February Newsletter: Balancing Kapha & Practicing Divine Love Through Self-Care

Greetings & Namaste!

Can you believe it's already February? I remember when I was a child contemplating how long the days were. With my limited concept of "time," the only milestones I could count on to understand how long a year was and begin to grasp the cycle of the seasons were: my mother's birthday--that was spring; mine and my father's birthday--that was summertime; school starting--that was fall; and both of my brothers' birthdays, Christmas and New Year--that was wintertime. For little girl me, a year was a terribly long interval, and each of its increments--the "month"--slowly pushed on. Fast forward to 2019 and it's ALREADY February--as I write this newsletter it's actually January 28 and I already feel like it's already February!

Well, February remains a milestone for me, as it's my younger brother's birth month. As for nature, the beginning of February is the mid-point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. This point in the season brings with it a closing of winter and a time here in Nashville that our mother Earth definitely starts waking up to bloom in time for the spring equinox. Many of us are familiar with this subtle time of year as "Groundhog's Day." Yet, this seemingly nonsensical celebration of a humble mammal actually marks the day that farmers and gardeners can perhaps begin to work their soil and sow their first seeds of spring. This first weekend of February (weather permitted) my partner and I plan on getting our beet, kale & spinach seeds in the ground, in hopes of having our first spring harvest some time in March! Here are some photos from our 2018 spring garden and harvest:

Energetically, late winter also aligns with kapha season. Considering the cohesive qualities of kapha dosha--wet, cold, heavy, thick, slow, oily, slimy--it's easy to understand how late winter is also kapha dosha's domain. Keeping our own kapha dosha in balance within our bodies and minds can be challenging this time of year--staying comfortable, getting proper rest and activity, eating nourishing and warm foods that are light and well spiced, cultivating a loving attitude toward yourself and practicing self-care are all great ways to keep our kapha dosha healthy.

The positive essence of kapha dosha is called "Ojas"--our life sap that keeps our vitality flowing. When our kapha dosha is in balance we naturally have good ojas. Healthy kapha/ ojas is expressed physically through strong immunity; lasting stamina; healthy hair, skin and nails; clear, bright eyes; strong teeth and gums; sound digestion and elimination; healthy, lubricated joints; and healthy muscle and fat tissue. Healthy kapha/ ojas expresses itself mentally & emotionally through a good memory; graceful patience; a calm demeanor; a sense of "groundedness" and stability; a nurturing, loving and kind personality; and trustworthy reliability.

February is also the month of "love" with Valentine's Day at the very middle of its 28 days. And while the celebration of romantic love is a beautiful expression of the human experience, many of us might find ourselves wholly externalizing our sources of love around V-Day. By externalizing our source of love, we may unknowingly sabotage ourselves (and/or our partners) to experience hurt from unfulfilled or unspoken expectations which can lead to feeling lonely, depressed, anxious, jealous or "not good enough" to be loved, which can disturb and aggravate our kapha. When kapha dosha falls out of balance, emotionally it can express itself as lethargy, lack of motivation, depression, sadness, slovenliness, laziness, stubbornness, grudge-holding opinions and greedy behaviors. When we put together the factors of the natural increase of kapha in nature and the at-times unrealistic ideals of externalized love surrounding Valentine's day, it's easy to understand how it can be hard to stay true to yourself and stay balanced in your own kapha.