After Labor Day, things swirl a little faster, everyone’s at their desk type type typing away, and off we go. Fall. It’s back to school, back to work.
I love Fall – the color in nature here in New England, and every year I do have a few back-to-school flashbacks, thinking of my Disney-bus lunchbox that smelled of old bread and peanut butter. Jelly!
This month I’m in the swirl of fall energy. New business, different business, I’m reaching into new places. As a small business owner (rather than my full-time job as Lead Nutritionist at Kripalu, which I left in January [they won’t be replacing me anytime soon, sorry integrative nutritionists]- though I still teach there a bit) I am learning my own way of marketing – how I inform those I serve of what I offer, finding my way toward having income and expenses balance out (they can balance out, right?).
Fall has some challenge to it. The cold winds begin to blow, aggravating our Vata (an Ayurvedic constitution embodying movement, cold, and dryness. Our whole culture, some say, is Vata deranged, meaning we are over-stimulated in a certain way). We are prone to colds and flu now – and here comes the first round!
I need to remind myself, in these busy days of September, to take time to be still.
To practice – perhaps bowing down to Ganesha, the tantric mascot of new beginnings, good friends, and family bonds. This month I follow his lead, being in the dance of joy and work-life. I’ll remember to enjoy the sweetness of this life no matter how absurd or challenging or ironic the universe seems.
So I practice. Practice wonder and work. And I care for myself in that fall flu preventing way. Here are few ideas:
- Eat Nutrient Dense. Especially antioxidants. Citrus, dark greens, brightly colored vegetables. Squash and tomatoes are your energy-rich yet calorically light friends.
- Tend Your Inner Garden. Remember that the vast majority of our immune system is found in the gut, and more specifically, in the collection of bacteria we tend in our large intestines. This is an excellent time to pick up a jar of fermented sauerkraut or kimchee, or, if you are not one for fermenteds, try a good quality probiotic. Look for one with a nice high CFU (colony forming units) number – more than 1 billion per dose is what you are looking for.
- Take Time to Be Still. As time passes, I am more and more convinced that it is what’s inside our minds that makes us well or not-so. Find a mindfulness group (yes this is the plug! – Check out my weekly online Mindful Presence Group). Or find a local one.
- Consider the Fine Art of Abhyanga. Through the winter, I rub myself with warm oil each morning, and actually, it’s fantastic oil at that. I either make my own – Ashawaghanda in sesame oil, or I get a nice fragrant (and expensive!) oil from the Kripalu shop for a treat. Each morning I warm a bit, and take a few of the waking moments to take fantastic care of myself. It has literally transformed my life! My Ayurvedic brothers and sisters do it in a particular way – and it depends upon your constitution, which way is just right for you. But, just the warm oil on my cold fall and winter skin. Heaven.
May you navigate the transitional season of fall with nary a sniffle. Be well, love your life and stay in touch.