Monday, 20 February 2012

Winter Happiness

“Feeling only the cold

We cling on to the summer

And fear winters beauty”

Part of us knows that we cannot stop the flow of the seasons any more than King Canute stopped the flow of the tide and accept it but at the same time we would prefer to be sitting outside with a glass of wine in the evening rather than trying to keep warm indoors.
If we were perfect – and let’s face it, we are not; we would adapt with the seasons of the year and of life, accept their changes and move on.  In Eastern thought this would be called living with the flow of the Tao.
If our body, minds and spirits are in perfect health then we are living with the Tao.  Exercises and therapies such as Tai Chi, Chi Gung, macrobiotics, meditation and Shiatsu are ancient ways of helping to keep ourselves flowing with the Tao and having a happy and fulfilling lifetime.
Perhaps some of the following practices can help you to adapt to the winter season.
·      Our natural urge is to eat heavier foods as the cold sets in.  This is how it should be but as Westerners we tend to overdo this leading to excessive build-up of mucous and fats.  Try putting a few extra seasonal locally grown vegetables in the casserole and a little less meat. 
·       Onions, fresh ginger and mooli are good for breaking down excess fats and mucous.
·       Make sure that you get enough rest.  If the winter makes you want to hibernate then this is a sign that your body is trying to synchronise with the seasons – are you taking notice of the messages?
·       Winter is considered by most traditions to be a very spiritual time where we can explore our inner selves.  Take time to reflect on what your values are in life and how to be true to yourself.
·       Get out and feel the glories of Nature!  Even the “dark stormy nights” of the winter can be exhilarating.
We cannot change, stop or even slow down the seasons.  Learning to adapt with them can be a nourishing process.  Great benefits can be gained from relatively little effort.  Learn to enjoy the passage of the seasons and your whole wellbeing can be improved.

Ray Pawlett

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