March 8, 2013

Letting Go of What No Longer Serves You...

"Letting go of what no longer serves you..." This has been such a theme over the past few months. If you think about it, the darkness of winter reflects our natural rhythm physical energy, and emotional energy.

It leaves lots of space for us to stare the deeper, potentially more curmudgeonly aspects of ourselves. We can't always be on our best behavior, right? Where would the lessons be in life if we were?

With this upcoming New Moon in Pisces, I think feel this must be a powerful time to make good with this concept of "letting go of what no longer serves you". 

Pisces is deep and emotional, yet, also creative, and artistic. The energy of this "archetype" harnesses a duplicitous relationship of dark and light; Inward depth fueling outward creation.

It is a time for inspiration, creation, dream manifestation, and affirmations.

Soon, also enters the seasonal re-birth of spring and therefore, ourselves; inside and out.


Spring, for most, freshens the heart, spirit, mind, body, and soul. You don't have to simply rely on the rhythm of the sunshine and the seasons to provoke some energy.

Actually, I think it is quite healthy to prepare yourself for the swift changes that can often come with spring. Sometimes in Kentucky, I feel like Spring just happens so fast. From what I hear in Ithaca, it is similar, yet more drastic.

It may be a good time to begin to make some extra efforts to warm up your body.

Warming Up with Herbs and Spices such as Cardamom and Ginger...

 If you are feeling a little low on energy, you can begin by adding some spice to your food. Some herbs that you may consider adding into your diet are ginger, cayenne, cardamom, or turmeric. You can add any of them to your tea, pouridges, or more savory meals. Though these spices are generally considered to be more savory, cayenne, and ginger can be delightful in a tea!
You can make a ginger tea simply by boiling up the skins or chopped pieces of the fresh root. This makes fore a spicier, sweeter, more interactive, and economical version of the tea bags you would find at your local health food store. I really love to add cayenne, honey, and berries to porridge of quinoa or amaranth seed.

Melt Your Winter Chills Away in a Gym Steam Room or Sauna! If you are lucky enough to have access to a steam room or a sauna, take about 20 minutes 2-3 times a week to sweat out some of the excess cold and moisture that winter allows to settle in. There are some gyms that offer free weekly memberships…this may be a great time to take them up on that offer!

Get your body moving again.
 If you are anything like the majority of folks living in a four season climate, it is likely that this past winter has lead you to more of a sedentary lifestyle.

Don't feel bad, this is actually pretty normal in our humanness.  Hitting the gym in March is not a only a plan made of vanity for "Spring breakers" hoping to make their hot bod even hotter. It's good for your soul too. Try to make an effort to begin to at least stretch your body in the mornings. You can do this in the shower or in your bed to help wake you up in the mornings. It can be hard to get going in the winter time, but, a nice brisk walk can be really invigorating this time of year. 

The winter sludge and grudge can leave our mental, physical, and emotional, bodies to feel sloth-esque and stubborn towards movement, for sure.

Yes, this even applies to those super hero yogini's and yogi's, runners, and/or trained athletes!

On a general scale of relativity....they have all probably slowed down a bit. If they tell you they haven't, they are lying.

 Just kidding. They probably just have an incredible desire and/or discipline for exercise, which is awesome and admirable.

However, if this is not you, don't beat yourself up for it. Seriously.

That's just a waste of time, energy, and space that you could be using to consciously love yourself.

Believe me, I know what it is like to feel like a lame ass who just doesn't understand why I don't follow through with plans, particularly when it comes to exercise. At these moments in my life, I realize that I must sit down and face my fears head on. And, you know what, I usually find reasons to make myself get up and just do it..but, not always. 

Though uncomfortable, we need to sit with our fears long enough so they may speak to us and share their story. Where did they come from? How do they feel? What names do they go by?

This may feel dark, lonely, unforgiving, never ending, overwhelming, numbing, bitter, sharp or thorny… Sounds a lot like a dramatic version of a cold, dark and drawn out walk through a thick wintery forest, right?

Well…tis’ the season to look inwards and deal with these seemingly mucky places; all the while knowing, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.


There just about always is.

Settling in with winter does not mean that you have to get depressed sad. It can however be a time of enlightenment as long as we  make the space to honestly face and tend to our inner and outer healings.

This means recognizing how we walk through our lives, how we choose to walk through our lives, and how we want to walk through our lives. Within these questions lies great opportunity for growth.

Take a moment to look at anything that makes you feel down and out, less loving of yourself, under-forgiving for yourself or of others. 

Think of the things that spur emotional or physical stress responses during your daily walk of life. Can you think of anything?

Are there things that need pruning? Are there changes that you have recognized you have needed to make for yourself, yet, you for some reason find yourself feeling stuck?

This is a prime time to face those fears.

I attended a lovely Kripalu yoga class this week that was simply heart opening.

The yoga instructor dedicated this particular class to a festival called Maha Shivaratri, which will be celebrated across the world this coming weekend.  The legend associated with this festival involves swimming into the deep, dark depths of the ocean. The ocean, known by many for ages, is a symbol of our inner selves and inner emotions. During the festival, stones that are found in the depths of a river in India, called Shiva Lingams, are erected. They are showered with flowers, bathed with ghee, and surrounded by light. 

This is only one of many Spring festival or holidays that associates this time with new beginnings, fertility ad creation. You can find similar symbols in Christianity and Catholicism, for instance, during Easter. These symbols take form as bunnies, and eggs painted in beautiful colors reminiscent of the flowers, new buds, and the baby sprouts of the season.

These symbols also remind us to welcome the warmth, fresh energy, and forgiving nature of life, lessons, and the earth with open arms.

Reminded of the Strength Evergreens Have to Offer...
After that yoga class, I left feeling as though I had sloughed off a little layer of self-doubt and negative talk. 

I have totally been told by some of the closet people to me in my life, “Nishaan, you are too hard on yourself!”  I just never got what they were saying. 

But, being away from my friends, family, and community this winter and, simply left to my own devices, I realize exactly what they are saying.

There has been little to distract me from the shadowy depth of winter and myself this year.

 It has been rough, but, also, it has been an incredible time of growth and understanding. I definitely do not feel enlightened by any means. 

However, I do feel like I have begun to create space for something that I made little time for in the past. I have been forced to learn to make space for compassion and forgiveness for myself! And, there are moments like the one captured above, when I am given little messages of strength from my plant allies. 

All this time away from home has helped me to realize how I tend to create an impossible world of goals and aspirations to live up to. I do my best to get things done, but, when I feel I am not “productive enough”, I don’t let up. Even though I make space and time for self-care, I often counter balance that with self-doubt!

There are feelings of not feeling good enough. I have a difficult time recognizing when it is my turn to step out of my “student” chair and into my seat as a teacher.

I have made leaps and bounds to discover my own personal power, however, there is much more to be uncovered, and I still find that I am often my own worst enemy!

Yet, aside from all of that, inside of me, there is this deep longing to help others work through exactly what I have been working through. 

I know how important it is to be able to feel what it is to be truly yourself.

I realize that there are many of us out there who are longing for a deeper meaning of life fulfillment and acceptance. 

For many years I looked outward for this acceptance, yet, in the long run, I now realize that the only acceptance that counts comes from within.

Somehow, through bodywork, herbalism, and aromatherapy, I am finding my path to help others who are looking for ways to fill their space on earth more comfortably.

 It involves Jungian archetypes, imagery, symbols, nature, myth, and alchemy. Hence, I have been working on a new concept of holistic health consultations that I call "Alchemy of The Heart". There will be more on that later.

 “…Beauty lies within the eyes of the beholder…”

How that resonates with  truth and how I hope to help others to see the beauty in their own unique make-up.

The Melting of Winter and Resurfacing of Spring...

What layers of deep inner repose have you been gifted from this years winter? 

What will you allow to melt away and blossom with the coming of Spring?

I vow to attempt to stop being so hard on myself. I vow to turn down those voices of self-criticism, worry and doubt.

 I welcome in the golden yellow light of self-love, sunshine, and self-expression and I welcome to continue to love regular exercise.

 Most importantly, I welcome a natural ability of strong, yet, gentle self-confidence and self-acceptance. We were all born with this, and we all deserve to live with this. 

What do you vow to let go of this Spring? 

What do you welcome to come in? 

If you have time, take a moment to journal this weekend. 

What do you hold onto? What fears and shadows surfaced this winter? What would you like to make space for and create in your life? 

 Take some time this weekend for conscious breath.

With your in breath welcome in what it is you would like more of in your life, feel the spaciousness that you create in your lungs, the freshness of oxygen that flows to each cell, and the expansiveness in your chest and shoulders.

With your exhale, think that helps you to let go of your worries, self-doubts, or whatever it is that you feel no longer serves you.

I recently wrote up a post, Journal with Plant Allies, Let Go of What No Longer Serves You. This exercise came to mind and heart while writing this current blog post. I would like to share it with you here.

 It is a three step Compassionate Journaling exercise to help you let go of what no longer serves you. You may also choose to use it as a monthly New Moon exercise, and I definitely highly suggest it for this coming New Moon on Monday, March 11, 2013.

It involves plant allies, colored pencils, and paper. Oh, and some inner reflections. If this sounds right up your alley, please have a read here >>

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