Seasonal Insights by Sarah Giordano
It’s Springtime, let’s open up our windows and let the fresh air roll in. This time of year we feel the bite of the winter wind is infused with the warm fragrance of hyacinths and daffodils. Take a deep breath and breathe in the fresh air.
This season, let us explore how we ourselves can not only take in a breath of fresh air but emulate the notion of being a “breath of fresh air.” We explore how positivity plays a role in our state of being both internally and externally. This positively charged state of being is a place of homeostasis that effects our overall health and wellbeing.
For the spring bulbs to grow and bloom they need fresh air, water and sunlight. Similarly, positivity fertilizes our soul allowing us to grow and flourish. Inside this issue, we will discover how to incorporate positivity to enhance our state of well being, in essence we learn how to bloom. We will explore healing tips for the spring season and highlight our strengths which can support us in our growth. Here is what you will see inside:
How to Flower-ish
Breath of Fresh Air
Cleansing the Sinuses
Spring Soup Recipe
Have a Blossoming Spring,
How to Flower-ish
Martin Seligman’s 2011 book, Flourish: A Visionary Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being, covers the basis of positive psychology and how to measure and cultivate the well-being of an individual or group. PERMA, an acronym for his model of well-being, describes five main aspects necessary for us to flourish. I invite us to explore these aspects in our own lives by asking ourselves the following questions. You may want to write down your answers or even start to take action.
Expressing gratitude has the power to create positive emotion for us as well as those we are grateful for. What are you grateful for? Is there someone in your life to whom you can express your gratitude? How do you communicate gratitude?
Applied focus on a task creates a stream of concentration. Similar to meditation, we experience a resonance during an activity. We become fully absorbed in the moment, self-awareness disappears, and the perception of time is distorted. It may feel like time stops. When was the last time you felt fully engaged? What were you doing? How did you feel afterwards? What are the things you enjoy being absorbed in? Is it possible to make time for engagement? What would that look like?
The experiences that contribute to well-being are often amplified through our relationships, for example: joy, meaning, laughter, belonging, and pride in accomplishment. What relationships do you hold dear in your life? How do you care for and serve these relationships? What activities do you enjoy doing with those you love? Do you make space in your schedule to water and feed these relationships?
When we find a connection to something bigger than ourselves, we develop meaning and purpose in life. Where do you find meaning? How have you explored your purpose? What do you connect with that is bigger than yourself? How do you hold space for this connection?
The pursuit of achievement, competence, success, and mastery for its own sake is an essential building block for overall well-being. What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of? What did it feel like in that moment for you? How has that accomplishment shaped you? What accomplishment are you striving towards at this moment?
Take in the Fresh Air
Open up all your windows and let the fresh air roll in. Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, was a pioneer in shaping healthcare practices. She promoted the importance of ventilation and clearing stagnant air out of the house by opening the windows and establishing cross ventilation.
Benjamin Franklin famously spent his morning hours "taking the air" in the nude while standing in front of his full-length window on the busy streets of London in the mid 1700s. A few of the many benefits of “taking the air” include decreasing oxidative stress, improving overall mood, optimizing digestion, improving immune function and elevating energy levels.
Cleansing the Sinuses
Springtime and a life full of blossoms also comes with increased sinus activity. One of the best ways to care for our sinuses and rid ourselves of the springtime post nasal drip is the use of a neti pot. My recommendations are commitment and consistency, using the neti pot minimally 3 times a day throughout the season. Here you can find a the neti pot I use.
Ramp Radish and Spinach Soup
Inspired by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque
6-8 young ramps or green onions
1 small bundle fresh radishes
1 small bundle asparagus
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 slice fresh ginger root
3 cups vegetable broth
4 cups fresh spinach
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
ground black pepper
fresh mint to garnish
1. Divide ramps between greens and stem. Reserve the greens; chop the stems. Trim the ends off the radishes and slice in half.
2. Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus. Peel the bottom two thirds of each spear, then chop in pieces.
3. In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the ramp stems and the radishes. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Pour in the vegetable stock; add the ginger root and bring the soup to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer the soup for 10 minutes.
5. Add the ramp greens and the spinach to the pot. Stir and cook for another 2 minutes.
6. Transfer the soup to a high-powered blender or use an immersion blender to liquify. Blend long enough so there are no fibers remaining.
7. Pour in the rice vinegar and black pepper. Blend again and taste the soup. Sprinkle in additional pepper to taste if desired.
8. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh mint.
The intention of Discover Awareness is to inspire us all to find this state of well being that allows us to flourish. Through our knowledge of health and wellness we can find what healing techniques work for us as individuals. Ultimately, I hope to inspire us to grow towards a life of meaning and purpose.
One of the suggestions given in Seligman’s book is to use the VIA Character Strengths Study to identify our top five strengths and then set aside a few hours a week to cultivate those traits. I love the idea of building on our strengths rather than focusing on our weaknesses. Take the free survey and share with me. What are your top 5 strengths? How can those strengths help you build your well-being?
I would truly love to hear what you find and discussing how to start building on these strengths. You can share your discoveries on social media and tag @discoverawareness or you can send them to me privately in an email to email@example.com
I hope you have enjoyed this food for thought and utilize the actionable practices I have shared to promote health and vitality. Are you interested in further guidance on these practices? I am currently offering virtual and in person (NYC) sessions for nurse coaching and yoga where we can explore the concepts discussed here and how they can be customized for you. Reply to this email or reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
Take this moment and thank yourself for dedicating time to the mind, body and spirit.
- Sarah Giordano -