January's vibe of starting over always excites me. A sense of wonder and illumination of what's to come fills my senses. To make room for the New Year's energy to flow in, I picked the first coldest day in January to retreat indoors and clean out my family's den of yuletide home decor. Since each holiday object is filled with a memorable story line it took me longer than I expected to clean up. Time lost can't replace what joy it brought me to see one last time until next Christmas my teenage son's 3 year old hand tracing on a tattered old Christmas card. During the last few sweeps of my broom I noticed little red holly berries in my baby Krishna's hands. I quickly replaced his red berry fascination with his toy puppy. It amazes me how quickly he can let go and move from one point of focus to another.
Although the holidays are fun filled they can be laced with stress and a few bad memories of the past year. For this reason once my Christmas decor was packed away in a storage closet I performed a house cleansing ritual where I lit a red candle. Red because it symbolizes our root chakra, an energy center found at the base of our hips where we store our emotions related to our shelter, money and nuclear family. As the candle flickered away I closed my eyes and set an intention for my home and all that dwell in it. Whenever I set an intention I always follow it by taking three deep breaths. Doing so animates my thoughts, moves it into my aura and beyond. To banish any left over traces of last year's negativity I cracked open a window, lit some sweet scented incense and in a circular motion directed my incense wand throughout my home. Being a good witch I whispered let all the bad vibes and lessons learned move out as I purify my home.
Red berries during Mother Nature's dormant winter days in the Northern Hemisphere symbolizes strength and vitality despite the cold and bleak appearance outside. Now the berries are fading and one by one falling towards the earth. As a result of their decline I've taken the red as well as the Christmas inspired evergreen colored clothing out of my closet and into storage. During this closet reorganization session I was also able to cleanse it. I filled two huge bags of stuff that I haven't used in over a year. These bags were given to my Nanny who has a source in the Dominican Republic who will be happy with it. I'll admit there's some good stuff in there but I don't wear it... so it goes.
Since December's Winter Solstice I've been fascinated in watching the day's light growing longer in length. Doing so I've been noticing the blue hour. This is what French Impressionist painters like Monet and Van Gogh call twilight, the moment between dawn and sunrise and sunset and dusk. As a result my closet will be showing twilight colors like navy, black, purple and white for the moon. In the meantime my husband Amit snapped these pictures of me paying on last tribute to the red berries of winter and I guess you can say good old St. Nick as well.
The color cream is fresh, pure, neutral and compliments most skin tones. It is the perfect color to wear when you're in the process of renewal. Whereas red as mentioned earlier symbolizes the home, strength as well as acknowledging our nearest and dearest family members.
|Clogs http://www.forever21.com/ thick socks & velvet leggings http://www.lailarowe.com/|
Although January is the month of new beginnings and fresh starts there's a silence about the first month of the year.
|Vintage purse, Singapore, gifted from my Mother in law|
A stillness, as Mother Earth, the sleeping seed hibernates while my ego who's always ready to go, go, go looks into my crystal ball and forecasts my year ahead.
|Necklace vintage from India, gifted from my Mother in law|
As I laterally elevate my elbows, my ribs expand and I naturally begin to lengthen my inhale.
|Gloves http://www.zara.com/ scarf http://www.forever21.com/|
As my elbows raise higher than my shoulders and my prayer hands are upside down and inside out, I feel winter's dry and cold air struggle into my upper lungs.
As I exhale I watch a cloud of breath leaving me and disappear into the chilly and colorful air that surrounds me.
The earth is nearly frozen and conserving her energy for springs new growth.
I hear the Mother whisper... this is not a time to race around and be busy rather water your New Year's seed, love it, believe in it and allow it to gestate deep within your consciousness.
As I inhale my heart is uplifted. The turmoil that congests my senses is loosening.
I feel as though I'm floating amongst the cottony clouds and to my delight the air is moisture here.
As I ride the clouds, I breathe in moisture air. My winter dry mind and body begins to feel soft, spongy and supple like it would if I was walking through a tropical jungle.
|Vintage Indian tunic, turtle neck http://www.zara.com/ nail polish Karma Hues in Xmas morning & No Miss in Vanilla|
I now feel balanced as I look below and see the frozen earth.
I drift on the wind.
I hear a whistle then a fierce breeze has me tumble in the air.
Cold air enters my lungs and tightens my bones. Icicles begin to form on me.
In a flash I'm nearly frozen.
I feel as though time has stopped.
Without fear I now understand being still is an important part of our process.
In the distance I see an iridescent cloud which seems to glow from within.
I realize I'm seeing the sun's light and his strength is increasing.
As I glide closer towards the sun, his light moves through my crystalline body. Like a crystal I separate the sun's light into a rainbow of colors which surrounds me like a super charged halo.
I feel as though all my chakras have been cleared and my New Year's dreams are coming to me.
I feel light, free and warm as I float like a feather towards the earth.
I see deer gracefully walking through the forest.
Feeling spacious and illuminated I rest on the earth.
I recognize that I'm a part of everything in the universe. All I need I already have in the palms of my hands.
When I forget I simply need to shine my light on myself and others.
Winter Balancing Tips
Ayurveda is a natural medicinal practice which compliments yoga. Similar to yoga Ayurveda says like increases like. Therefore during winter's frigid and dry weather we must surround ourselves in the opposite qualities of cold and brittle like warm and hydrated to be balanced.
Here are my personal daily tips:
1. Hydrate with warm herbal teas throughout the day.
2. Be Italian and drizzle olive oil on your food. Be Indian and saute your veggies in ghee as well as spread a little on your toast. Moisturizing your food will lubricate your inner body and move constipation and bloating out. We often think drinking water solves these common to winter digestive problems but be aware that oil and ghee is thicker and better than water. Water runs through us while oil and ghee moisturizes our insides. Don't be afraid of the fat calories. These good fats are better than butter because they stoke your digestive fire and don't cling to your insides rather they mildly pull toxins out as they slide through your system.
3. After showering oil yourself up then pat yourself dry with a towel. Almond and sesame oils work best.
4. Eat thin skinned oranges. They're delicious this time of year. Living in New York City all the oranges I eat have jet lag but are worth consuming because they are packed with cold and flu fighting vitamin C.
5. As you crank up your indoor heat...steam. Humidifiers get moldy and icky therefore I'm a fan of filling a huge pot with water and boiling it. Once boiled I set the pot alongside me. When it cools I boil it again and repeat the process over.
6. Buy a small bottle of citrus oil like orange, grapefruit or lemon and drop it in your bag. Throughout the day experience a tropical pick me up as you apply the citrus scented oil to your forehead, neck, shoulders and wrists.
This winter stay warm, inspired and hydrated!