Explosive colors and lights are displayed all around us during the winter season. Now is the time to enjoy the hearth-side, tree lights, window and house displays. Many streets use decorative lighting from dramatic scenes to soft luminaries.
I believe color is healing to our soul. As snow falls and winter landscapes shape a world that is naked and decreasing in sunlight daily, bursts of colored lights can illuminate our surroundings and energize us from the inside out.
“Color is simply a form of visible light, of electromagnetic energy. All the primary colors reflected in the rainbow carry their own unique healing properties.” http://healing.about.com/cs/colortherapy/a/aa_colortherapy.htm. Color is used in massage rooms and hospital rooms to create an atmosphere conducive for healing.
Color creates different responses in different people. What colors give you a feeling of expansiveness, or a feeling of creativity, or a mood of introspection and solitude? Some colors create an environment of peace and serenity while others create a space of nurturing and safety. Often times the colors we are most attracted to relate to areas of our life that need some balance.
How have you used color to improve your day?
“When the seasons shift, even the subtle beginning, the scent of a promised change, I feel something stir inside me. Hopefulness? Gratitude? Openness? Whatever it is, it’s welcome.”
When my children were young I was blessed to be a stay-at-home mom. I loved to cook! I felt that made from scratch meals brought the whole family together in a very contented and fulfilling way. It also gave me a creative outlet; planning, shopping, and preparing healthy, tasty dishes for the people I loved. Then I took my cooking to the next level. I started studying nutrition and researching about the health benefits of herbs; one of my discoveries was bone broth.
While making bone broth is time consuming, the health benefits are enormous. Sally Fallon shares in her cookbook Nourishing Traditions, ‘Properly prepared, meat stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables as electrolytes, a form that is easy to assimilate…also seems to be of use in the treatment of many chronic disorders, including anemia and other diseases of the blood, diabetes, muscular dystrophy and even cancer.’
The aroma of homemade broth is tantalizing and you can use your broth as a base to make other dishes. You can add it to grains and legumes instead of water; use it in gravies, sauces, casseroles and soup. And it is great as the first food to eat when recovering from a stomach virus or flu. For more information go to http://nourishedkitchen.com/bone-broth/
What are some of your favorite nutritious dishes?
Our bodies need to stay warm and dry with the weather turning cold and damp. When we are cold we naturally contract our muscles and tend to move less. This in turn creates aches and pains in our bodies. Staying loose and flexible becomes more of a challenge during winter.
Layering in our clothing choices becomes one solution, but how? If our clothes become too cumbersome we feel heavy and sweaty. We can even get a chill from trapped moisture and feel lethargic in thick wool sweaters and leggings.
Silk is a wonderful alternative keeping our body warm while providing freedom in movement. Benefits of wearing silk are: it preserves the body’s heat in the cold, it has moisture wicking properties keeping you dry and comfortable, it repels mold and mildew, it is hypoallergenic, and it is light and smooth making silk easy to layer under clothes.
“Silk contains natural protein and 18 essential amino acids. Studies have shown that amino acids calm the nervous system and fight against the effects of aging, especially on the skin. Silk also contains cellular albumen which helps speed up metabolism of skin cells therefore will reduce sign of aging. Silk pillows and sheets therefore are good for your facial skin and body.” For more information go to http://www.redkora.com/silk-fast-facts.html
And… when I am wearing silk I feel lighthearted!
How do you stay warm?
“IN A FEW DECADES SCIENTISTS HAVE GONE FROM A CONVICTION THAT THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ENERGY FIELDS IN AND AROUND THE HUMAN BODY TO AN ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY THAT THEY EXIST.”
-James Oschman Ph.D.
Energy Medicine, The Scientific Basis, 2000.
All around our visible physical body is the presence of an invisible energy body. And like the physical body our energy body can become out of balance too.
Using specific techniques, a trained therapist can bring balance back into the client’s energy field. Sometimes the therapist will lightly touch the physical body. Sometimes the therapist will work directly in the energy field itself. Common experiences felt during energy work sessions are total relaxation, warmth, release of emotional and/or physical pain, a feeling of calm, spontaneous laughter, and an overall sense of well being. Clients leave with sparkles of light in their eyes.
What is actually transpiring is still largely unknown. I started using energy work shortly after beginning massage school over twenty years ago and have integrated the work into my massage treatments. What I observe when I use energy work is an amazing element of soothing and healing energy is felt by the client; described by some as “feeling loved.”
How do you experience healing in your life?
I work with many people every week. Some of them I may see only once and many I see ongoing and I observe they all have one thing in common. People tend to hold on to “stuff”.
What do I mean?
Stuff is anything that weighs us down. It can be memories that are played out over and over in our heads. It can be an emotion that predominates in daily life which interferes with our experience of joy, hope or innocence. And I believe this “stuff” also directly affects our health and wellbeing.
It is generally recommended during a massage that silence is maintained; however, there are many clients who talk. As I work on the body the client spontaneously releases thoughts, memories, feelings and insights. Body work supports the process of letting go.
“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.”
― C. JoyBell C.
How are you currently letting go?
The last few weeks have brought very intense experiences into my life. My whole being has been involved emotionally, physically and spiritually. Now I am exhausted and beginning to put myself back together. This is our life. We go through periods of intensity and get spit out on the other side.
I believe we are not meant to remain in stasis for too long. I believe we have an innate urge to grow continually and our life is the fodder for that growth to occur. It is up to us though to consciously participate.
For me I participate by meditating, journaling, walking, contemplating, allowing my feelings to flow and asking questions. What do I know now that I did not know before about myself? What beliefs about myself do I want to let go? What new beliefs do I want to create?
Life in general appears to be an infinite procession of experiences lived moment to moment. Sometimes we feel badly. Sometimes we have a sense of wellbeing. Sometimes we just feel neutral. But I believe the purpose in all of this is growth; becoming more alive and self expressive. It is a unique process for each one of us and I believe growth to be the most important self discovery of all.
How have your life’s experiences helped you become more aware?
I am off to Knoxville, Tennessee for my daughter’s wedding. Joy fills my heart and spreads throughout my own being.
On Sunday, October 5, early in the morning a dear friend of mine died. We all had known for some time that Richard’s death was imminent and so many loving friends and family had literally been waiting for this news. And it came…
When I found out a huge wave of relief permeated my whole body and soul. I quickly resumed my schedule of activities for the day until subtly at first and then louder I felt in my body a demanding urgency to sit and be still! Now I could feel the pain and ache in my belly.
My friend Richard taught me about the power of silence in sitting and meditating. As I opened to a deeper awareness through stopping all activity and quieting my mind, something wonderful began to emerge within me. I now felt warmth spread out from my center – love. Tears began to fall.
Jack Kornfield shares in his book, The Wise Heart: A guide to the universal teachings of Buddhist psychology, ‘When we are lost in our worst crises and conflicts, in the deepest states of fear and confusion, our pain can seem endless. We can feel as if there is no hope. Yet some hidden wisdom longs for freedom…Awakening this inner freedom of spirit is the purpose of the hundreds of Buddhist practices and trainings.’
Now is the beginning of my next phase in Richard’s illness and now his death. Death is final but life is here, now, and I am experiencing this one breath at a time.
What is your experience with stillness?