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Tag Archives: daily practices

Smell Your Life

I still remember an evening, many years ago, in the Mission district of San Francisco as I wandered for hours, drunkenly drawn along by the intoxicating scent of cherry blossoms. When I first traveled to India, it was the scents, as I stepped off of the airplane, that first signaled to me that I had arrived somewhere that would transform me.

Now that I am a mama, I could lie for hours, cuddling my little guy, taking in the smell of his hair (granted, he’s only 4 😉 ). The smell is uniquely him.

What are some of your favorite (or most memory-inducing) scents?

Smells have incredible power to inform you, transport you or uncover memories long stored away. Smelling requires an intimacy that we don’t often consider. In order for you to smell something, small molecules of it have to enter your body. Your sense of smell connects you to your most ancient animal origins.


In holistic medicine, scented oils, incense and flowers are all used as therapeutic components. While the effects of smell may seem subtle, the impact is profound and pervasive.

Connecting with your sense of smell:

      • For this contemplation, you will need something strongly (naturally) scented. Some ideas include incense, essential oil, fragrant tea or a fresh flower.
      • Sit comfortably with your chosen scent nearby. After a few moments of connecting with your deep breath, light the incense or cradle the flower, tea cup or a few drops of essential oil in your hands.
      • Inhale the scent deeply and allow it to permeate your mind.
      • Notice what thoughts or sensations arise in your awareness. Inhale deeply again as the impression of the scent on your experience starts to fade.
      • After a few minutes, close with a few deep breaths into your belly.

If you don’t own any essential oils, you might consider buying one of the ones in the list below to experiment with a bit. I love the oils from Floracopeia.


Stimulating and invigorating scents (clear dullness and lethargy)

– Camphor
– Eucalyptus
– Clove

Cooling and irritation-soothing scents (soothe anger, irritability and frustration).


– Sandalwood
– Rose
– Lavender

Calming and grounding scents (help ease anxiety and settle down for sleep)


– Orange
– Geranium
– Amber
– Vanilla

What are some of your favorite scents? Share in the comments below!

 

All in Good Taste…

If you are anything at all like me, eating occupies a lot of your time. Thinking about it, drooling over beautiful pictures of it, buying it, preparing it, and, of course, eating it…I know it’s not true for everyone, but for me and many of the people I know, food is really a passion.

If sight is our most human of senses, taste is probably our most social. We “break bread” together, we host a feast in celebration of major life landmarks and we offer food to our ancestors, gods and goddesses.

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The Importance of Sight

One night, years ago, I ate dinner with some friends who had just had a baby. As the sun set, one of my friends lit some candles, and we sat close in the dim light of their flames as the darkness gathered around us.

This, to me, seems to be the most singularly human experience. Community, drawn together around a fire, basking in the gift of its warmth and light.

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Hearing Your Life

Most weekdays, I spend a lot of time in front of my computer or at my jewelry workbench by myself. It can get a bit lonely and disconnected feeling.

Last week I ran a little experiment. I wanted to see how I could inspire myself and others to connect more with our experience. To slow down a bit and feel the world around us and also to reach through these funny inter-webs and connect more with each other, as well.

I have to say, the experiment was pretty successful. By the end of the week, each of us who played my Healy-Feely game had undergone some sensual healing. So, I wanted to share the wealth, starting with hearing.

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Finding the Middle Way

There was a time when I just KNEW that natural-alternative-vegetarian-non-conventional-medicine living was simply the best. For everyone. All the time.

I would pound my fists on the table in righteous indignation, preaching the gospel of fundamentalist-holisic-ism. When other people fell ill, I secretly wondered where they had gone wrong and thought “everything happens for a reason.”

And then I got sick. Well, it’s funny to say that, because I felt just fine.

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Ayurveda for Your Period: Kapha Dosha

In my last 2 posts, we looked at the Ayurvedic perspective on the menstrual cycle and what can happen to it when too much vata dosha (wind and space) or pitta dosha (water and fire) build up in your body.

In this post, we’ll explore the effects of excess kapha dosha—or water and earth.

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Ayurveda for Your Period: Pitta Dosha

In my last post, we looked at the Ayurvedic perspective on the menstrual cycle and what can happen to it when too much vata dosha—or wind and space elements—build up in your body.

In this post, we’ll explore the effects of excess pitta dosha—or water and fire.

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Moon Salutations (with video)

Many women come to me with reproductive-system issues. Whether it’s an irregular cycle, difficulty getting pregnant, painful periods or uncomfortable peri-menopausal symptoms, it seems that most women deal with some difficulty when it comes to their reproductive systems.
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Jook: It’s What’s for Breakfast

We’ve all heard words of wisdom regarding breakfast. Some call it the most important meal of the day, and in many ways it’s true. Breakfast sets the tone for the entire day. A favorite in our house in the autumn and winter is something called Jook, or Congee (or even Konyi, in South India).


One of the big mistakes that we often make with breakfast, is choosing something that essentially breaks down to sugar by the time it reaches the stomach. While your brain is actually fed by sugar, it’s much better for your body and the mind when that sugar is produced through the work of breaking down fats and proteins. Fats and proteins are long-term energy storage.


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Beet and Beef Borscht

Autumn has fully fallen in the Hudson Valley. The trees are aflame. Food-wise, this is my favorite time of year. It’s all about soups and stews…long, slow cooking and rich, deep flavors. Read more »