Natural Health, Uncategorized

It’s OK to be Tired

napThere, I just gave you permission. Probably no one has done that since you were about 3 and you took daily naps. I have so many people come to me for acupuncture and one of their main complaints is fatigue, exhaustion, low energy. They hate it and they want their energy boosted. Then when I ask about their schedules they are: full time moms, and or working full time, caring for parents, pets, a home, volunteering, exercising a lot, gardening or skiing or running marathons or who knows what else. And I tell them, I think you’re tired…because you’re tired. It is so American to think we can fire on all cylinders 24/7 and never run out of energy, but it is decidedly Un-American to be tired. Ever. We are a nation of accomplishers (ok I made that word up) and doers and achievers. Not nappers. One of my Chinese professors, an MD in China, told me that when he worked there 20 years ago, it was totally acceptable, and most people did this, to close your door or sit in your chair around 2pm and rest for 20 minutes. I think you might get arrested if you tried that in America. Or at least lose your job. I don’t know if that is still true in China, with such a different economy and work environment now, but I thought that was fascinating.

At one point I went to my MD and said I must have low thyroid or anemia I was so exhausted and I requested blood work (which she did. I was fine). She was from India. She asked me “2 very young little boys, work, home, and no help at all? No, your thyroid is fine. You are just tired. Do yoga.” I loved that Dr. But she was right. I was tired, because I was TIRED! So of course I do a full intake on every client who comes to see me, and many of them do need their energy and their digestion and their overall Chi to be boosted, which I do through acupuncture herbs and the recommendation of mediation or yoga. But I almost always now add, that we should not forget to allow ourselves to be tired. We are tired. Our bodies are telling us so loud and clear. And so….we should rest. Easier said than done. But we should not think this is an illness to be cured, rather it is a need to be met. Lie on the sofa, even if you only have 5 minutes. Or let yourself be lazy and not do the 100 things you need to do on that one morning both kids are in school. Just start be recognizing, that we already do so much, we should be kind to ourselves, as if we were 3 again, we need to lie on our blankies and have some quiet time. At least I know I do, and I do it every chance I get. Which is not that often. But when I do it, I make sure I do the most important part of all, I enjoy it. I don’t feel guilty or berate myself. I soak it up. One Z at a time…Zzzzzz….

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Happy First Day of Spring! A Time to Plant the Seeds of Your Intentions!

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It’s that time of year, even in Maine it is warming up. Earlier than usual, but here it is, the first day of Spring. The earth is soft and muddy, birds are singing their joyful spring songs, and I am looking at seed catalogs. It’s time to start planting the tiny seeds that will miraculously grow into a lush, abundant garden in a few months. And so it is with our intentions, plans and dreams. All winter, the most Yin or cold, quiet, restful time of year in Chinese medicine, we gather resources, we rest, we plan. And now that Yin time of year is turning to Yang – the more active, warm, productive time of year. The ideas and intentions we created and meditated on during the winter have, by now, formed into actual ideas, plans. These plans are the seeds of what we will create this year. A seed is really just a concentrated piece of energy, information, intention. And now is the time to start planting so those seeds can slowly grow and bear fruit!

As it is with actual seeds, we need our intentions to be specific. If your intention is “I want to be happy,” that’s great. But it’s more likely you will reach your goal if your seed is more specific like, “I want to spend more time relaxing/swimming/learning to fly a plane” whatever it is that will make you happy…You need to know what you want. And you need to be specific. The universe will mirror  your intentions, will bring to you whatever energy you are putting out. So if you can specifically envision what you want, you are more likely to have it grow successfully. Seeds are very specific. You don’t plant a seed and maybe it’ll be a sunflower, maybe it’ll be an eggplant. You plant a specific seed and that specific plant will grow. So know what you want, concentrate your energy on specific intentions, then plant them. But that’s not the end, once planted you must tend them carefully.

As we plant our seeds we need to be sure to nurture them, new plans or ideas are fragile at the beginning, we can’t plant the seed and just walk away, then months later be upset the we don’t have a lush garden. Seeds need to be protected, watered, given sun and warmth and protection from wind or snow. And when they first emerge from the ground, don’t be upset if they don’t look exactly like what you wanted. Keep nurturing, keep your intention focused. I read once that if you pulled up every tomato plant as it emerged because it didn’t look like a tomato, you’d never get a tomato. At first a tomato plant is a tiny green shoot that doesn’t look like it could ever produce a big red vegetable. But nurture the plant and it will eventually give you exactly what you wanted.

So go outside, soak up some equinox sun and birdsong, focus your intentions and plant them as seeds in your mind, in your life. Now is the time for those ideas that have been quietly forming all winter to start to move into the realm of action, where you make your first moves to make the dream into a reality. And all the while don’t forget to stop and Spring garden!

Natural Health, Uncategorized

Happy Fall Equinox!

imgresThere are only two days a year when there are equal amounts of dark and light at the equator – Fall & Spring equinox. It is marked with rituals around the world and throughout the ages as a time to celebrate the richness of the harvest and to acknolwedge both abundance and balance – tangible and intangible – in our lives. The pagans would light a candle and bless the cakes and ales put on their altar. This day in the Wiccan calendar is known as Mabon and the cakes represent the masculine forces in nature, and the ales in the chalice represent the feminine. Again it is a time to honor balance, between the seasons, the light and dark, the masculine and feminine, and in all ways.

In China the fall Equinox falls on September 23 and is the half way point between “First Fall and First Hoar Frost”. At this equinox it is tradition to make sacrifices to the moon (in the Spring they are made to the sun), as the moon, the dark, the cold, the yin is the time of year approaching. Rice filled dumplings are eaten to celebrate this time. Though because September 23 doesn’t always fall on a full moon, and it is important that the moon be full for these rituals, so now it is often celebrated at the “mid-autumn festival” which is timed around the first fall full moon. Dumplings are given as gifts. This is the moment when yin and yang are in perfect balance. One fun tradition in China is to try and balance and egg on it’s end. This can only be accomplished on the equinox. Because yin and yang are in balance right now, it is important to eat foods that balance heat and cool, and to start preparing the body for the cool weather ahead – continuing exercise to boost immunity, and eating foods the strengthen the lungs (important for preventing illness in TCM) such as rice, honey, nuts and dairy products.

So here’s to a day to celebrate balance, abundance, harvest and health as we head into the colder, darker months ahead!

Natural Health, Uncategorized

Fall: The Time To Gather Seeds. And Ideas, and Intentions and Dreams…

IMG_6792Fall is here. The summer lovers are sad about this, but I am thrilled, I love the fall. The crisp air, changing leaves, the holidays beginning…to some this time of year is about endings. And it is, as is each season in its way. But really this season is about the earliest stages of beginning to. In Chinese thoughts of yin and yang, deep within the deepest part of the yin is the seed of the yang. And deep within the deepest part of the yang is the seed of the yin. So in deepest winter, we begin to turn toward sun and warmth. In hottest summer, there is the seed of winter within. And so in the fall, there is the ending, the reaping of the harvest, and the dying of the plants. But it is also a time to gather seeds and plans and ideas to store over the winter.

The big expansive active energy of summer has faded, and as we enter the months that are about IMG_6795rest, rejuvenation,quiet and stillness, and planning, we start by collecting the fruits of our labors over the summer. From all the plans that came to fruition, and even the ones that didn’t, there are wonderful seeds to be harvested – lessons learned, new ideas, new inspirations. So gather the seeds now to collect and store and ponder over the long winter. These are the seeds that contain your next project, your next move, your next career change, relationship, lifestyle shift, or just continuation on a path you chose to stay on. The summer is ending, but the spring planting of new things starts right now. The seeds are in your garden, and in your mind and body. Be conscious of which ones you chose to carry into the next year, and which ones you chose to leave behind and not re-sow. Your great joys and achievements are simply the results of choosing carefully which seeds to grow with your time, energy and love.

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New Year’s Resolution No. 1 ~ Love Yourself!

I’m creating a place to come and be inspired. Find new ideas. Remember how to love life again. And remember to have fun. This is it. This is life. Right now. Live it with joy. And learn/remember/keep on loving yourself. The answer to all the questions is: Love Yourself.

I know most religions teach that the main purpose in life is to love others. I firmly believe the goal in life is to love ones self. That sounds awful and it’s not really the end of the story. I believe the goal in life is to love others, to be generous and giving and inspiring. But I believe the only way to REALLY do that, honestly, deeply and with real truth, is to love one’s self so deeply that that love spills over onto everyone and everything in one’s life. THAT is living a loving life. Not being nice because your religion tells you to or because you feel superior doing so or because you don’t want to feel guilty. Love because you can’t help it. Be kind because kindness radiates from you. Love yourself and be kind to yourself so fully that you shine with it. That is what makes a life joyful, that is what makes children grow up strong and healthy, that is what will make the world a better place, because it’s real.

So here’s to 2013.  A year with wonderful energy to it. A year of good things I think…here’s to one more place out here on the internet to bring together a few good ideas, quotes, projects, inspirations and silliness.

 

with love

HeatherImage