Our life begins
with a breath.
Our life begins
with a breath.
It’s March and it’s almost that time of year when we have to start getting our gardening tools out and start sowing our spring and summer crops.
I almost decided to not garden this year 1. because it took too much of my day hours last year, 2. i have more going on this year than I did last year when we first moved in this house. Spring 2017 was so spectacular that I spent 85% of my waking hours outdoors.
Last year was also my first time gardening, and thus was my first growing season. I remember how I felt when I was in my garden, it was an overwhelming feeling of joy and so much purpose. In the garden there’s always something that needed my attention. The dogs spent a lot of time outside too for as long as I was there. The three of us got a lot of sun together.
In working with earthly elements, I discovered another part of myself that I have not met before. It was in one of my gardening sessions last year when I was first introduced to the concept of intuition–in completely trusting this flow of ancient wisdom from elsewhere.
Here are some of the lessons I learned from the garden last year:
Our experience on social media and other online outlets can be constricting. Recent studies have shown how our habit of “browsing” has noticeably cluttered our space and capacity for creating. Since the rise of social media in our culture, our attention span (adults and children) is noticeably shorter.
Working on projects that require an X amount of focus can help create a breathing room in our mind and our soul. These therapeutic activities (whatever it is that we decide to take on) create internal expansion and are healthier for us in the long run.
For a meticulous gardener, every plant is precious and needs ample attention and care. There is also the thrill of waking up everyday excited to see the changes: what’s thriving, what’s bloomed overnight and what’s being attacked by pests.
Gardening is inviting ourselves to co-create with nature. And I like this whole concept of time away from modern technology. It is not a cheap hobby, but it can be cost effective when planned accordingly. Last year, I grew almost every seed I could get my hands on. Some succeeded and some did not. And that was fun. This year, I will concentrate growing only herbs and vegetables that I use in my kitchen.
I am really excited to step into spring, get into the rhythm of the garden and find out more of what the plants can teach us.
There is a silence,
a gentle breeze,
that takes over me when I empty myself.
What I’ve been looking for,
this profound peace,
was in me
There is no price that can amount to the happiness I feel after a good workout. Working out at home and at the gym is by far the best “self-emptying” method I’ve found (long walks come in second, and meditation comes in third). It gives me an opportunity to connect with my mind and body. It gives me some sort of physical stress, but I can tell this is the kind of stress that my body wants…and need. When we empty ourselves, we break the habit of carrying negative stress caused by interactions from our immediate environment.
I used to push ‘fitness’ to the side when I was in my 20s thinking that it’s not a vital part of living. I always said, “don’t have time for it.” Fast forward to my 30’s I began to feel my body more, I have stress coming from different places, and I didn’t know where to begin my personal overhaul–I just know that something different needs to be done. It was overwhelming to have so many symptoms of unhealthfulness. I would constantly medicate just to pacify all these feelings of stress and anxiety from thinking too much about my health.
Luckily we have 2 young dogs that are eager for walks. Long walks was where my fitness journey began.
I started taking long walks with my husband and our two dogs. Washington is such a beautiful state for doing this kind of thing. The air quality is really good because of the trees and there are hundreds of trails to choose from. Luckily, we live close to a trail alongside a river that streams from Mt. Rainier. I started to feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. The feeling was similar to waking up after a long frustrating dream. Like, “oh, was I the prison guard all along?”
This gave me the idea that the more movement I add in my life, the better I would feel. I incorporated routine workouts, and wow, it’s truly life changing. I love this place where it takes me. Which I think may be my personal nirvana. It’s so beautiful, so peaceful, and it’s a place where I know that everything is okay.
I see now that when we operate from this place, we feel good and confident that even the toughest storm will have a hard time shaking our foundation.
So I invite you to embark on a journey. Find what empties you, what brings you that genuine happiness, what makes you surrender in joy and peacefulness. When we know how to access this place and we continue to show up to the part of ourselves that want to be in healthfulness, our life and our well-being will improve dramatically.
Aloe Vera Plant (believed to have originated from Sudan) is one of the most revered plant worldwide for it’s healing properties. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, saccharides, amino acids, anthraquinones, enzymes, lignin, saponins and salicylic acids–all of which our body can recognize and know how to process.
There are many benefits in including aloe vera in your medicine cabinet, refrigerator, or freezer.
Here are some of the benefits of Aloe Vera that I’ve gathered:
I hesitated buying it because I was lazy, until one Saturday morning while shopping at Whole Foods (at $3.29 for a good sized leaf), I finally added it to my cart. My husband smiled and jokingly said, we now have a lethal weapon in our cart. Yes, it’s got spikes on the sides but they can be carefully and easily removed using a sharp knife.
Here is an article by Wellness Mama on how to deal with fresh aloe vera, she includes how to remove the sides, how to extract it, and how to turn it into aloe vera gel: click here to read it
I am amazed by the instant gratification effect that this plant have. I used it for both my dogs and I.
Purifying Mask For the Face:
The Result: Clear, smooth, glowing, rosy complexion
Leave-on Conditioner For the Hair:
The Result: Shiny, hydrated, moisturized hair
Conditioner for the Dogs:
The Result: My Ridgeback stopped itching, and both their coats looked amazing!!!
Aloe Vera plant will now be a staple in our home. I hope you give it a try because it’s as good as it’s reputation, and it is very affordable. There’s a lot of recipes for aloe vera concoction that are worth a try once you have a plant in your hand. Here’s the one that I liked: Click here to visit the face mask recipes.