My Current Herbal & Medicinal Tea Favorites

It’s Memorial Day, and people are probably thinking more about iced tea than hot tea, but there’s a place in my life for hot herbal teas, or tisanes, all year round. To me, they provide yet another healing opportunity for the body, and I never turn that down! I wanted to share some of the teas that have been helpful for me recently. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite for yourself!

herbal tea Continue reading

A Novice’s View of Ayurveda + More Shinrin Yoku

There’s an ancient healing system called Ayurveda. You may have heard about it, but most of us in the Western world are not well-versed in its practices. Over the years, I’ve dabbled with Ayurveda; I adopted some of the practices, I took an introductory class on it, consulted with a practitioner, read books (Deepak Chopra’s Perfect Health is one of the most popular). It’s very complex, but even knowing the small bits I know – I’m still a total novice – has helped me understand health in a more complete way.pgh from a hill Continue reading

It’s Only Temporary

“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea. -Isak Dinesen

There have been a lot of tears in my social circles. With the exception of some of my meditation times, my heart has been holding a permanent space for loved ones in their moments of stress and grief that have been so massive in these past few months. Cleansing tears, comforting words, loved-filled embraces.

lilacs bloomingFor awhile, I was mostly there to offer my support, taking self-care breaks whenever I needed to so that I could serve others when they needed me. I suppose it was inevitable that this crazy storm we’re caught up in would pierce me in the heart as well. Grief is a difficult emotion. We know everyone dies, but we find it so hard to cope when it happens to someone we love. We never feel ready.

My studies lately have revolved around being present in each moment and recognizing the temporary state of everything. Continue reading

Spring in Bloom

Every April, I want to say that spring is my favorite time of year, and then when fall comes I change my mind. I could never put my finger on why I couldn’t choose which I love most, but of course the answer is as simple as: I enjoy living in an environment that is saturated with color amidst air thick with the promise of change. The winters in Western Pa are desolate, grey, and bitter cold. I love the snow, but when it’s not snowy it can be depressing. I like the summers just fine, but they can be wretchedly hot and sticky.

But fall? The scent of decaying leaves and the brilliant display of red, yellow, orange? The mix and mingle of warm and crisply, cool air? Love. And the spring? With a slow wave of color blooming everyday, yellow to white to pink to spring green?  The feeling of air on my bare arms and the soil and grass on my feet after months and months of only the tip of my nose exposed? Yes springtime, I love you! I am deeply and forever in love with you.

For the sake of appreciating fall and spring for their differences, I’ll not choose a favorite. I’ll just leave you with the first snapshots of spring in Pittsburgh. Continue reading

100 Days of Meditation: Challenge Complete?

I’ve long known of the detrimental effects that the overactive mind has on our bodies. Stress, anger, jealousy, anxiety, sadness, insecurity; all of these are examples of emotions that can harm our health. Many times, I’ve experienced physical reactions to these emotions as I’m sure all of you have as well. Despite my knowledge, I was never able to successfully stick to a meditation practice.

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