I have had a particularly intense week. After a month of travel, a few personally emotional ups and downs, as well as a pretty bad car wreck, my body, mind and spirit have been banged up, in an important way. I feel a personal earthquake shaking my foundation and the need to recalibrate on every level.
The actions I have taken towards nurture have been by grounding into the elements of nature.
AIR ELEMENT: I have slowed way down by doing only what is scheduled and not adding to my to-do list, leaving plenty of wide open space for contemplation, meditation, and time to walk to my destination. This action of simply slowing to a walk naturally brings me into the now. This reminds me to put my head where my feet are and become completely present. The motion and action of walking balances the hemispheres of the brain, creating a meditative space and an opportunity to fuse and blend my masculine "doing" energy with my feminine "being" energy. The mind and the breath both connect to the element of air, and I am reminded to breathe the fresh air a little deeper, as well as to notice the green trees that help to purify the air and provide plenty of oxygen. Dark leafy greens help to cleanse the bloodstream, and represent this air element. A green vegetable juice and an arugala salad strengthens and oxygenates my blood.
FIRE ELEMENT: Laying in the sun and gazing at the sunset vitalizes and replenishes my fire and fuels my creativity. I spent about 45 minutes each day reclining in the sun and drinking in the Vitamin D and the light. After my book tour, I really needed the new creative fire to get stoked, as I have poured out and emptied most of my creative fire energy, after reaching the culmination of my dream come true: Connecting with all of you personally. Lighting the flame in our classes together, we recreated with the theme of FUN! Cinnamon in my green tea latte and even cold pressed coffee fired my system with energy and got me moving!
EARTH ELEMENT: Feeling the ground beneath me and grounding into the gravity of the Earth is important to my well being. My physical body gets grounded when I sit upon large rocks, or literally pound the pavement. The sandy beach I walked upon today was littered with bodies of all shapes, sizes and ages, digging into the sand and building sand castles. As I watched two young girls digging into the sand, I could remember how healthy and grounding that felt. I also saw a boy who had buried himself waist deep in the sand. I tried to imagine that feeling from being young and firmly planted. Try imagining this when you are finding your balance in Tree Pose. The roots of a tree grow equally deep into the earth as the reach of its branches and leaves toward the sky. Root vegetables and grains can help to ground me when I feel too high. Imagine foods that grown beneath the ground. This weekend I practiced yoga with a group that does a food delivery from Los Angeles local organic farmers, FarmBox LA.
WATER ELEMENT: During these summer months, water is especially important. It's wonderful to start the day with purified water to get your system going. Many like warm water with lemon to cleanse the system. You may also try fruit- and herb-infused water for organ functionality. Water is cleansing and purifying. Baths and swimming in salt water help to pull out and rid the body of toxins. I have been doing an epsom salt/baking soda bath (one part each, one cup) to pull any traumas or aches and pains that my body may be holding. Juices and fruits are special in the summertime. Try eating watermelon or any juicy melon, but eat it alone. Separate from other foods to digest it easier.
Nature is the ultimate nurturer. Identify what you need, and find actions that balance you out. Slow down and go with the flow. It's Summer!