Firstly, a very happy new year to you! As many of you know, over this new year period Kathleen Murphy and I presented our popular “Herbs, health and acupressure” workshop at the Woodford Folk Festival. We were also invited to speak on the Woodforum raw food panel which attracted a crowd that packed the impressive Blue Lotus venue. I, of course, promoted the Traditional Chinese Medicine view-point that a little raw food is ok, but that generally speaking, a healthy diet should consist of mainly warm, cooked meals. (It should be noted that cooked foods don’t need to be unhealthy. For example, they don’t have to be laced with saturated fats, excessively meat or refined carbohydrate based, burnt to a carcinogenic crisp or boiled to nutritional oblivion. But more on that topic in another blog.) Thanks to those who came to see us speak and ask questions. It was an absolute delight to share our knowledge with you.
Here’s some health and happiness promoting lessons I picked up at the Woodford Folk Festival to apply to your everyday life for a happy, health year ahead:
- Starting each morning with yoga is a great way to wake up, stretch your muscles and align your spine (particularly after several nights on an air mattress).
- Queues are a way of meeting new people and learning new things. (For instance, I learnt from a volunteer S-Bend Warrior that festival punters were expected to go through 15,000 rolls of toilet paper in total for the week – that equated to an eighth of a roll per person – quite interesting). And it’s nice to say hello to people you don’t know. Just like the good ol’ days.
- Learn a new skill on a regular basis. At the festival I had the pleasure of crocheting a sandal, taking a dance workshop and giving a burlesque life drawing class a bash – each activity was great fun with good company (mostly new friends) and involved lots of laughs. If the new skill you’d like to learn is massage, I can help you.
- Be creative on a daily basis. Whilst chatting to a wise friend at the festival she floated the idea that creativity involves anything that allows you to express yourself in some way. It could be music, dance, art, sport or fitness, food, the way you dress, be computer-related or really anything at all that ignites your inner artist. She’s right. Grant yourself time each day to get creative, even if it’s just the way you arrange food on your plate.
- Be involved in your community. Our relationships and connections within our community contribute to our level of happiness. Communities give us a sense of belonging and provide a place for us to give and receive, and to share. Your community could be online or offline, related to your work, hobbies, education, family or place of residence. Volunteering might be a great way to get involved with your community, or you could join a club, take a class, support local markets or music venues, or get to know your neighbours. Endless possibilities.
May 2012 be your happiest and healthiest year yet.