DUAL HERITAGE IN PANDEMIC: Feeling connected and finding a new home within + Chinese New Year

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As I feel the humidity surround my face, I feel at home, I remove my coat and some of my other ‘British weather’ layers of clothing are removed, as I allow my body to become immersed in the heat and my senses inhale the smells and sounds of my paradise.

Whilst I am a born and bred Yorkshire lass, I am mixed race Chinese and English with family all over the world and my most familiar location is South East Asia.

I hadn’t quite realised how much my visits to see family, my own paradise which is Malaysia, had meant to me, until the opportunity to return was halted in the Pandemic. The cold weather has felt even more chilling to my bone, the photo memories some days serve as a painful reminder, of how physically distant I am from my sister in New York, my relatives abroad and even in the UK.

Whilst the online world has been a great bridge for my family to communicate globally with such information overload it can make us feel more disconnected than ever.

So, when my therapist, also of dual heritage, asked me: “What does it feel like having roots in different countries?”

It made me reflect on how I actually feel… which is like a  ‘home sick’ feeling wherever I am in the world, as I don’t ever feel at ‘home’ in one place, except for when I am dancing, on an outdoor adventure or writing.

All these things help me to feel grounded and anchored in my mind, body and life.

There really is a power in creatively connecting all of ourselves within our bodies, mind and life. We often always strive for more, for excess of possessions and for the extraordinary, but actually there is a real power in the ordinary and every day moments we can create for ourselves by finding those tools that support us to feel ‘at home’ within ourselves.

We may of course still feel lost at times or yearning for something, so here are some simple tools that you can use to feel more connected with yourself and in turn help us communicate our own emotions and feelings: Write down your five core values that are important to you no matter where you’re at in life, these can help you when you’re feeling overwhelmed to try bring your focus back to your core priorities. Explore and try out what helps you to feel grounded such as breathing, meditation, creativity, music, movement or a combination of all of those things.

I go big and bold with how I express myself and communicate but that’s just what is right for my energy levels to help me to feel anchored, so explore what works for you.

So as ever, this Chinese New Year I will be sharing my love of dance and fitness in my online classes, cooking a mini feast, decluttering and spring cleaning at home as usual with my home bubble and one day I will celebrate it in Malaysia with family.

I am anchoring myself with what opportunities are available to me now so I can feel at home within.

Read more from Sophie Mei Lan at https://mamamei.co.uk or for CNY ideas at home https://yorkshirefamilies.co.uk

Photo: Celebrating Chinese New Year at home and creating crafts for yorkshirefamilies.co.uk

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