Is That So?

Sign saying happy holidays with gift wrap and presents laying next to it

Surprise, surprise, here’s a story for you.

The Zen Master Hakuin lived in a village in Japan. He was held in high regard and many people came to him for spiritual teaching. One day the teenage daughter of his neighbour became pregnant.

When she was questioned by her angry parents, she said that Hakuin, the Zen Master was the father.

Cue the screaming, shouting, accusations, bottle throwing etc. No that didn’t really happen but you get the idea? There was lots of drama.

When the parents said he must confess that he is the father, all he replied was, “Is that so?”

Of course news of the scandal spread throughout the village and beyond. The Zen Master lost his reputation and his clients. This did not trouble him, he remained unmoved.

When the child was born the parents of the girl brought the child to him and said, “You are the father, you must look after him.”

The Zen Master took loving care of the child.

A year later, the young girl remorsefully confessed to her parents that the real father of the child was the boy that worked at the butcher shop.

Embarrassed and in great distress they went to Hakuin to apologize and ask for forgiveness. “We are really sorry, we have to take the baby back. Our daughter confessed that you are not the father.”

“Is that so?” is all he would say as he handed the baby back to them.

What is the moral of this story?

The Zen Master did not become a participant in the drama. It did not affect him.

How did he do this?

To him there is only this moment, and this moment is as it is. Events are not personalized and he is nobody’s victim. He did not resist what happened because if you do, you are at the mercy of what happens and the world will determine your happiness or unhappiness.

By only responding to what the present moment requires, the baby is well looked after and bad turns in to good. He lets go of the baby when it is time to do so.

So why on earth am I telling you this story?

Because friends, for some, the festive season is stressful and full of drama. It causes great anxiety. Perhaps it’s because extended family is together and there are triggers and old hurts that come to the fore, perhaps it’s because there’s too much alcohol and loose lips start lashing or perhaps it’s because someone got irritated in the moment and exploded.

Whatever it is, let us proceed in peace and harmony. Let us be at ease. Let us relax and let us have fun.

Let us reply with, “Is that so?”

On that note let me say that I’m unplugging for the month of December and “Is that so?” will be my mantra.

I will be celebrating my birthday, celebrating Christmas and also celebrating the New Year.

I will be slowing down and resting and rejuvenating.

I will also be playing and creating and writing.

There will be plenty of stuff cooking in the kitchen.

Don’t worry, come January I’ll be back with so much more.

As always, I wish you and your families plenty of relaxation, laughter and fun. May you all be at peace and experience much joy.

May love and blessings hug you

Your friend and wellbeing bestie,

LML

A Pre-Holiday Detox? Yes and Here’s Why

Champagne glasses clinking in toast

Oh yes you need to detox before the holidays and I see you rolling your eyes at me. That’s why I’m getting this out early, so you have time to think about it and prepare.

I’m well aware that when the 1st December rolls around all you’ll be thinking about is decorations, parties, gifts, food and of course the holiday drinks.

So before all the excuses start rolling off your tongue let me give you a healthy heads up as to why you should detox before the holidays.

At any other time of the year, when we have our little binges it is normally just a day or two, maybe a few days only. The December holidays signify a much longer period of over-eating, over-indulging and let’s be totally honest, over-drinking. We all tend to go overboard even with the best of intentions in mind.

This gives the body little time to recover let alone digest all that’s been thrown at it.

A pre-holiday detox will boost your immune system and help you stay healthy during the hectic holiday season. It will also help you get out the gates strong for the new year.

And you know me, this is not some insane juice detox nor am I suggesting you starve for 2 weeks before the holiday season starts, these are just gentle tips to introduce one or two weeks before the tsunami hits.

Jug with water and lemon slices
Morning drink

Morning Drink

Start the day with 2 glasses of water with a pinch of salt and lots of lemon. Like a whole lemon kind of lots.

If you must have coffee, limit it to one cup a day. Switch to herbal tea for the rest of the day. Ginger and peppermint are good for digestion. And stay hydrated throughout the day. Remember your 8 glasses of water..

Shower time

Before you shower use a dry brush on your entire body. Start at your feet and use long, circular movements to brush your skin. This will stimulate your lymphatic system to get rid of waste and will exfoliate your skin.

While showering, switch between hot and cold water. Hot for 30 seconds and cold for 30 seconds. Do this for 5 minutes. Better yet, if you can, go for a cold shower. It does wonders for your nervous system and will boost the lymphatic system.

Orange and blueberries
Healthy fruit

Food

Now it gets interesting. Remember this is only for 1 or 2 weeks, you can do this.

Eliminate sugar, dairy, gluten, soy and corn during the detox. These foods can be inflammatory and mucus forming. The next time you think about that sugar, bear in mind that it weakens your immune system for several hours.

Eat lots of fibre (flax, chia seeds and psyllium husk) and go big on salads. Stock up on herbs, especially parsley which helps carry waste out of the blood stream.

Help your gut

Get your gut ready for the heavy holiday meals with a daily dose of probiotics. Bolstering your microbiome in advance can protect against indigestion, heartburn and constipation.

Foods that are high in probiotics are kimchi, tempeh and yoghurt. If you can’t get your hands on that, opt for a high quality supplement.

Move your body

Oh here she goes again. Yes, I can hear you. All you need is a brisk 20 minute walk a day.

That’s it, simple enough, yes? If you really can’t get that in, try a steam room or sauna. Sweating escorts toxins out of the body through the skin.

Sleep

Did you know that your body fixes itself while you sleep? Try to get to bed earlier than normal.

Many studies have shown that the sleep you get before midnight is twice as powerful as sleep after midnight.

Going to bed between 10pm-12am is the best window for sleep and aim for a solid 8 hours. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, try a lavender essential oil to aid in that.

And before you even say anything, I KNOW you can do this. It’s just little tweaks here and there that will give you maximum benefits.

Like you I want to be rolling with laughter during the festive and not with indigestion.

Let’s give it a go.

Shall we?

As always I’m here rooting for you.

With love,
LML