Welcome, winter.

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Happy Solstice!  The darkest time of the year (here in the northern hemisphere) can be particularly conducive to introspection and internal awareness. Take advantage of that coziness.

Make space, make time.

Be less busy.

Eat simply. Notice how everything you incorporate into your body affects you.

Don’t worry if you’re doing enough, or doing all the right things; instead, focus on learning how to be, and the rest will happen.  Something will happen.

Be fearless.  What’s the worst that could happen?  Be humble.
Be aware.  Be strong.  Be still.  Be unstoppable.  Be kind.

Learn to be alone without being lonely.

Listen to your conscience.

Be empty and full at the same time.

Let yourself break apart, to welcome the unwelcome, the unimaginable, and the unexpected.

Close your eyes.
Open your eyes.
Don’t go back to sleep.

Don’t be complacent.  Don’t get too comfortable.

For the benefit of others.

 

From my parents’ house on the coast in North Carolina, watching the wind on the water, the herons and the boats, much love to you. 

Aleah


Drink plenty of chai this winter.  Here is the way I make it at home (and this is how it is done in India). 

To make 2 cups of chai:  Heat one cup of water in a pot with two spoonfuls of loose black tea leaves (Assam is good, or any other plain black tea) and one spoonful of tea masala (ground spice mixture that you can buy or make yourself, usually including cardamom and ginger, with many variations that could include clove, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, fennel, saffron, turmeric, or cayenne pepper).  Add an inch of chopped or grated fresh ginger root.  Watch the pot carefully as it heats – when the water boils, the tea and spices can rise quickly and overflow if you aren’t vigilant!  After it boils, reduce the heat and let the tea and spices steep for about 5 minutes.  Turn the heat up again and add one cup of milk (I use organic whole milk).  Stirring occasionally, heat until the milk is just on the verge of boiling (you will see small bubbling, and a velvety foam will form on the surface).  Again, be attentive not to let the milk rise to overflow the pot!  (If it starts to boil suddenly, pull the pot off the heat.)  Strain the chai through a fine mesh into a cup and add a few spoonfuls of cane sugar or honey (the sweetness helps bring out the spices).  You can let the second cup continue to simmer on low heat until you finish your first cup… or share it.

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