Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Santosha and balance

Openness starts from within
Photo credit: Denise Guerin

Santosha means practicing contentment in all things. It is the active practice of accepting the way things are. Santosha encourages us to be satisfied with whatever each day brings, welcoming what we get.

"Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you."
-Lao tzu

This season's cold damp dark days have served as they do each year to bring growth, although each year I seem to forget that this cathartic annual process is hard, intimidating and exposing.  I turn inward, dig deep am uncomfortable, I question, doubt, try to create balance and feel like a yoyo. The human condition, the perpetual seeking for balance. It is comical to me how although each year the cycle is the same I manage to forget and stay so mired in the present that it seems that what comes next may never come, and yet it always does. This year taking on other's pain as my libran nature does became much harder to stay detached and added to the complexity of my winter months. It is critical to be aware of our own feelings and not those of other's negative energy that may surround.  Slowly with mindfulness I choose awareness.  So as the buds push forth from their protective sheaths each spring so to do I un-sheath, unfurl, reinvigorated and new. At once, I spin, un-ravel and nourish mind, body and soul.

This spring's commitment:
 30 days of wellness to start. 

Yoga everyday.

The effort that is put in is the result that comes is not the perfection of the posture as much as it is the effort and the consistency that lead to the eventual mastery of what yoga as a holistic practice has to offer each of us. This practice that has become such a mainstream exercise is often practiced for it's physical benefits and circus like flexibility it can offer, but it is much more holistic addressing spiritual, physical and emotional balance and mindfulness. It is important to know that each yoga class is not treated equally, it is critical to research your teacher and studio. There are many forms of yoga, hatha, vinyasa, Bikram, Batiste, Ashtanga, Yin and so forth, as well as limbs or complimentary practices such as Qi Gong, meditation, tai chi and reiki. Before embarking on a yogic journey do your research for studios and teachers and practices that align with who you are and what you're looking for.

Pure food.

"bright eyes"

I don't mean a detox cleanse I mean back on my apple cart that this winter had pushed me off. We tend to eat for comfort, stews, starches and meats when we are cold, this is not the ideal diet for the body's digestion and absorption. There is a balance for all, hearty warming dishes do more for the soul than the body but sometimes this is just as necessary to pay attention to so listen to your body. I laugh every time I hear how kale has made such an impact on "health minded" individuals that people are suffering from the ramifications of too much of a good thing. Kale is high in thallium, not by any means the only veggie that is but the rule of thumb is everything in moderation, two bunches of kale a week are perfectly fine, two a day is overkill. Vary your veggies, just be conscious of your choices being well rounded.
My aunt once said to me to be healthy one must eat the rainbow, hah! So with this in mind, my shopping cart is colorful, each ingredient serving a purpose to purify, stimulate blood flow and production and always reduce inflammation as I strive to maintain an Alkaline body. Breakfast starts with high powered antioxidant organic fruits and veggies, juicer and Vitamix are necessary.
One of my favorites (pictured above):

Bright Eyes

juice of three carrots, two lemons, two oranges (eye brightener and antioxidant super C)
in the blender pour your juices and add
celery two stalks (anti-inflammatory)
one fist of cilantro  (anti-inflammatory)
a slice of fresh ginger( antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory) 
maca and lucuma powders 1tsp each. (energy and sweetener)
1 tbsp chia seed (fiber)
1tbsp turmeric (accented importantly by a dash of white pepper to activate it) (anti-inflammatory)

Feast for the senses.

 I'm an open conduit after the winter, awake and inspired. Find yours, my inspiration is dance, cooking and new music. Often one can see me dancing across my floor to ceiling windows that face our lake and taking breaks to taste a dish, attend to balancing the flavors or kiss a kid.
I love asking new people what they are listening to, love to see what musical tastes look like. Recently I had the pleasure of actually adding one of these new finds to my own music library, I'm all about sharing so have a listen:

From this tangled web we call life,  we choose to create our reality be it harmony, beauty, love. It is the knitting together of all that we do that makes us individuals. We are all part of a whole but each unique, each with a distinctly different voice informed by our past and our present informed too by our connections to each other. Be mindful of where you are in the universe, and that we are the sum of many not just the one.

Love and light...

Next blog....luscious lunch and beauty regime to erase winter cold and dry!

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