i have been contemplating while reading blogs regarding women's health and sense of self, image & beauty, what it is that constitutes a vibrant sense of self. i was fortunate to have grown up with a mother who was a dietitian in her day, and who raised us with principles that i continue to follow today, naturally. i am grateful to her for these teachings. Here are five ways that i remember, my mother taught me to foster health and vibrancy.
1. Diversity- is something i practice skillfully. I eat from a wide variety of whole fresh foods, with little wheat, less dairy, and much less animal fish & poultry, with whole grains, more legumes, & vegetables, some fruit, and super foods, that provide energy & sustenance to my daily regime. The Dharani Herbal Teas and herbal infusions also greatly contribute to this. i explore diversity in all aspects of life.
2. Moderation- is key to good health and well- being in whatever area of our lives we struggle, whether it be with food, or work, or drink... Drama and overly emotional cycles are included in this.
3. Movement - My mother always encouraged our family to move our bodies. She certainly did. I spent my summers in the Rockies of Alberta where I had plenty of time to explore nature. We biked and hiked and swam and picked berries throughout the summer, which make up some of my most fond memories. As an adult, i continue to move my body with a regular yoga practice, with Chi gong and intervals, and often spend time in the great outdoors. Studies show there is no better place to relax than out in nature.
4. Routine- In a recent seminar i attended with a Dr. Thom ND, said routine is shown to be the most effective tool to include in one's day to reduce adrenal fatigue and hormonal imbalances, including anxiety and depression. Routine is the key ingredient to establishing greater harmony in our daily rhythms- with meals, sleep, in work, or play. My maman taught me to take this seriously. It works.
5. Ruminate less- My mom taught me to never get too stuck on whatever it is i am feeling, seeing, judging, eating, drinking or creating- drama. She taught me to refocus on whatever healthy endeavor served me to shift. And to do so, until I felt better. I struggled with this as an adolescent, as i felt she did not feel as i thought she should. i may not have appreciated this quality back then yet, today i notice, i have learned how to let things be. Krishnamurti, (1895-1986) a great spiritual teacher once said to his students. "Do you want to know my secret?" he said " I don't mind what happens." This is key.
Mom was an especially active woman in her day, physically, mentally and spiritually, vibrant. Other than my father who drank too much, she loved to laugh and sought out reasons to smile whenever possible. She played bridge, she prayed, and she read a great deal. I remember she also volunteered, and gave back to the community with Meals on Wheels and with her friends who took sick. She made many batches of cookies. i benefit with this.
She lived to be 96 years old, and died within a heart beat, without anything particularly wrong with her other than lost memory and the energy to move the way she did. God bless her. Thank you to my mother, for all that did. OM.