Every now and again I hear people tell me how fast time is going, and I know it's time to share the wisdom of Dr Geoffrey Miller once again. A lovely doctor who also devoted his life to eastern thinking and exploring different philosophies, I went to see Dr Miller about twelve years ago when I wasn't well. I couldn't keep food or water down and I kept fainting. I also felt that time was speeding past - an hour was a minute, a day an hour, a week felt like a day and so on. I felt my life slipping by quickly. Dr Miller's prescription was simple but profound. He simply said to me "you need to stop!" and he prescribed one hour a day of doing NOTHING. No reading, study, music, meditation, talking, NOTHING. So I did. I sat for an hour a day watching the shadows of the trees play on my curtains. And I got well, I could eat again, I felt less overwhelmed, and most importantly time righted itself. Now I know, when time feels like its speeding up - I need to stop. I don't always need to stop for an hour, depending on how out of balance I am, nowadays half an hour can usually bring me back. I also try to include some of that time in my day regularly anyway. Even just 15 minutes a day as I simply drink a cup of tea and admire the trees can do wonders. And if you think you don't have the time? Then you must stop for longer!! Constant activity being more productive is a myth. Studies have shown after a certain number of hours we actually get less productive as we tire, and become more inefficient. That time is best spent replenishing yourself, and staying balanced, so you can get the most out of your day, your time, your life.
Co-incidentally – we have just found out that Dr and Mrs Miller are looking for a caring person to be their part-time carer up at Springbrook.
This would be a wonderful opportunity for the right person, preferably vegetarian, non-smoker to enjoy time with wonderful souls, be enriched, live in a pristine environment and have purposeful employment. For more info, email email@example.com
I came across a great little article in Australian Natural Health magazine by Janella Purcell outlining good foods to nourish winter skin. The list included organic soy products (tempeh, miso, soymilk and tofu), sea vegetables, vegetables, apples, pears, persimmons, nuts (almonds, peanuts, pinenuts) seeds like sesame and hemp, barley and millet grains, Oils – all nuts & seeds, avocado, tahini, coconut, olives and all types of unrefined cooking oil. These foods are not only good for the skin during winter (providing more moisture and essential oils to hydrate and replenish) but also they provide great nutrients for our joints and tendons that can also dry out during the colder months. According to Ayurveda, the Winter season is Vata – which means its predominant qualities are cool/cold, dry, light, mobile, windy, spacy, unstructured, contracting. To maintain balance in winter, we need to be aware of the right foods and habits that will keep us healthy and happy – this includes warmth, warming/ oily/moist/heavier foods (root vegetables, soups, kidgerees and porridges are great), warm colours and spices, keeping active, routines, plenty of restorative time and keeping organised. Things that aggravate can be too many cooling foods (icecream, yoghurt, salads, cold drinks), being too busy, no structure, excess travel and change, and too much time in the wind. Aggravation can appear as anxiety, poor concentration, fatigue, vagueness, irritablity, dryness, brittleness and even depression if you become too depleted. Of course our individual constitution also comes into it. Our asana practice needs to adapt too – being aware the joints and muscles need more warming up and lubricating than usual. Starting slowly and letting the heat build up. Warming pranayama. Avoid forcing or abrupt movements, especially before being warmed up. Standing poses and flowing salutes are great. You may not follow this completely, but with a little awareness and common sense, you can enjoy the winter months as much as the summer ones!