Hi My Loves,
Yes, my brain does like to jump around sometimes. Not in a frenetic ADD way, but more in a way where I get really excited about a lot of different thoughts all at the same time that I want to share! While they don’t all really seem interrelated- well, I think everything really is related.
Here are some random thoughts- to give you an idea of that is playing on in my head:
1. I know it is cold and winter because my coconut oil has turned white and solid. What should I do? In a word- nothing. We love our coconut oil because it is a wonderful and commonly used ingredient in raw deserts, and because when we apply it topically it penetrates and makes our skin smooth and hydrated. It doesn’t matter whether it is a liquid oil or a solid butter- it will still work the same. I actually like it when the jar I keep near my bed to put on my skin gets a bit thicker and more milky. It is a little easier to scoop out how much I put on. When it is liquid it is a bit more unwieldy, and yes I have definitely oiled my sheets up more than once!
You don’t have to worry about refrigerating coconut oil in any form. If you are mixing a recipe by hand (like my Raw Cacao Truffles recipe) and you are worried that your coconut oil is too chunky to mix well, I would just sit your jar on your stove, which is always slightly warm anyway, and it should liquefy quite nicely.
2. I know it is winter because my body is craving warm food and cooked food sometimes. Great! It is important to transition with the seasons. No one said you have to eat 100% raw to get amazing, fantastic results. Some cooked food can be very beneficial in fact, as long as it is placed correctly and is easily digestible food. I do NOT believe in the die-hard 100% raw food philosophy people that promotes if you eat anything cooked you are doing something really “bad.” Please! Who wants to live a life of restriction?? To me, that is sort of like the calorie-counting people, which are also restricted and have to know how many calories are going into their mouth at all times. I reject both of those schools.
This is really a whole blog post which I’ll do soon as it is getting colder- and could really fill a whole book on how to eat, but I will say a few things. Non-cream soups like Miso soup and vegetable soup are fine. If you feel like something heavier, like a grain for dinner, I recommend quinoa, millet or amaranth after you’ve eaten a salad, and along with some lightly steamed vegetables. You can spice it up and make a whole meal out of it. Delicious!
Days when you eat some cooked food I do recommend being sure to have your Green Smoothie that morning, and also be sure to have a nice green salad beforehand. Remember that if we eat very well most of the time, and follow certain rules, such as the ones I just said, you are not being “bad” for eating some cooked food sometimes!
3. I know it is winter because I can intuitively feel that my yoga practice needs more fire. Of course, this could apply to other forms of movement. In winter, it is easy to want to close ourselves off, burrow ourselves in our homes and apartments, and withdraw. We are wrapped up in layers and layers of clothes, hustling to get from place to place and spending much less time in the fresh air and the outdoors.
With all this happening, we need to be conscious that we are not closing our heart chakras. We need to find ways to stay open and passionate, engaged with what excites us and makes us feel alive and energized and joyous. We have to put out a bit more effort in the winter to ensure we are still living our life to the fullest and not getting sucked into a familiar routine that just rolls along. Where is the fire??
One way I am actively seeking and bringing more fire into my own life is with my yoga practice and the way I teach yoga. After warming up I am bringing a much more a fiery routine with sun salutations, faster and more modern music than I might usually play in my classes, and series where I have my students move one breath per pose. It is really helping me feel the fire right now. I love it! We much naturally adjust to the seasons and the cycles of nature. How can you bring in more fire into your own life right now?
4. Along those lines, it is a good time to be reminded to remain unattached. With the closing off of the heart chakra and feeling more withdrawn, we tend to get a bit more attached to our routines and the minute components of our life because it makes us feel safe and so we have something to cling to. Have you gotten more upset lately over something that usually wouldn’t bother you? Of course, the upcoming holidays can also add more stress…
Yesterday in fact, I had a few situations that challenged this in me : 1) I was at a crappy airport terminal at JFK with 0 good food selections, and I was truly starving and about to get on a 6 hour flight. I did the best I could- baked rice chips and a not so great salad. Instead of dwelling on being mad at myself for not bringing food, or that I would throw myself off, I focused on letting it go. I also counter balanced it by not eating any peanuts on the airplane- alflatoxin mold! Even if I was near dying I don’t think I would eat those peanuts.
2 ) I take my friends’ yoga class once in a while and I get really excited when I can make it. And yesterday there was an unexpected sub! I noticed that feeling of frustration rising up, and I immediately took some deep breaths and tried to open up. And you know what? I loved the sub! She had beautiful energy. (And yes, I do think it is important for yoga teachers to keep being students as well!).
3) I was stuck in a cab for 2 hours and missed my flight. I had to pay a $50 change fee and got stuck with a middle seat instead of my original window seat. I am actually sitting in that middle seat as I write to you! I did get a bit put off for a minute, but then I realized, DOES IT REALLY MATTER? What’s the big rush anyways? I’m still breathing, still alive, and ultimately, everything will be okay. So I got to LA a few hours later- it is worth getting upset and secreting a large amount of harmful stress hormones?
Things are never such a big deal when we step back and become unattached to a specific outcome (even if we have to force ourselves to do so sometimes), and realize that in the big scope, 99% of the stuff we are attached to can shift, and it is okay. Being unattached in a very important practice, with our food and our lives. We just have to do our best and go with the flow. Everything does happen for a reason!