Winter is a fantastic time to withdraw from the busyness of life and enjoy internal reflections in any way and anywhere we can. It’s an instinctive time to change the lens to a wide angle to broaden our vision. This may be with a warm cup of tea in your favourite chair looking through a window of a cozy home watching the changes to the landscape as we know it. Perhaps it's snow gently falling and covering the trees with its glorious whiteness, or it can be grey and cold enough out to invite one to be more within and cherish that gift too. Everything about winter suggests slowing down. We can also embark upon a deep internal reflection in a foreign land. For me again this year, India called and I answered. India is the master of a natural slow movement. It’s ancient, wise, and colourful beyond belief. Even in its chaos and garbage everywhere there is indescribable beauty and amidst the 1.3 billion people there is somehow room for everyone.
We arrived almost two weeks ago and it took almost until now to feel in sync with the time of day since we are 10.5 hours ahead of Toronto.
Besides the time difference, getting reacquainted with the poverty, pollution and population takes time. In fact everything is culturally different. For the first week here in Kovalam Beach I found myself looking away a lot trying not to make eye contact. Amidst the sea of rich chocolate skin I felt as if I glowed in the dark, and that would be enough of an invitation to have someone under my nose wanting me to buy their nik naks, eat in a particular place or use their service. Phew! All this saying no was exhausting.
There is so much to learn from the Indian culture. Their family values are extraordinary as are the bond of love and honour to the family system. These people may be poor but most have enough food and are more grateful and heartfuly grounded. In the west, no matter what we have it seems inbred to seek more. More wealth, more love, more power and it’s always outside of us. Somehow being satisfied with what we have is for the weak. The greater the hunger, the greater the lacking and the more miserable we get. We can learn a lot from the Eastern ways. I’m grateful to be here.
We are day 8 of a 21 day Panchakarma cleanse. Serious housecleaning. If your health has had a serious threat, taking the opportunity to optimize all the workings of this exquisite temple we dwell in is a gift. Releasing stuck toxins from our body, our thinking, our feeling is liberating. Panchakarma offers lots of time for mindful reflection and can be a great test on many levels. Most of the treatments we’ve had are relaxing and some extremely taxing. So far so good. So far this clinic doesn’t use ghee. (Perhaps that’s an inside laugh for those who followed this process with me last year)
"Gisele’s mindfulness retreat was a really unique experience for me. I have been on retreats before which focused on “retreating” from interactions of life through lots of yoga, meditation and silent periods. Gisele’s retreat, by contrast, was all about connecting; with the beautiful land of the Burren in western Ireland, with my body through activity and some meditation, with music and art, and with my fellow souls on the retreat. I feel like I got to dip my toes into an alternative lifestyle that focused on the importance of natural modes of growing and preparing the food we eat, farming the land in a holistic, way, and opening our eyes to the local talents, produce and beauty that are everywhere in this part of Ireland. I have been to Ireland before as a tourist, but this time was different. It left me with a desire to look more mindfully at my environment at home to see what I might be overlooking."
RETURN OF THE WRIST MALAS
It's nice to hear from some of you that you’re loving your new wrist malas. I love mine too;-) Take it off and use it too. It is a counting tool for your prayer, your intention or your breath. All are powerful.
The 3 for the price of 2 wrist mala sale continues until midnight on Jan 31st. Take advantage if you can. This is a bigger sale than we are usually able to offer. Visit https://www.mindfulnecessities.ca/collections/malas
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