40º is Not Warm

Just because its 40º, and not 20º, doesn’t mean its warm.  But on the streets people were rejoicing.  Weather reporters proclaimed it was balmy, gorgeous, delightful.  NYC hasn’t seen 40º since January 5.  Our internal compass has been pointing toward cold for so long, the slightest relief from it has us thinking its Spring.  40º is not Spring, its actually average temps for February. We just forgot because its been 20s for so long.

People are so thrilled its not 20º, they are out running in shorts and tee-shirts.  40º is not warm.  I’m going to set my kitchen timer on this one - in 10 days, those runners will be sick.  

Have you ever been injured - physically or emotionally - and didn’t realize how much pain you were in until it fades a bit? Such relief.  But if you listen to your body/mind carefully, you may not be healed quite yet.  You might feel better, but not back to balance.  Your compass is not pointing toward health yet. 

Sometimes our internal compass,  knowing when your body/mind is in- or out-of-balance, can become uncalibrated.  Of course balance changes as we do, constantly.  When it comes to mind/body health, balance is not a place, its a process. 

The skill of pausing to listen to your body/mind - to calibrating your compass - is an essential tool for physical and emotional health.  We all have it.  Is this challenging or easy? A need or a want? Nutritious or deleterious? Does it feel good or bad? Am I hungry or satiated?

I recently had brunch plans with a great friend who cancelled last minute.  Her daughter was cranky.  “She must be getting sick and I should keep her out of the cold”.  A mother, listening to her daughters compass.   Her child was out of balance, getting sick. 

Sometimes we have to ignore our compass - a work deadline preventing sleep or an airport meal.  That is the right choice.  Dancers and Athletes do this all the time.  They ignore the pain for art and beauty.

Is it worth the risk to get off balance? Your compass is different than mine. I’ve never been an adrenaline junkie.  I generally tend to choose safety and ‘the right thing’.  I’m a slow skier and I’d rather take a languid hike, than a vertical one. I agonize over a restaurant menu - get what I want or what I’m supposed to eat. When I teach Yoga class and in my own practice, I tend to favor repetition over pushing. Perhaps I’m emotionally brave - willing to risk my heart and ego.  Public speaking or volunteering to read my essay in front of the whole class is never an issue.  My authentic emotions are usually obvious. Now ask me to ride a bike through NYC streets.  Nope, not happening!

Occasionally we need to push ourselves out of the comfort zone and let our compass point away from balance.  The conscious choice to do something uncomfortable.  The risk of pushing boundaries can lead to injury, illness and hurt.  But it can also lead to the reward of expansion, improvement, empowerment.  

Listen to your body.  Its always telling you something.  Listen, then choose.

What I learned in 2014 from many of you...and some animated characters

I feel the same kind of pressure to send out epic year-end thoughts, as I do to plan an epic New Years Eve night.  Could it be that I promised a game changing, life altering "most amazing post EVAH"?  OK, so if you saw that, I was really just trying to get your attention. (and apparently got a few people worried I might move to Europe...I'm flattered, really)
I will continue to teach my weekly classes and plan to organize great workshops in 2015; Asana, Meditation, Restorative, Ayurvedic Health/Wellness, and more.  So please follow me on Facebook  or stay tuned here.  
And a little something to offer you - a compilation of things I learned in 2014.  I'm quite certain I've forgotten more than I learned, but this some of what I will take with me to 2015. 

Breathe more - Rest more - Play more
- I'd rather end up wishing I hadn't, than wishing I had
- I still can't fold fitted sheets despite ample advice
- Being vulnerable is very powerful
- Let someone force you to see the world differently, even if it breaks your heart
- Everyone's a bit of a fixer upper. And some people are worth melting for
- Balance isn't a place.  Its a process

Breathe more - Rest more - Play more
- I'm getting good at choosing friends
- Go for a walk
- There is usually a better way to say it if I just pause for a moment
- Robin Williams was loved by so many and somehow it didn't help
- Squirrels don't care if their mate is gray or black
- The start of something big is often small and unremarkable
- Its harder to be authentic than nice
- Chemical cleaners are very bad for the environment and work very well
Every life matters.  Many will suffer until we get this right
- Theater, Art, Film, Music, Dance are here to transport us, momentarily, from our own lives
- Eat seasonal and local
- Clothing swaps are awesome
- Smell your food first.  If it smells good, eat it.  If it doesn't - choose wisely
- Read a lot
- Listen to your body.  Its always telling you something
- Indulging can feel sooooo good.....or bad
- No one deserves the skim milk version
- Our healthcare system still needs work
- Our healthcare system is better than most
- Texting might be a valid form of communicating but I still need to hear and see you

- Cold is cold.  Call it Polar Vortex or what you want
- Pope Francis is cooler than any Pope in our lifetime
Breathe more - Rest more - Play more
- If I don't celebrate my birthday, it happens anyway
My daily life requires courage

- Say the following liberally: I'm sorry.  I forgive you.  Will you forgive me.  I love you.

Spring? Ohhhh Spriiiing?

It feels odd to be writing about Spring when its 42-degrees. But May is a-knockin' and Spring will be a-rockin'.  

Spring Tips to feel Rockin' in Spring:
- Awaken with the sun (gulp - its getting early).  People who get up at dawn report having more energy and feeling vibrant throughout the day.
- Drink warm water with lemon in the morning.  Do you have Spring allergies? Add cayenne pepper or ginger in your lemon-water to rid some of that Spring congestion.  
- Change your greens.  Spring greens are hitting the farmer's market.  Change it up.  Add these seasonal, sharp greens to your salad or juicer - its not always about Kale.
Oil pull.  I know, I'm relentless but it works.
- Follow me on Facebook.  I post great articles and tips there all the time.

Spring Will Spring

Here in NYC, it doesn't quite feel like Spring.  We've all lost a bit of perspective now that Polar Vortex is a common phrase around here.  Since when does 40° feel like Spring?  Reality check! That's 8° above FREEZING! Still, Spring will arrive.  It always does.

We've already sprung our clocks forward and more changes are coming.  If you take a moment to get quiet inside, you'll notice little changes: buds on trees, new bird calls, teeny-tiny green sprouts of spring flowers.   When our environment changes, we need to steady ourselves to stay healthy, grounded, vibrant, SANE.

My plan, pick a few things to do consistently -  a quick and easy routine….No, I don't mean that morning (or 3pm) Savior dose of caffeine.   Just a few simple things we can make time for - to nourish ourselves.

  • Make yoga (or any physical, emotional, mental practice) a consistent thread in your life
  • Try to add one new daily health routine. Heard of Oil Pulling yet?  Its easy and the benefits are astounding.  Check out this article entitled WTF is Oil Pulling.
  • Freshen up your environment. Buy an indoor plant.  Oh, you have that already? Then try sprouting your own sprouts. Its easier than you think, urban people.  (www.sproutpeople.org)
  • If you're up for it, try a Spring Detox.  Not sure how? I have great resources, ask me.