When I started my career as a public accountant, I was chasing around the notion of making a name for myself.
I was young, self-driven, ambitious, competitive, and highly active - my Aries attributes.
I wasn’t afraid to play on the career race track. I was more afraid of growing old without attaining a career goal or attempting to climb the corporate ladder. I was afraid of the stigma involving my race. I put myself under a lot of pressure mainly because I cared about people’s opinions of me.
I saw my colleagues' success and how they balance their personal and professional lives.
But I realized that was not what I want. I found a job where I truly enjoyed working until the “change” took that away.
I got promoted and took more responsibility for others than myself. Those negative experiences brought negative feelings. I had resented my job. I was furious at myself for accepting this and believing that it will get better. I was exhausted beyond relief. I compromised my health, and that was the end of it.
I share my experience because these negative yet valid emotions can be healed when we practice self-care and gratefulness.
And this season is a great reminder for all of us to be thankful for our bounty and cherish the time spend with our families and friends. And also a powerful reminder to live mindfully and consciously with the help of meditation, yoga, Ayurveda, and aromatherapy.
During the Thanksgiving celebration, we gathered together at the same table, shared the same food, and ate together.
But what makes this special for me is the center of this celebration - gratitude.
In my blog (How to Cultivate Gratefulness in Life), I shared some tips on how to cultivate gratitude through yoga postures and daily practice.
In relation to Ayurveda, it is very interesting to note that Ayurveda perceives gratitude as a medicine and with superpowers.
When I examined the feeling of gratitude, it gives a light and warm aura that seemed to circulate from person to person. It gives a calm, refined, and smooth interior of the heart that erases all the negativities. From an ayurvedic perspective, any hard, aggravating, and depleting exteriors or forces can be remedied with the practice of gratitude.
Dr. Siva Mohan actually believes that “gratitude balances Vata.” He also stated that “some of the signs of an imbalance of the energy of Vata are a state of depletion of the mind, emotions, and energy; degeneration of the body and energetic state; and feelings of scarcity on all levels. When we are truly experiencing a state of gratitude, we feel naturally full, abundant, and blessed, which are all the exact opposites of the experience of Vata imbalance.”
As a Vata type, I often battle with anxiety, especially when I am overwhelmed by stress. I learned about the signs of my body and balanced my Vata personality by using a gratitude journal and daily meditation (even for at least 5 minutes).
Infuse your meditation practice with one drop of clary sage oil and mix a carrier oil (¼ tablespoon of coconut) then place it on your wrist. The aroma of clary sage will provide clarity in our mind, which helps in expressing our gratitude while we inhale and exhale.
Clary sage is known for its powerful aroma that calms my mind and reduces my anxiety. It has the chemical property of linalyl acetate (a combination of alcohol and acid) which is responsible for the clary sage’s “balancing and soothing action on the sympathetic nervous system” (The School of Aromatic Studies).
When I inhale the aroma of clary sage, it uplifts my spirit. All the negative memories from my previous experiences were washed away. When our spirits are uplifted, we suddenly remember how to be thankful for everything.
There are also studies that inhaling essential oils made from clary sage lowers blood pressure. Published by pubmed.gov, a study was conducted on a group of women (patients with urinary incontinence). The result was impressive. They found a correlation between low systolic blood pressure in women who inhaled clary sage in comparison to the lavender oil group.
I saw that there’s more to clary sage than just its aroma because of its efficacy in healing skin rashes. Clary sage has the anti-inflammatory and cooling attributes of Yin, which soothe and calm skin rashes.
One of the visible signs of stress and anxiety is acne breakouts. But with the balancing property of clary sage, the oil production and sebum are stabilized. The alpha-terpineol is known to have antioxidant properties, which tone, tighten, and strengthen the skin and muscles while preventing hair loss by toughening hair.
I handcrafted the Nova Lotion, Rollerball, and Body Wash for people like me who suffered from anxiety and tremendous stress. Clary sage also promotes a good night's rest due to its relaxation properties similar to lavender oil. So I would recommend using Nova Anxiety Relief before you sleep.
Aside from essential oils, the predominant Vata type will be aggravated in the winter season. On Thanksgiving celebrations, serve ginger nectar to avoid weak digestion.
Recipe for Ginger Nectar:
• 1 part fresh ginger juice
• 2 parts freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
• 3 parts raw, unprocessed honey
• Put the ingredients in a mason jar, screw the top on securely, and shake vigorously. Then pour through a fine strainer and serve.
Serve this to pacify Vata type, just 20 minutes before starting the feast. Let us also encourage our family and friends to slow down and sip gradually while savoring the taste of the foods to come.