By Claudia Scalisi 04 Jul, 2017

Nourishing the soul in the city over winter; how I am dealing with our Perth winter weather by using what I learnt from living in Melbourne..

The importance of rituals; starting the day right - for you.

The first thing I promised myself when I moved to the culture capital of our country some 10 years ago was that I would not complain about the weather. I was adamant that I wouldn't be one of those  west Aussies that chose to bring my body to the city only to turn my nose up at one of it's most unique traits. However, in order to balance my energy, I learnt very quickly the importance of setting up some simple rituals to keep me warm, happy and in the light.

Here's a couple that I brought home to Perth with me, hope they help you keep warm too!

- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.  This simple gesture of balance does amazing things for a rattled nervous system, the consistency provides a sense of security and the basis of structure in your day.

- Give your body a warm, fresh lemon water drink as soon as you wake up.  The acid in the lemon sets the tone for creating an alkaline base for your organs, prepares your digestive system plus it cleans your mouth - especially if you swish the first few sips around then spit them out. Also, try sipping warm lemon water through out your day instead of cold water, it will do wonders for conserving your body's heat.

- Lovingly massage warm coconut oil into your body after your shower.  Self-massage, for me was the place where I connected to my body. I enjoyed rubbing the oil into my hips, my feet, shoulders and tummy all the while thanking my strong body for being so good to me. Not only does the massage feel incredible, the coconut oil acts a protective barrier between your skin and the bitter cold wind. Yes, you will still feel the cold, obviously...but it wont dry you out.

- Satisfy your need for warmth.  Start by layering your clothing, choose natural fibres to be the closest to your body then give yourself a few protective and insulating outer layers that you can peel off when you warm up. Then you wont have a big, heavy jumper to lug around with you. Did I mention that sipping herbals teas to keep you glowing from the inside helps keep you warm??

- Conserve your energy.  Channel the reflective nature of the season, go deep by journalling. Carry a small notebook and write down your thoughts or maybe draw your feelings. I used to sit in my favourite coffee shops, people watch and write my ideas, goals or creative aspirations out whilst feeling part of something 'bigger', it was like by placing myself inside a cosy, well loved and busy nook, I could tap in to the creative energy around me. The more you do this the easier it becomes to express your creativity and the more connected you'll feel.

- Find your tribe; love them hard.  That means making time to catch up for dinners (or mulled wine...) sharing a home cooked meal is good for your soul. Think yummy roasts with loads of winter veg, nourishing coconut curries, homemade pies.... yum! 

- Be easy on yourself.
Which includes making healthy, indulgent choices. Don't be too worried if you become a little more, well, well-rounded. Of course I'm not suggesting you eat loads of chocolate! It's natural for the body to hold onto a little bit of weight to protect it from the cold so embrace your fullness and indulge on Medjool dates, dark chocolate, hot chai or that extra serving sweet Muscat poached pear... psssst, check out this delicious recipe..

- Move your body. Make sure you continue to practice! The nature of winter is Kapha dominant which means if left unchecked, heaviness, sluggishness and feelings of inertia can start to get the better of you. Keep up with your usual body movement practices, you may want to even substitute some more vigorous, evening classes for restorative or sound healing sessions and leave getting sweaty for the mornings instead, that way you'll be working with the natural order of the day's energy.

- Step outside, find the sun.  This was a favourite of mine, I used to find the sun, close my eyes and turn my face towards it aiming my eyes to gaze at the sun behind my closed eyelids. The diffused sunlight is carried through your optic nerve giving your brain a boost of Serotonin and Vitamin D which help to reduce depression and regulate anxiety. We may not need this in sunny Perth, yet working in corporate Melbourne CBD during winter, this was a Godsend...

- Make time to enjoy the fresh winter air.  Use it the way our ancestors did; Rest and be with family, be it your birth family or your soul family.

In light & love, Claudia

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