lah Posts

Live Fall to the Fullest – Face the Hazards in this Season of Flux

"Autumn has its flowers too"

“Autumn has its flowers too”

Fall is the ultimate transition- a true season of flux inside and out. Listen here while you read.

Amidst the beauty and sense of expectation are the hazards including weather that fluctuates wildly, accumulated heat from summer which can impair immune system function if left unchecked , the return to school and work routines that may feel jarring, over-stimulating, anxiety-provoking and down-right depressing.

So how best to enjoy the ride and  transition easily into Fall?.

I am feeling unequivocally excited about the fall.  Not my usual M.O. as friends will attest.  This year when my husband reminds me that “autumn has its flowers too,”  I am focused on the beauty and not a sense of frigid gloom and having to work at finding the beauty in the crispy golden yellow, deep purples and dried seed pods on the lily pond.  Another key to a smooth transition is to neither cling desperately to the bliss of summer nor fear the cold ahead but to find a way to appreciate the best aspects of both.  All things must pass  and that means the good the bad and the ugly will pass!

I am more ready this year because I have decided to let go of the blissful summer weather and move on into what feels good now.   Net Result? Those fluctuating temperatures that have been unsettling in the past are actually feeling good to me. Last year I was focused on Falling gracefully out of summer mode. (read last Fall’s Post ) while this year I am playing with ways to feel grounded, warm and buoyant before the frenzy of re-entry begins and the weather starts to fluctuate, cool down for good and crisp up the leaves and lawns.

Here are 4 basic strategies for getting grounded in preparation for the seasonal shifts ahead. And before that:  some theoretical groundwork.

Get more grounded in your routines when the atmospheric conditions surrounding your body are in flux. Get sound, uninterrupted sleep. Get your exercise and focus on keeping the breathing deep, slow and steady. Eat at regular times and look at what is growing now…Apples to cool and regulate digestion, squashes and pumpkins and greens that should be cooked, steamed and stewed. (Keep it light at night so digestion has a chance to work optimally and sleep is clear and deep.)

  • Warning: if you try to ignore transitions you are setting yourself up for  issues you might recognize because we all tend to have our own propensities towards certain re-current health problems – for you this might be a sore-throat, sinus infection, allergies, anxiety, depression, irritation, a cold, cough or the flu. You know who you are and what might come so plan ahead and avoid it this year. And when you feel that little twinge: sleep, build up your immune system, attack before you go down!

 

 Here are 4 Basics for Setting up for The Healthiest Fall Transition:

  1. Build up your Defense system: Build immunity and stability by promoting “Ojas.”  (read about Ojas here). And the recipe for a nourishing Ojas building drink.
  2. Oil it: sesame oil or daily balm with woody slightly floral aromas that are grounding. Nourish the tissues of this largest bodily organ with daily self massage.
  3. Get Grounded: choose a practices that feel grounding and stabilizing. Include standing poses, planks, seated twists, poses that build heat while feeling grounded like warriors and chair pose. Keep your gaze softly downwards and the breath deep and slow.
  4. Smell it: There are scents that are inherently grounding so look for them in products or blend them into some almond or sesame massage oil to use in self massage. Pre-blended body oil of choice is the Intoxicating Massage Oil – Tranquility or Pacifying. For the Face try the Swami Tridoshic face oil from Ajara and for essential oils look for Patchouli and vetiver, rose geranium, sweet orange, Patchouli, jasmine and neroli.

Why think of yourself as a table or a see-saw? To create balance in life of course.

8e85aa71fe8b29757144dfaabae9e8d0Why would I ask you to think of your life as a table or a see-saw?  To nourish your physical, emotional and mental well-being…of course!

Because to create balance in life is one definition of health and well-being and here are a total of 8 concepts to help you find and maintain balance.

Now Balance is one of those over-used words which makes me cringe, but it is critical and if you just think of it as avoiding pendulum swings in all areas of life, then it makes some practical sense.  A table is balanced on 4 sturdy legs, a see-saw has a fulcrum and the closer you are to the center the less you feel the motion.  Like that.

There are two sets of four ways to think about balance in life.  Believe it or not I am still spending these final dog days thinking about the arsenal of concepts I will rely on as the season turns to fall and life gets busy busy crazy busy (read more here about the dangers of crazy business).  So this week I am thinking of myself as a table.  Ask yourself, “If I were were a table what stuff are my four legs made of?”

In Ayurvedica the answer is simple and elegant, as always.   dharma artha kama moksha.   That’s Sanskrit for:

1. dharma: What is your life purpose and are you living a life that expresses it? Following your own natural path of clarity in terms of work, play and relationships.  Be yourself not someone you are not. Read This Post

2.  artha: Do you have the right amounts of sustenance like money, food and love.  The question is do you have the CORRECT and balanced amounts.

3. kama: Do you find ways to feel deep, real enduring containment?   This means do you have some acceptable (easy) balance of desire, gratification, the joys of being alive.

4. moksha: Do you have a way to cultivate and experience consciousness, spirituality, sense of belonging in a profound way to the rhythms of the universe as well as day by day life?  Some people get this satisfied through conventional religion, some through yoga or being part of a spiritual study group, some by establishing contemplative and daily practices. (Read more on establishing Practices

And here are 4 More useful things to contemplate in service of Mental, Physical and Emotional Well-Being:

  • Transformation:  how do the foods I eat and the emotions I take in get transformed into useful energy to make my life work and my body run.
  • Elimination:  Am I eliminating the waste properly…that would be pee, poop and sweat.  Should be regular, soft, fairly clear and easy and not to odoriferous, I am not going to elaborate on these here.  Use your imagination.
  • Rest:  Sleep is essential.  Being over-tired exacerbates everything from weight gain to heart disease to stress, anxiety and just being a bear to those around you.
  • Purification:  We do not eliminate all the toxins all the time.  So it is critical to purify.  Get a really good sweat on, eat a simple mono-diet one day a week (Try this Kit – Ayurvedic Cleanse Package once a week. Sundays work well….I do not love juice fasts but one day of soups, smoothie and green juice can be a great recharge/re-set.)

4 C’s to Contemplate in these Dog Days of Summer

ahhhh, the dog days

ahhhh, the dog days

I love these dog days of summer.

People are taking a break which means they are less intensely focused on pushing forward in life and, for the most part, more focused on down time, chill time, pleasure time.

Perfect days for some contemplative processing of concepts that might be helpful in living a more easeful life once those languid days turn into the frenzy of Fall re-entry.

So here’s my list of the 4 C’s upon which I personally would like to focus. (They just happen to all begin with the letter ‘C’… no magic to the number or the letter.)

 

The 4 C’s

Creative: Be open to all sorts of possibilities.  Think of alternate approaches.  If it ain’t working…fix it!

Curious:  Look into the who’s what’s and where’s and why’s of the world around you.  Ask people why they think what they think and the answers may surprise you and give you some good ideas.

Compassionate:  just let things be a little bit. Less Judgement, more acceptance (if not appreciation!)

Clear: Clarity means you are seeing things for what they are.  You have taken a deep breath or two and you are not in a re-active state.

 

If you like the 4 C’s, then try the 5 P’s:  Proper preparation prevents piss-poor performance.  My perennial favorite admonition courtesy of the ever eloquent TJT.

And then for those doggies in your life?  try these Ice lolls for the dogs…

Bully Stick Doggy Ice Pops made in a paper cup

Bully Stick Doggy Ice Pops made in a paper cup

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