. It was very difficult watching the whole 10 minute long video, because I could see the hopelessness in my eyes and my voice. I wanted to just tell her that things will get better, and that I should brace myself for more of these moments to come, but I would be able to handle them better over time. I feel that there shouldn't be so much taboo regarding these mental illnesses, people wouldn't be as afraid of admitting it to themselves at first or let alone tell someone about it.
For me it's always been my biggest and darkest place inside me that always finds me when I least expect it. Happiness has nothing to do with it. Depression can still consume you. Happy or sad.