Archives for: October 2005
I love autumn.
I think of this time of year as a spiraling inward, a time to pause and notice the transitions of this season, and what they bring. Watching… noticing… helps me prepare for the coming dark and stillness of winter.
So… being the dreamy B that I am, I have spent many a morning sitting in the crisp air on the front porch watching the sun drift slowly upward into the beginning of the day as the leaves on the Rocky Mountain maples let go in the breeze and skirt along on the winding currents to the ground. I just love that moment of letting go leaves do in their autumn dance, their swan song to the summer that has passed. As I watch the leaves floating along, leaving their mark on this autumn canvas, it gives me courage to look at what needs letting go of in my own life… to make room for new seeds to be sown.
I try to spend as much time outside as possible now…. noticing all the changes taking place in the outside world. Every day there are obvious changes, a shift that was not there the day before. Suddenly, the hummingbirds have left the cañon, the insects have fallen silent, the shrubs, bushes, and trees begin pulling their energy toward their roots away from growing upward and outward. Spaces between the branches begin to open up as the leaves begin their Falling. I think of the end of autumn as when the sky opens up to be seen in it’s fullest.
It is also a time to make a conscious shift toward high compliance and preparation for the cold to come. For me, that means increasing the amount of root vegetables in my diet… carrots, beets, sweet potatoes… and winter squashes high in beta-carotene. Cooked greens like kale, chard, and spinach replace raw salads. My fruit consumption changes too… eating only a few pieces of fruit per week.. I crave cooked whole grains and keep foods made with flour grains to a bare minimum.
As my outward activity begins slowing down, I yearn for slow-cooked foods… soups, stews, slow-cooked roasts. I eat much more meat in the winter, and balance that with reduced dairy. And then there is sugar… ah yes, sugar.. so much associated with holidays and traditions. But the longer I follow the BTD way of life, the less sugar cravings I have. I only desire sugar now if I have not had adequate protein in the day, or in using sugar like a drug… something to take me out when I am feeling lousy. But those times are few and far between now…
All of these things help me begin to slow down, pull inward, inducing the quiet necessary to prepare for the darkness that gives birth to the dawn a new year… new experiences… new growth.
There is a yoga meditation practice called breath counting. In this practice, one simply sits comfortably with attention and awareness focused on the edges of the nostrils, where the breath is exhaled. The practice involves breathing in and out quietly, focusing on that point. With each exhalation, begin counting one... two... three... and so on up to ten. All mental attention is focused completely on counting. Once ten is reached, begin again.
Sounds easy, right? However... many people discover that after the number two or three... thoughts and other mental distractions begin to creep in. When one’s mind notices these distractions, just start over ...counting again.... beginning with one. In their first year of practicing this form of meditation, most people never get beyond four or five before the thoughts begin creeping in. And always, it’s... back to one.
Such a great metaphor to use in life... back to one... if you know what your “one” is. Fortunately for BTDer’s, our one is clearly defined, and we each have our own individual variations as well. My one involves food, rest, exercise, creativity, time spent with others, time with myself. And being a B, it is crucial that all are in balance with each other. If one of the elements gets way off kilter, it can skew the whole lot. When that happens, misery is sure to ensue.
For instance...in the realm of food choices, I always feel So Much Better when I keep flour products to a bare minimum. I know I’ve said this before but it bears repeating. For me. And when I choose unconsciously in the grain department, my thinking becomes foggy, distracted. I lose my count. And then it’s back to one. No guilt, no berating myself. Simply, back to one. To begin again... a new day, hour, minute... one...
What is your one? What is your foundation for healthy living? How do you know when you lose your focus? Through thoughts, feelings, sensations? These have been important questions for me to reflect on. I don’t get quite as distracted as I used to. I can count for longer now, most of the time. But distraction, and straying from our health goals and desires is a part of the journey. I am going through a phase in my life currently where I seem to never get beyond the number one before I lose my concentration. Life is like that sometimes. But no guilt, no failure. Simply... back to one.
To begin... yet again...