Friday, October 26, 2012

Half the Sky

I'm watching a powerful movie that speaks to my heart and inspires reflection.  It's called Half the Sky.  This documentary is based on the book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.  Through story telling, it sheds light on issues of sex trafficking, education for girls, genital mutilation and rape in countries all over the world.  It's shocking and difficult to imagine living through the challenges that these girls face.

My initial reaction is to get on a plane and volunteer for one of these incredible organizations.  I also know that I can make a difference here at home in my daily life.  As a teacher, it makes me want to further empower the girls in my class.  Perhaps a lunch book club with stories of women leaders.  My students are in an important position with so many advantages to make positive change in the world, but first we need to build their confidence, ease their anxiety and tap into the power inside of them.  I can see the nervousness on their faces as they look up to me for approval.  My role is to teach content, but I know that I can help them find strength on the inside.

I want to live through example.  I am the product of a strong education for women.  This movie makes me extremely grateful for all of the opportunities I've had in my life.  It also makes me wonder, "Am I doing everything I can to make the most of this gift?  Am I contributing to my community?  If not, what's holding me back?"  I have no excuses.

Here are 3 small things I can recommit to right now:
1. Speak positively about myself and other women.  No gossip.
2. Be nice to my mom even when I'm feeling impatient or grumpy.
3. Take care of myself and be thankful so that I can be of service to others.

When you educate a girl, she tends to take better care of her herself and her kids, create a business, get married later and invest in her community.  When you educate a girl, you educate a village.  To care about a girl, is an enormously powerful thing.  Girls education is transformative.

Please watch this movie or read the book.  Join the conversation that impacts everyone.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Transition into fall the Ayurvedic way!

Cozy blankets, colorful leaves, walking in the brisk sunny air....  Fall can be a beautiful time of year when we follow the Vedic recommendations for how to transition our mind and body.  Here are a 5 easy steps to make this the best fall of your life.

1.  Begin your day with meditation.  Even 10 quiet minutes will create a calm tone for your day.  For amazing guided meditations visit:

2. Start transitioning away from cold, raw salads and towards warming stews and soups with vegetables, beans and your favorite spices.  For soup inspiration, check out:

3.  Obviously wearing warmer clothes is a smart idea as the seasons change.  It's especially important to keep your neck and throat covered during this blustery and chilly season.  In additions to jackets and scarves, add orange, yellow or red colors to harmonize with the shift.

4.  Fall is dominated by VATA, a mobile, dry, cold force.  It's easy to feel trapped in cyclical thoughts and worries.  Therefore, we have to add the opposite qualities in order to create balance and stabilize our mind.  Give yourself permission to rest, take a warm bath, slather on nourishing oil and wrap up with a blanket and some relaxing tea.  Avoid loud music, driving too fast and violent shows that will further aggravate Vata.

5.  If you have trouble sleeping, indulge in a sesame oil foot massage.  Sesame oil is warming, and this self-massage will relax your nervous system before bed.  Pull on some socks so that your sheets stay nice and clean.

Enjoy this beautiful season!