Day 355/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
How did we in the Western cultures become so distanced from the symbiotic relationships with nature that ancient and indigenous cultures know and remain deeply connected with?
I'm sure there's a traceable answer to that question should I care to do the research.
It makes sense that we live in an environment that impacts us. That environment will either support us, or perhaps it will be unsupportive of our health and well-being. Doesn't it makes sense to live in and around nature? Doesn't it feel good to you and your body to bath in the green, breathe in fresh air, bask in the sunlight?
Somewhere along the way we screwed up. We developed a taste for fruits and vegetables that are not in season, flowers that won't bloom for another several months, meats and meat products, and condiments produced in other countries, appetisers that hail from cultures far away. All the while we are missing the very fresh and available produce of our current season.
Our lives are too busy to spend an afternoon turning ripe, in-season tomatoes into relish, sauces and jams that taste a thousand times better than anything you buy in the supermarket.
When berries are plentiful as they are right now, it doesn't take much to make a pot or two of jam to enjoy in the winter months. This morning I cooked up 2 pots of Strawberry Jam that is to die for. It won't make it to winter. It will find its way to my pancakes long before the days get shorter and the nights cooler.
Living in sync with the seasons is deeply satisfying to my soul. Each day I pick fresh from my garden. Even those veggies that end up in my fridge instead of on my plate that day, last so much longer than store bought produce that has been in cold storage and travelled distances to find me.
There's so much more to living in sync with the seasons than the food we eat. It seems that the warmth of the sunshine boosts my energy levels and recalibrates my nervous system after the cold winter. I'm more inclined to walk in the forest and soak up the calming energies of the vegetation. There's more life coursing through my veins, more creativity in my expression.
My days begin earlier as I greet the sun at sunrise, and am ready to start the day hours earlier than the late rising that winter encourages. There's more opportunity and energy for innovation in the summer months than the winter, yet I don't know of anyone who plans for this in their work schedule.
Our body has a natural rhythm that syncs with the day and with the seasons. When we're not working with it, we're working against it. Can that be the healthiest option for us? Or don't we think about it because we really haven't come to terms with the fact that one day we'll age, and the way we spend our youth and middle years will be visible in how well we are able to navigate those later years.
An indulgent and contemplative afternoon has descended upon me!
It's the season right now to be jolly. To eat well, drink well and enjoy the company of family and friends. Enjoy yourself to the fullest. It comes but once a year. The house is filled with activity and abundance.
Maybe that abundance this year is local and seasonal. If not, perhaps consider that idea for next year's planning.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.