Ayurveda: What is it?

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Ayurveda! A name that you’ve, undoubtedly, heard a lot about lately as it has become a trending practice. But did you know that ayurveda has been around for a very long time, and is one of the first systems of medicine in human existence?

Originating in India, it is a 5,000 year old system of healing that addresses the mind, body, and soul.

Other forms of healing and medicine have a connection to it such as traditional Chinese medicine, reiki, accupuncture, accupressure, polarity therapy, energy medicine and herbal medicine just to name a few.

One of the most interesting things about ayurveda is the way that it acknowledges the wisdom of other cultures and traditions in addition to its own.

Often referred to as “the science of life”, ayurvedic knowledge was derived from the Indian Vedas, which is one of the oldest written texts in the world, and a traditional concept of philosophical phrases, (known as sutras), as a way of transferring knowledge to the next generation.

A central belief in Ayurveda is that food is medicine, but ayurveda is not just about diet and nutrition. It is a lifestyle that can include diet, maintaining a daily routine, the elimination of bodily toxins, aromatherapy, yoga, meditation, breathwork, chanting and various other holistically based selfcare methods – but the most important part of ayurvedic practice is the utilization of dosha specific guidance.

The goal of an ayurvedic practice is to bring the body into a state of balance and to maintain that balance; which in turn, helps with overall wellness. It is also believed to help with healing faster should you become ill.

What I love the most about ayurveda is its personal approach to wellness through the use of doshas that help address your individual and unique health concerns. In other words, it’s customizable and what’s not to love about something that is specially designed to help you care for yourself and address your own specific health needs? Because if you really think about it, health and wellness (perhaps) shouldn’t consist of a “one-size-fits-all solution. Wouldn’t you agree?

Thanks for reading.

Until the next post…

Take care.

Losing a Pet is Like Losing a Child

Losing a Pet is Like Losing a Child

Good Monday to you!

This one is for pet owners.

It’s also for anyone who can’t understand why people grieve the loss of their pets.

We lost our family pet during the first week of January. He was the sweetest, funniest (yes, pets can make you laugh hysterically), “little ham” ever – and a big part of our lives. When you’ve had a pet for 14 years they tend to grow on you and their loss can really “sting”.

Whoever said, “Pets are like Family” obviously owned, cared for and loved one themselves, because they sure knew what they were talking about. We found our little guy , a chihuahua mix, at a local pet store — but he was a shelter dog. One that if not for our youngest child, ( our son who passed away), asking us repeatedly to get a dog, we would not have had. Which would’ve meant that we would have missed out on some very special moments.

Just as with the family members and friends that we have lost, we have memories in the form of photos; but there also the stories. Oh, how I love the stories.

They remind us of the reason why “he” had to be the one to come home with us and become a part of our family.

It hurt having to say goodbye to him forever, not just because we loved him, but because having him around after losing our son allowed us to still have a little bit of our son around.

If you think about it… our pets lives are very much like that of the life that we have with our children, or anyone else that we may be taking care of on a daily basis. Their lives become intertwined with ours as we wake each day, on time, to ensure that they are fed.

We play with them, talk to them (yes, I said “talk” to them), we socialize them with other pets at pet establishments or dog parks; and sometimes we even set up play dates for them. We take them to the veterinarian to keep them healthy, or when they become ill.

Many pet owners, like myself, watch what our pets eat to ensure that they are eating foods that will benefit their health needs and keep their bodies strong.

We make sure that they exercise – usually with a nice walk, and it’s not unusual to hear a “pet-parent” talk about how their pet is often their source of motivation to get off the couch and to get a little exercise.

It’s no wonder that pet owners are considered healthier than non-pet owners, (even though recent research concludes that there is not enough evidence to support that belief). Yet, as a life-long pet owner I believe in the benefits and positive effects of pet ownership; and I challenge you to become a pet owner and judge for yourself!

Our pets keep us going and moving through life, while also adding positively to our livelihood. But, it’s their unconditional love that we probably benefit from the most. As that part of pet ownership has been shown to support emotional health and well-being.

I am sure that every pet owner will agree that there is nothing like the warm welcome and excitement that your pet shows when you walk through the door after being gone for a while.

Here is the thing… A loss is a loss. It doesn’t matter if it is a family member, friend or pet. It’s about how those we lost had an affect on our lives, and how much we will forever miss them.

So remember this the next time that someone thinks you are being dramatic because your pet died and you are grieving their loss; and keep grieving until you feel better. It’s not your fault that they don’t understand. Nor is it your responsibility to make them understand. But, feel free to send them a link to this post in hopes that they may one day learn to understand that pet loss is just as realistic and significant as human loss.

Thank you for reading!

Until the next post…

With love.

Take care,

xo

25 Ways to Live a Holistic Lifestyle…(With a Focus on the Mind)

25 Ways to Live a Holistic Lifestyle…(With a Focus on the Mind)

Hello everyone! Now that we know that holistic living is more a way of living than just a way to curb illness, (and involves the mind, body and soul), I would like to talk about what holistic living looks like when it solely involves caring for the mind.

A few weeks ago I watched a news program that covered a story on how the rain forest in the Amazon is in danger because of the the excessive practice of burning and clearing away of necessary plant life for commercial purposes due to some of the effects of consumerism. It was quite an interesting program.

They mentioned how that problem has an affect on animal life as well, which was kind of sad, but it really got me thinking. If you’ve ever watched a documentary or read a credible article on the Amazon, you know that it is considered to be “the lungs” of our dear planet earth. Without that critical part of our planet’s whole, who knows what the health of Earth will be like in the years to come. A simple domino effect of problems can have an adverse effect on the “whole”of just about anything. It’s no different with our “selves” .

Whenever one aspect of our health is impacted, (positively or negatively), it can affect other parts of our health, (positively or negatively), too. Our emotions can lead us to develop headaches or stomach issues; or they can have an effect on how well we recover from surgery or illness.

So as you can probably guess, working towards keeping our minds as healthy as we work towards keeping our bodies healthy is a part of living a holistic lifestyle because, again, our mind, body and soul are interconnected.

Here are a few ways that you can apply holistic health to your mind health. This list is not exhaustive, but these are a few things that I have personally learned from holistic practitioners, tried, and deem effective:

  • 1. Practice meditation daily.
  • 2. Use affirmations
  • 3. Practice yoga daily.
  • 4. Think critically about everything.
  • 5. Practice healthy optimism and positivity.
  • 6. Avoid negative thinking.
  • 7. Practice gratitude daily.
  • 8. Develop personal boundaries and avoid toxic relationships / “energy vampires”.
  • 9. Challenge yourself often and release yourself from “comfort zones”.
  • 10. Journal regularly to express and release emotions, feelings and thoughts.
  • 11. Be careful with your thoughts and the things that you allow your mind to entertain.
  • 12. Develop a strategy, such as using a mantra, to redirect your mind from any triggers that might lead to negative thought patterns.
  • 13. Get out into nature and go for a walk to help clear your mind and strengthen mental well being.
  • 14. Try learning new things – often.
  • 15. Give your brains periods of rest by practicing mindfulness, meditation or listening to music.
  • 16. Don’t let your ego take over your being.
  • 17. Practice deep breathing or Pranayama .
  • 18. Practice “Earthing” .
  • 19. Give yourself natural vitamin D by practicing healthy sun gazing.
  • 20. Maintain only those relationships and friendships that foster positive mental health – and that feel good.
  • 21. Try a little aromatherapy every now and then.
  • 22. Detach from social media and technology regularly.
  • 23. Separate your personal life from your work life,
  • 24. Practice minimalism.
  • 25. Create a sacred space in your home – a special place where you can go to for solace and quiet time to find peace from the busyness of daily life.

I hope that this list helps you as much as it has helped me, and if you have any tips of your own with ideas on how to live holistically, (with a focus on the mind), I would love to hear them, so please feel free to share in the comments section below.

Thank you for reading.

Until the next post…

With light and love,

Take care.

Welcome 2020!

Hello friends! Well, we’ve officially entered a new decade…and a new year! Happy New Year!

I have not posted in while because I decided to spend time with and focus solely on family this past holiday season. So, since I wasn’t able to wish you a Merry Christmas, I’ll do so now… Merry (belated) Christmas to you and yours! I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season!

We are 6 days into the new year and I have to say…I feel a slight sense of relief that the holidays have ended. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the holidays, but there has to be at least one person reading this that can agree with me that the holidays, as great as they can be, can also be very, very tiresome. So, it feels quite good to feel a bit of relief from all of the excitement that comes with that time of the year. Now we just have 11 more months to go until we get to create more special memories with those we hold dear once again. That is always definitely something to look forward to. Those cherished moments are the best!

Many of us are returning to work and/or school this week as we ease back into our schedules and personal versions of “the familiar” and the “the everyday.” I for one am looking forward to “getting back into the groove of things”.

2019 was a transformative year for me personally and for Salubrity and Soul. With my having begun a new wellness journey, and the rebranding of Salubrity and Soul, I am very excited about the road ahead!

So stay tuned if you’d like to see what I’ve been up to over the last several months because over the next few weeks I will be picking up where I left off, and delving deeper into the process of sharing my discoveries through a series of daily, weekly and monthly posts.

Before I end this post I have to inform you that there are no words that can fully express the gratitude that I feel towards you- my followers- thank you so much for your readership whether new or old. This has been one rough journey. Thanks for journeying with me…still. You’re amazing! Stay beautiful.

As always, thanks for reading.

Until the next post…

With light + love,

Take care.

What is Holistic Living?

When you think of holistic living, you may conjure up thoughts of consuming “green juice”, using herbs to heal ailments or improve nutrition, creating natural beauty products out of resources made in nature, or some form of complementary medicine such as acupuncture.

Although those things definitely fit into the scope of living holistically, they are a small part of what it means to live a holistic lifestyle.

Holistic living is a philosophy that requires an understanding that all parts of the body, or self, are interconnected and should be considered when taking care of one’s complete health and wellness.

Moreover, on a more basic and common level of understanding what it means to live holistically, it simply means living your life in balance with your mind, body, soul, (and I always like to include heart as well.)

There is no specific way to live holistically, but, one important aspect of doing so consists of living in tune with nature and using natural products, elements, and food, etc., keeping your thoughts and emotions as positively open and healthy as possible – and doing it all collectively as a way to heal or maintain health, wellness and well-being.

I hope this post gives you at least a hint or an idea of what it means to live a holistic lifestyle. Stay tuned for a few ideas on ways to live a holistic lifestyle.

Until the next post…

Thank you for reading.

Take care,

Carol

Why I Began Living a Holistic Lifestyle

Why I Began Living a Holistic Lifestyle

Grief really took a lot out of me. I didn’t expect it to, but it had a negative impact on my health. This was despite the fact that I did my best to eat healthy, exercise, get adequate rest and go hiking often.

To be honest, I was really taken aback and quite surprised at how draining grief can be. It’s funny how we never expect ourselves to ever experience certain things. I guess you could say that grief “caught me off guard.” I believed that I was handling my grief well, but a year later discovered that I was doing just the opposite when I had a health scare and had to go to the hospital to find out why I was having breathing and heart issues. That is when I knew that I had to make a change.

“Honor the physical temple that houses you by eating healthfully, exercising, listening to your body’s needs, and treating it with dignity and love.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

Grief affects you emotionally, but it can also put a strain on you physiologically and physically and take a toll on your whole body. Oftentimes you’ll feel as though what you’re feeling is just basic tiredness, but for me it wasn’t just tiredness. I just wanted to feel like myself again. So, I took the leap to take my health power back (so to speak).

One way that I did just that was to begin living a holistic lifestyle that included changing the way that I eat, sleep, rest, think about myself and others, exercise, live and basically just care for my whole self.

Since I made that lifestyle change I have been able to lose weight, (without even trying to), reduce bodily aches and pains, reverse 2 chronic health conditions, gain increased energy throughout the day, manage stress better, become more calm and mindful in all aspects of my life, improve the way that my body feels and the way that I approach and think about life.

Living a holistic life is not a diet or a fad. If done, it should become a way of life if one is to reap the rewards of the benefits that it offers.

I’ll talk more about what a holistic lifestyle is this week, but I just wanted to share my “Why?” with you for now, and how excited I am about the changes that I’ve made.

I can tell you that I love that it’s not just about food, or just about exercise, or just about spirituality. What drew me to it is how this lifestyle cares for all parts of you. I also love it’s connection to living in harmony with nature. I am glad that I stumbled across this new lifestyle and I can’t wait to share more about it with you.

“Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within us is the greatest force in getting well. Our food should be our medicine, our medicine should be our food.”

– Hippocrates

Have you made any lifestyle changes lately? I would love to hear your story in the comments section below.

Or, if you’d feel more comfortable discussing privately…shoot me an email.

Happy Halloween! If you are celebrating the day, have fun and be safe.

Thanks for reading!

Until the next post…

Take care,

Carol

Feeling A Sense of Freedom

When I started Salubrity and Soul a year ago. I had done so to fulfill a personal promise to someone that I would go through with my (long awaited) plans to start writing again and to begin that process with a blog.

It just so happened that I ended up focusing on my experience with loss. That wasn’t my original plan though.

Growing up (which for me was many eons ago) English was my favorite subject and I, (believe it or not), used to be pretty good at writing… but as the old saying goes… “if you don’t use it you lose it.” Boy did I lose it! However, that’s not to say I won’t get it back.

That didn’t sway me from wanting to continue finding a way to bring writing back into my life either, because when you really enjoy something you tend to not just give up on it. You keep starting over until you get it going!

I didn’t start this blog with the intention of “changing someone’s life”, in fact, my hope and intention was to share my story and “if” it “could” help anyone…or “did” help anyone then “Wonderful!”

We all feel good when we are able to give back or make someone feel better right?

And that’s more than enough to make my life worthwhile. Just helping one person is enough – and like my grandfather used to tell me – a small victory is still a victory.

Because the truth is…Everyone can’t and won’t be able to do big things. Not to be a downer, but the reality is this…It’s just not in the cards for everyone or feasible. Some of us will have to make an impact in the world on a smaller (but no less influential or important scale). Otherwise we would all be super stars or become President – But then who would help us at a sales counter? Or help care for an elderly, special needs or disabled person?

Are those jobs no less important? Not at all. They’re very important.

There are many ways to make an impact in this life, because there are so many ways to help people and to be of service.

Maybe the only real concern that many might have is whether or not that impact will be noticed and revered by others, or lead to some type of fame. It’s all a matter of what we’re really seeking in the end I suppose.

All I know is (it seems) that everyone is trying to get on board the fame and noteriety train and to be honest…it can be a bit overwhelming at times.

How is everyone going to help everyone? There is just so much “help” out there. It’s enough to make your head spin. What ever happened to just sharing and leaving an impact with your words or your message?

That’s where I am now. That’s the direction that I seek to move forward in.

I appreciate my followers and readers so much and I am so grateful for your continued presence here on Salubrity and Soul and Instagram, but I am especially thankful for the ability to share our thoughts and stories together as a community. If we can make each other smile, laugh or appreciate another perspective – then GREAT!

That’s what it’s all about!

Until the next post…

Take care + Be well.

What I learned about resilience from hiking in the desert

What I learned about resilience from hiking in the desert

I am always looking for ways to find similarities between life and nature whenever I am out hiking, taking nature photos or just out and about walking my dog.

One thing that I, and other outdoor enthusiasts, can probably agree on is that nature has this glorious way of teaching us about ourselves and life.

The only difference will likely be in perspective and opinion as everyone tends to see different things — and in different places — sometimes where others may not see anything at all…. such is the remarkableness of storytelling! Such is the splendor of our natural world.

When hiking a trail every landscape, for me, seems to have a plethora of lessons. Lessons that may or may not always be immediately noticeable. Sometimes a lesson will catch you off guard right after you just turned a corner or reached a phenomenal trail peak; and at other times it is found in a sunrise or sunset, a wild creature that has just crossed your path, or something as simple as the shape, texture or color of a plant, tree or rock.

The amount of inspiration is, in my opinion, limitless and I would like to share a few of the lessons that I have learned from the natural landscape of the Joshua Tree National Park desert with you on this Wellness Wednesday.

  • Life is hard, but regardless of the conditions and situations you may be faced to live with, you can survive them. [It is possible to survive just about anything]
  • Even though the conditions and situations may seem desolate, every now and then, (usually when you least expect it), a little bit of hope and possibility will rain down on you and give you just the break that you may need to make it to the end of your trail. [With or without hope… with a little patience good things will happen]
  • The rain is necessary! That is…if you want to be able to truly enjoy the full range of the beauty of the desert. [Balance is the key to joy and well-being]
  • Sometimes it will be the trail that you least expected to inspire you that you end up gaining the most from – so try not to pre-judge or worry about the trail that you are on. [Life is always full of surprises – if you’re open to receiving them]
  • Although the flora and fauna residing within the desert may seem strong, (because they have had to endure so much harsh weather), they are actually some of the most delicate, beautiful and treasured items and should be respected and handled with great care. [Strength can be found in many places and expressed in a variety of ways – not in just the most obvious things]
  • Every trip through the desert should be carefully thought out. [Acknowledge what you must face and face it best by preparing for the unexpected – because there is a good chance of something happening that will be unexpected- safety first…always and in all things.]
  • Stunning and amazing thing will spring up from the most unexpected spaces. [Life is full of surprises…Always be prepared for a plot twist]
  • You may have to carry heavy loads through rocky terrain and challenging elevations until you reach the top of the mountain or complete that strenuous trail; but every step you take is one step closer to removing the weight from your back and delighting in pure refreshment. [Allow yourself to be transformed by things that you may find difficult to manage because there will be a reward of some kind waiting for you at the end.]
  • You can journey through the desert trails alone and make it through, but that journey is often more interesting and special with a friend by your side to share it with. [Sometimes a little support can help ease your journey and make the time go by a lot faster.]
  • Just when you thing that you have had enough of the desert, something special will happen to change your mind and you will realize that your pilgrimage through the vast unknown was a gift from above; that is when you will feel as though there is no place that you would rather be. [Accepting all facets of life allows you to remain open to continually finding gratitude and joy!]

Thank you for reading.

Until the next post…

Take care + be well.

Take Care + Be Well

Take Care + Be Well

Hello and “Happy Friday” everyone! Let’s talk about wellness today! The title of this post will be familiar to those of you who have been following Salubrity and Soul for a while. Those are the words that I usually end each post with because I wanted to remind you, my readers, to be gentle with yourselves when facing difficult times, and to remember to take care of yourselves every day since those are probably two of the many, different and best ways to live a happy and fulfilling life no matter what.

I am curious? What do you think of when you hear the word “wellness?” If you are like me, then you might instantly get an image in your mind like the one featured in the header picture of this post of someone in a yoga pose. Or, maybe you’ll imagine someone wearing a facial mask, or getting a massage. There are so many images that come to mind for me for the word “wellness”, truthfully, and my favorite of all time, (which may seem a little strange), is the word “balance.” – Yes, that is correct, I said the “word” balance – only in my mind the word balance is in great big bold type lettering. Strange, right?

I think the word “balance” became synonymous with wellness for me when I took a health and wellness course in college and learned that in order for wellness to take effect the whole body should be in a state of equilibrium. The body may be well, but what if the mind isn’t? And – vice verse? This also reminds me of how dieting is less effective when the focus is placed solely on eating the right foods, but not exercising. And – vice verse. Which leads me to ask the question, “can we consider ourselves well if we only focus on one area or type of health and wellness?

“Wellness is both the quality and state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort. It is also an approach to healthcare that emphasizes preventing illness and prolonging life, as opposed to emphasizing treating disease. ”

Interestingly enough though, it will never be enough to just drink our green juice and do yoga. Or getting our regular medical check ups and taking our vitamins and minerals; or getting enough sleep and following the latest series of wellness fads.

No matter what, the mind will always be another aspect of wellness if we want to work on being as completely well as possible. Those other things I mentioned in the previous paragraph are important, but what about conditions such as grief or depression? How is wellness connected to those types of conditions?

Well, it’s as simple as this… It’s all about being able to adapt. Even if we are not able to adapt right away or immediately. The important thing is to just be able to do it at all. Because without being able to apply adjusting to life challenges the likelihood for change becomes slim and can result in stagnation.

Life changes all of the time and throughout our lives. So too, must we adjust to those changes. It’s the inability to adapt that will set the foundation for illness instead of wellness.

This can be somewhat of a slippery slope though, because you don’t want to be someone who shuts down emotionally and simply flows with nonchalant ease through every one of life’s difficult and challenging moments without allowing yourself to fully process what you’re experiencing during those difficult moments. Can it really be healthy to just push our true feelings way down deep inside of us and then plant an everlasting, (but inauthentic), smile on our faces – for any reason? How can that be healthy? You still want to and need to acknowledge, feel for and care about the people and things that mean a lot to you. – Just remember to adapt – when it’s time to.

However, we should also want to be committed to our lifelong growth and development. We should also be striving for equilibrium between the body and the mind since that is probably the best way to prepare ourselves to be in a state that will support our ability to have both the mental and physical strength to handle anything. Taking care of our mental health as well as our physical health – that is what wellness is – and taking care of just our physical health will not always contribute positively to our mental health. They are not always synonymous. Do you agree or disagree? I would love to hear your opinion in the comments section.

Thank you for reading!

Until the next post…

Take care + Be well