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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Winter Pleasures

During these dark, cold, wet and wintry days of winter, it behooves us to take it slower.  After the  holiday rushing about of shopping, cooking, friends and family get-to-gethers, it is time sit and take stock and reflect, then move forward.

Writing about the winter and the cold, the wetness, the clouds, the fog, all seems to be a bit of a downer, but actually....I like this time of year.  I like the reflecting and the slowing down.  Sitting for a moment to knit, or write, or listen to music or a crackling fire without hurrying around and feeling like I should be doing something else.  I can relax, the warm sun is not calling me outside and  I am focused inward.  Planning perhaps my spring garden, a summer vacation or an art project that still needs finishing.

I try to quiet the ever churning mind, and sometimes negative inner voice, by meditating in the early mornings.  It is dark outside, still and quiet in the house.  Trying to unclog bad patterns and messages that my mind tells my self, I focus on positive questions.   I ask questions that are important to me, what is my purpose? and how can I best achieve it? Or, how can I be of help to my family and others?  I take stock by telling myself that I am a good person, I am a creative person, and a loving person.  I can achieve great things when I am focused.  I feel clearer afterwards.  I stretch into yoga and if time, will walk up the road where I live and take in the beauty and peacefulness of this sacred place.   Walking creates space in my mind and heart.  It clears the cobwebs.

There is so much beauty in the world and yet so much pain too.  There in lies the constant lifelong struggle....balance.   Balancing the good with the bad, the busy with the quiet, the sick with the healthy, the prosperous times with the not so prosperous times, and the happy with the sad, all takes emotional energy.  We know this for sure, yet it hits us sometimes when we least expect it.

So it seems, our emotional and physical health are somtimes a precarious balancing act.  By taking care of ourselves first, it allows us the energy and time to take care of the ones we love, without guilt or resentment. Making the time for ourselves to walk, practice Yoga or some form of stretching, and eating healthful foods creates healthy habits that we can pass on to our children.   It shows them that we love ourselves enough to care for ourselves.   Smile, breathe and go slowly

Peace and Good Eats in the New Year!

“Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.”

Both quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh, the monk, activist and writer

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