Centering Mindfulness in Moments of Transition
Greetings from the coast. Let us pause to acknowledge the delicate line of transition between last year and the one ahead. To do so, find somewhere comfortable where you can be by yourself for a moment. During this time I also invite you to use all of your senses to become observant like the smallest of animals. Begin and take note of what plants and birds you see most often and remain curious to what they have to teach, call them by their name. If you don’t know their name, there is an opportunity to learn it. Below us, soil will not lend itself for nourishment and growth if not tended properly, a wonderful display of when it is best to recalibrate, to add or remove what is stagnating the process of growth. Become aware through your senses what is nourishing your soil or how to amend the nutrients to create an opportunity to sow seeds of life.
Undoubtedly, shifts in and around our hands and souls have taken deep root. The rooted changes that have stayed with us and the ones we kindly release create avenues for expansion and contraction. In many ways and the continuity of winter binds us together despite it all. Our environment quite literally, surrounding us with lessons saying what is not serving can and should be released, just like the trees and plants around us teach gracefully. For now, in the midst of winter, receive California’s sunlight the way children do unapologetically and take notice of what the smallest moments can offer. Breathe in the richness of life, and let your feet feel the firmness of the ground that holds you up.
This time around it feels fitting to pronounce the liberation that comes with this season, to rest and regenerate since each day might feel like a week to many. There is a collective plea for reflection internally and externally to assess the ways in which we can better support life, as change continues to happen. Lessons from growing alongside crops remind us that watering our seeds of thought and action, each other and community brings and sustains life. Reciprocity is a key ingredient in this recipe.
The way in which we prepare and consume food is an example of how even the way our bodies digest can be determined by where our cognition and activity influences the internal and external. Our parasympathetic nervous systems needs activation for digestion to begin, meaning chewing and eating merit their own undivided pause. Our mind state and disposition affect how our bodies process energy of the foods we consume and that is astounding and precise. The interwoven stitch work of food, brings us to gratitude time and time again. Foods we consume mirror Earth’s seasonal cycles and we embody the seasons through the foods we ingest. Nature invites and inspires us and we influence it in every way, through our daily choices.
We are absolutely capable of inspiring new worlds where we all have plenty. Perspective and intention are key contributors for hope and new outcomes. Both in how we intake, receive and connect with our food environments, at home and locally. For instance, let us observe carrots. They do the simple and glorious job of gracing our visual palette with hues of angelic orange. A carrot must go through months of no sunlight and through this metamorphosis develop into something that blesses our taste buds. They go deep underground and with patience and nourishment of the soil they grow mighty roots, in fact they are a root vegetable. Even in the darkness and depths, they re-emerge with vibrancy that is sort of unexpected when you have to withstand many months of no direct sunlight. We too have the similar capacity to tap into our strengths, vulnerability and vibrancy to emerge new and whole from any circumstance.
A special fragility of systems exists as the outdated ones are slowly eroding and the adaptive and expansive ones take center stage. Let’s make room for more, for all of life and the sublime balance that emergence from reverence, truth and uprooting the systemic or emotional components that no longer serve us.
Written by Stephanie Ortiz, Post-Harvest and Distribution Assistant