Summer Summer Summertime - Time to Sit Back and Unwind

 
Photo by Amit Nayak

Photo by Amit Nayak

 

“Now we send greetings and thanks to our eldest Brother, the Sun. Each day without fail he travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day. He is the source of all the fires of life. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Brother, the Sun. Now our minds are one.” This translation of the Mohawk version of the Haudenosaunee Ohen:ton Karihwatehkwen was developed by the Six Nations Indian Museum and the Tracking Project, published in 1993.

Summertime is wild and sublime, transformative and dynamic, and at the epicenter is growth and joy. The season of the Sun represents the outward expression of energy, expansiveness, movement, and activity and is ruled by the element of fire. Life and energy culminate here. 

We can experience a particular spiritual awareness between the heart and mind in this season: enthusiasm, warmth in human relationships, conscious awareness, sensitivity and expression, and true fulfillment. Now is the time to realize our life’s potential, and find joy in the hot summer days and warm summer nights. We have an opportunity here to harness the power during this annual zenith of the Sun and stand up for what our hyperaware hearts know is right for the world, right for humanity and for our planet.

Henry Beston writes, "In the old Europe which inherited from the Bronze Age, this great feast of the Solstice was celebrated with multitudinous small fires lit throughout the countryside. Fire and the great living sun — perhaps it would be well to honor again these two great aspects of the flame. It might help us to remember the meaning of fire before the hands and fire as a symbol. As never before, our world needs warmth in its cold, metallic heart, warmth to go on and face what has been made of human life, warmth to remain humane and kind."

Rising early in the morning, going to bed a bit later in the evening, and resting midday when the Sun has peaked allows us to absorb all that good light juju without overheating and overdoing it. While the fire element can bring joyful transformation, the intensity of heat has the potential to cause imbalances: agitation, nervous exhaustion, heartburn, and insomnia. Be mindful of the beginning of these imbalances, and try to correct them before they take root. Diet holds a lot of power here. Eat light meals and foods with cooling properties that reduce toxins from your body and generate fluids such as cucumber, lemon, mint, watermelon, dill, watercress, seaweed, bok choy, summer squash, and fish. 

Drink, drink, drink…… water! Keeping your body hydrated is the challenge of these steamy summer months. Water is life. Traditional medical systems usually advise against iced water, preferring warm or room temperature water. On a hot summer day it’s unlikely you’ll want a hot cup of tea, but try cool instead of iced. The logic behind this theory is that cold water contracts and slows your digestive system while room temperature or warm water helps to maintain fluidity, protects the internal organs, and increases healthy blood flow and circulation. You can add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (with the mother) into your water to replenish electrolytes. Watermelon is also one of the best remedies for dehydration and summer heat symptoms. It cools and cleanses your system and is a water heavy fruit to aid in the battle against dehydration. 

NB: Your plants will need more water too! 

Article by Alicia M. Genna
www.acupuncturegreenpoint.com

Source: https://www.acupuncturegreenpoint.com/blog...

Spring Equinox - Get into the Groove

 
Photo by Francesco Gallarotti

Photo by Francesco Gallarotti

 

Happy Earth Day!!!!!

Spring has sprung! ... a while ago. I've been swept up in the abundance. There's still plenty of time to unite with the energetics of this quarter though, so let's dig in:

Spring is rejuvenation and nourishment - it holds a deep sense of renewal. Here lies the energetic oomph of the reappearance of the Sun - a time when slinky green sprouts unfurl, vibrant colors and smells erupt from a cool, dank ground. The fertile earth feels the warmth seeping in again and begins to boast its bounty.

This season is a period of creation and rapid growth. As such in the spring of ones life, we can establish a lot of core rituals here. They will be unique to each individual, but in the process of doing so, be observant and inquisitive and accept the ubiquitous strength to face obstacles in your quest to grow.

Begin spending more time outside again. Nothing outshines a fresh, dewy Spring morning stroll. If you don't have your own, volunteering in a community garden allows for unbeatable intimacy with the root of Spring and harvest perks to boot. Eat the young, fresh, leafy greens and sprouts. Don't shy away from weeds either! Purslane is a nutrient-rich "weed" abundant in gardens and easy to grow in most places.

Spring is an ideal time for cleansing the liver, lymph, and blood. Dandelion, nettles, violet, sage, sassafras, red clover, and milk thistle are several herbs that facilitate the release of waste and unwanted patterns. Movement, such as stretching and breathing exercises, will facilitate the smooth flow of qi and remove obstruction, stagnation, and toxin build-up in the body.

Rejuvenate and nourish yourself!

-----------------

Image by Alberto Restifo

Image by Alberto Restifo

One last thing... I write these seasonal posts about what we can do to align with nature and how our bodies can benefit from certain practices during each change. I'd like to add: now and always, we must practice stewardship of our planet. In wild harvest know when, how much, and what parts to take so there will be bounty left behind. Give back in every way you can.

Look at this planet! We are so lucky!

 

Article by Alicia M. Genna
www.acupuncturegreenpoint.com

Source: https://www.acupuncturegreenpoint.com/blog...

The Heroes of the NYC Subway

Our friends over at Expectful do more than empower parents and parents-to-be through meditation aimed at giving a new life the BEST start in life. They remind us, in a time when most other sensory input seems to highlight the opposite, that love is, and will always remain the most powerful instrument of our emotional ensemble. This story of theirs will warm your heart and is a great reminder that a small gesture of kindness and humanity ripples through time, perhaps down generations to come. Thanks Anna, for reminding us the glass is half full! 

 
 

Article by Anna Gannon

I’ve sat on this post for quite sometime wondering when, if ever, I would share it with the world. But, in the wake of the political events these last few weeks and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’ve realized that now more than ever, we need to be reminded of the things that unite us as human beings.  

This story is about 15 strangers of different genders, ethnicities, and cultures who literally stood up for kindness so I could sit down while I was pregnant.

If you have ever rode the New York City subway, you have most likely seen a lot of the good and bad that humanity has to offer. Over the past six years riding the train, I have seen my fair share of love, aggression, joy, and frustration. I have witnessed fist fights, crazy dance routines and standing ovations. But, it wasn’t until I became pregnant last year that I saw a new category of humans that ride the subway:

The heroes.

When I was pregnant, I read numerous articles written by other expecting women about their disgust for all the times people didn’t stand up for them on public transit. When I read these posts, there was a part of me that understood their anger. After all, it’s not exactly a cakewalk being pregnant… and when you sit down there’s a giant sense of relief.

And if I’m being completely honest, for a while during my pregnancy, I too started to feel resentment towards the people who weren’t standing up for me. At five months pregnant, I had a belly that to me could no longer be mistaken for a burrito baby and I hadn’t once had someone offer me their seat.

Until one day, when someone did…

Brandon from Astoria, NY

Brandon from Astoria, NY

In the middle of rush hour, on a crowded train, a young man (pictured above) sprung up, apologized for not seeing me sooner and offered me his seat with a giant smile. He didn’t even ask if I wanted to sit, he just got up and insisted that I did.

When I sat down, I looked at him with complete amazement. Here was this man who was kind to me just for the sake of being kind. Suddenly, I didn’t see all the people that didn’t stand up, I just saw him.

It was that moment that I decided I wanted to rewrite what it’s like to be a pregnant woman riding the NYC subway. Not to dismiss or disregard what other woman have went through, but instead to shed light on the people who are standing up instead of the people who aren’t. In short, I wanted to shift our focus off of the negative and onto the positive.

So, that day at five months pregnant, starting with that young man, I asked to take a picture of everyone that stoodup for me. This was a way for me to document the faces of the heroes of the subway, of the people who are putting others before themselves and for the people that did something compassionate for my baby before she was even born.

In sharing this with all of you, I hope to bring awareness around not only standing up to  offer pregnant women or elderly people a seat, but for standing up for anyone that you think could use a seat more than you. Maybe it’s the construction worker who has been working outside all day in the blazing sun or the tired waitress who has been on her feet since 5am. It doesn’t have to be a big belly or a cane that makes you jump from your seat. It can just be that your human instinct tells you that person could need it more than you.

Simple acts of kindness create ripple effects and the more we can focus on the good things we can do for each other, the more compassion and love we can spread into the world.

Majda

Majda

Anonymous Hero

Anonymous Hero

Anonymous Hero

Anonymous Hero

Jascimta Edwards

Jascimta Edwards

Cynthia, Astoria

Cynthia, Astoria

Dan, Astoria

Dan, Astoria

Anonymous Hero

Anonymous Hero

Anonymous Hero

Anonymous Hero

DK, Astoria

DK, Astoria

Nick Paolucci

Nick Paolucci

Alyssa, Astoria

Alyssa, Astoria

Lisa, Brooklyn

Lisa, Brooklyn

Katia & Leilani

Katia & Leilani

Source: http://expectful.com/blog/heroes-nyc-subwa...

Winter Solstice - Rest, Restore, Revitalize

 
Photo by Anna Popovic

Photo by Anna Popovic

 

“Tired eyes on the sunrise, waiting for the Eastern glow.” — Robert Plant

The winter solstice marks the end of the annual cycle of birth, growth, and decline. It is a time of hushed darkness, internal rewiring, and deep meaningful dreams.

The days approaching the winter solstice are of dim, shallow light. The nights are prolonged and “the beads of time pass slow.” Movement that is unhurried, steady, and calculated is characteristic of this time. It is a turning point marked by a bone-penetrating cold that gives birth to warmth again — the midwinter moment from which new life seeds. From this deep mood, the days are reborn and slowly begin to grow. It is Yin transforming into Yang in nature. 

Solstice derives from the Latin “solstitium” which means stopped, stationary, or still. Though there is always movement in nature, to the naked eye, the sun appears to be suspended in the sky during this time. Here in New York, the sun makes a bashful appearance above our horizon for a mere nine hours.

The darkness, slowness, and deepness should encourage us to remain quiet, still, aware, and reflective. This is a time to meditate, for as perspective is most profound in the winter of one’s life, so will be perspective at the end of the seasonal cycle. We are in a space between death and rebirth, the most mysterious place. You can find volumes of knowledge here.

In this time surrounding the winter solstice, go to sleep early and rise later, as hibernation is the way of winter — let the sun’s rays warm the atmosphere before you expose yourself to the elements and let your dreams fill the night. Find respite from your stressors — allow the best potential for your immunity by decreasing its antagonists. Pamper your body, mind, and soul with slow practices — Epsom salt baths, warm massages, hearty broths, meditations, and introduction of rituals. 

Following the solstice will be a new beginning. Continue the practices discovered in your wise, old season. Continue to listen to and nurture yourself. From this point forward, the darkness will recede. Replant yourself into the world on the best platform as the sun slowly begins to take the stage again. 

Oh, and don’t forget… “dance in the dark of night, sing to the mornin’ light.” 

 

Article by Alicia M. Genna
www.acupuncturegreenpoint.com

Source: https://www.acupuncturegreenpoint.com/blog...

Here's an Easy to Make DIY Dry Shampoo using Organic Ingredients and Essential Oils

 
Photo by Alex Holyoake

Photo by Alex Holyoake

 

Ingredients:

***Use cocoa powder for dark hair only. Slowly add it to the dry ingredients as they blend in the food processor until a shade comparable to your hair color is achieved. Do not use cocoa powder for blonde hair.

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, combine all dry ingredients. Blend until well mixed.
  2. Add essential oil blend and pulse until well combined.
  3. Pour mixture into a wide mouth jar.
  4. To use, apply powder to the roots and oily parts of your hair with a make-up brush.