I do enough. I have enough. I am enough.

 The festive season can be filled with expectations, stress, disappointment, over-spending, over-consuming, over-everything.

The mantra "I do enough, I have enough, I am enough" and applying this towards the people around us - "You do enough, You have enough, You are enough' - may help letting go of unrealistic expectations, reduce unnecessary buying of things that no-one needs and the planet is drowning in and reclaim the end of the year as a time of reflection, love, union, peace.

This month's newsletter is about connecting instead of consuming - connecting to your friends, your family, your own body, and the planet
(click on link to get to article):

Chakra Series Part 2: Muladhara Chakra
Recipe: Immune Boosting Tonic
Dry Brushing 101
Walks in North London

Chakra Series Part 1: First Chakra/ Muladhara Chakra

Located at the base of the spine is your root chakra. Muladhara means root support, it is our body’s most primal and fundamental energy centre and is the foundation of our very being. The root chakra is associated with instinct, survival and safety.

It is the very foundation of our physical, mental and emotional health. This energy centre reveals our issues related to our body, family, survival and our ability to stand up on our own two feet.

When exploring the first chakra, we may consider questions that are related to birth, family and home: What was going on in your family when you came into the world? What kind of relationship did your parents have? Who looked after your needs? What was happening in the world at the time of your birth?

To connect with the world around us, family, other people and the earth, we need to connect with our body. Disconnection from the body is a cultural epidemic:

  • Sit down jobs ignore the body’s needs;
  • medical practices treat the body mechanically as a set of disconnected parts;
  • the role of the body is ignored in mental health.
  • People can fall into addictions, numbing their aliveness with food, drugs or compulsive behaviour, ignoring the damaging effects on the body.

What is your relationship to your body? Do you honour it and trust its wisdom?

To recover the body, there is no simple cure, no pill, and there is pain when the numbness wears off and we awaken to the abuse we have previously accepted. But only by recovering the body, by closing the split between mind and body, can we begin to heal.

Survival is the fundamental instinct that form the foundation of the first chakra. When survival is threatened, it dominates all other functions of consciousness. When survival threats are frequent occurrences when growing up, the body stays in a fight or flight mode where it is constantly flooded with stress hormones. One may feel restless, tense and unable to sleep deeply. This state may eventually create high blood pressure, heart trouble, stomach troubles, immune system depletion, weak adrenal glands, insomnia or chronic fatigue.

When your physical base is unsteady or unbalanced, this affects the rest of your body. Without grounding we are unstable, we fly off the handle, get swept off our feet or daydream in the fantasy world.

Life situations that can block this chakra are:

  • birthing difficulties (like separation from the mother after birth)
  • Abandonment.
  • hospital stays, being sent to boarding school or divorce can create profound insecurity
  • Adopted children need twice as much attention and love to make up of for the separation anxiety they experience
  • Loss leaves us feeling like we are falling apart & the body itself may reflect this collapse, with muscles chronically undercharged, the legs weak, and the upper back hunched over
  • Further traumas: Physical abuse, Malnourishment or hostile eating situations , neglect, accidents, major illness or surgery, poor bonding with your mother, or inherited traumas from our parents and ancestors: parents with war trauma, poverty issues, racial persecution, holocaust survivors, those who have lost a previous child - they might unconsciously pass on their fears to their children

When this chakra is deficient, we can be disconnected from our body, underweight, fearful, anxious, restless, have poor boundaries, be unfocused and undisciplined, financially unstable and disorganised.

When this chakra is excessive, we can experience issues related to obesity, overeating, hoarding, we can be greedy, lazy, chronically fatigued, have a fear of change and rigid boundaries. An excessive first chakra due to abandonment can overcompensate by clinging to security, food, loved ones or routines.

A balanced muladhara chakra allows for a healthy and positive relationship to our body, positive tribal identity, a feeling of safety and security in the world, grounding and stability. A balanced first chakra is grounded yet alive.

Yoga, massages, dance or any other physical activity can help us reconnect with our body. To connect with the body is to connect with the earth.

The process of deep healing begins with awareness. When we stay attached to the resentment we feel, we become defined by that energy. This impacts our thoughts, reactivity, intentions and ultimately our health and wellness.

To heal, we need to let go of any fear that we have that the world is an unsafe and untrusting place. Let go of any resentment we carry towards our family. Let go of any feeling that you we are not belonging.

Immune Boosting Tonic

Give your immune system a boost with this versatlie and easy to make tonic. 
Use it to make a brew: steep in hot water, drain through a fine sieve and sweeten with honey if too pungent).
Add to dishes like stews, soups, even eggs: stir-fry for a bit alongside onions and garlic before you add the other ingredients.

  • Turmeric, lots of, fresh
  • Ginger, lots of, fresh
  • Black Pepper
  • Onion , not too much or it will be too pungent
  • Chillies, according to taste, don't overdo it
  • Garlic, maybe 1-3 cloves
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Propolis*

Blend all ingredients in a food processor to a pulp. Place in a sterilised jar, add some more vinegar to cover the mixture. Let it stand, covered with a kitchen towel, on the counter for 1-3 days before closing the jar and keeping it in the fridge.

*Propolis is 'bee glue' and used to treat coughs and colds and even cold sores. I got mine from Highgate Honey just around the corner.

Dry Brushing 101

Use a brush with natural, firm(ish) bristles. I use one with cactus bristles but there are softer ones available if you are a beginner.

Brush in long, upward motions that go in the direction of your the heart.  Start with the sole of the right foot and move along the leg.  Left leg next.  Hips/bottom right side and then left side.  Circular, clockwise motions on the belly.  If you can reach: lower back.  Palm of your right hand and right arm, then left arm and then upper back.
You start the furthest away from the heart and slowly brush towards it. Easy.

The ideal time is right befoe the shower as it exfoliates and makes your moisturiser more efficient.

Benefits: increased circulation, encourages lymphatic drainage, reduces the appearance of cellulite, it releases stress and puts you in touch with your body.  Plus, it wakes you up in the morning.


Walks in North London

I LOVE walking but find walking amidst crowds of other walkers quite stressful but how do you find solitude in London?
Winter is actually a good time for walks in deserted nature, the worse the weather, the quieter it is. Nature is never ugly, no matter the weather.

Komoot is a great app to map walks, you pay one time and it is valid forever. If you have it, join me!

Walk One: Ferny Hill Farm Shop - London Loop - Trent Park (10km)

Start/End at Ferny Hill Farm Shop (parking available). Quite muddy, the beginning is along a road (Hadley Road) and in the middle you walk through a populated area BUT especially the first part of the walk was completely deserted, and only in Trent Park it got busier again.

Walk 2: Chase Farm Hospital - London Loop - Crews Hill (11km)

Slightly more 'civilised' and on a sunny day, the second half was fairly busy with people and lots of horses. Beautiful woodlands and open fields. The Carvery in the middle may not be everyone's cup of tea but the historic building is very pretty.


Walk 3: Merry Hill - near Watford (7km)

Magical place - arable farmland acquired by the Woodland Trust 20 years ago and transformed into woodland, meadows, ponds, streams and hedges. Very muddy and the planes from the nearby Elstree Aerodrome were annoying (who still flies for fun?!?) but hardly any people on a sunny November Sunday. Great for dogwalkers and I must come back when meadows are in flower. Closest station: Bushey