The other day walking through the farmers market, something caught my eye...
A table, piled high with mangoes so ripe, orange, and slightly reddish pink that I couldn't look away. They were the essence of fresh, plump, fragrant possibility. And in fact, sitting there shining in the sun, they looked a lot like...happiness.
What You and the Mangoes Have in Common
What gives you juice? What makes you feel alive, fresh, supple, and full of possibility?
I'm convinced we all have our “Mango Moments” in life. We usually associate them with our younger, more carefree, and courageous selves. Or with a time in life when love, connection, and just being healthy was less complicated.
The question we all want the answer to now is how to make those moments last...or how to get them back.
According to Ayurveda, a ripe and juicy life is available to us at any time—it just takes a little care and cultivation.
If Juicy's What You’re Looking For
A juicy life is characterized by a juicy mind, body, and soul. It's a way of being that's infused with freshness, vitality and a deep sense of “Svasta,” the Sanskrit word for “healthy” and which translates to “being established in yourself.”
It's that gorgeous state of ease and stability that says “all is good in my world,” and it's the hallmark of the soul shining its light. It's actually who we're meant to be, and helping us get there is one of the primary goals of Ayurveda.
Rejuvenation is at the center of all Ayurvedic principles and practices. The ancients recognized (even back then) that life has a way of sucking the life out of us. Knowing how to reclaim our vitality and top up the “juice” that invigorates the mind, body, and soul is key to enduring health and happiness.
The good news is, rejuvenation is easier than you think. The better news is, chances are you already know what to do, but may just need a few reminders to pull you back on track.
So...if juicy's what you're looking for (and let's face it, it's what we're all looking for to some degree), Ayurveda says consider adding a little more of the following into your life...
Ayurveda uses the word unctuous to describe the gross and subtle qualities of oil. It uses the same word to describe many of the things I love most...comfort food, hugs, warm baths, spicy scents, luscious juicy words, emotions, and moments.
Each of these things has an unctuous quality that is part of cultivating a juicy life. Applying oil to your body and including good oils in your diet is another practice that helps lubricate your experience of life from the inside out.
Are you getting enough water? Because most of us aren't.
I won't belabour the hydration point since we're often reminded that the human body is largely water. But I will say that studies have shown even mild dehydration has the potential to adversely affect our cognitive and motor functioning (i.e. memory, reaction times, muscle fatigue and stiffness, overall movement) and our moods.
It's worth the effort to stay hydrated, because it's hard to live a juicy life when you're dried (or drying) out.
From the Sanskrit word “rasa” which means “essence or juice,” Rasayana are foods, herbs, or actions that promote good health and rejuvenation.
Common rasayana include foods and herbs like ginger, honey, ghee, amalaki fruit (Indian gooseberries), triphala, brahmi, and chaywanprash (a yummy Ayurvedic herbal jam). Activities like yoga, pranayama, and regular detoxification make the rasayana list too!
Love has a lubricating effect on life. Dr. Vasant Lad says that “Love is oily.” It smooths and softens difficult situations. It removes blocks, and greases the sometimes sticky wheels of motivation (and action).
According to Dr. Dean Ornish, “Love and intimacy are at the root of what makes us sick and what makes us well, what causes sadness and what brings happiness, what makes us suffer, and what leads to healing." Creating love (starting with yourself) is a vital practice for a luscious life.
Prana is the life-force energy within and around us that breathes life. The great thing is, there are SO many ways to tap into and immerse ourselves in it.
Fresh, clean local fruits and vegetables, spending time in natural settings (the park, the woods, the beach), being around people who are alive, expressive, and engaged in life and living are great ways to connect with your prana. And the simplest way...just breathing.
And last, but certainly not least...
Yep, you read that right. Infusing your life with more of what makes you, you is the secret ingredient to a bold, balanced, and blissful life.
Whether it's dancing in the kitchen, singing out loud, guilt-free eating, adventure seeking, or your own special combination of compassion, savvy, and quirkiness, owning (and rocking) the mind, body, and soul you're in really IS the juice that makes life juicy!
What part of your life is feeling a little dried out? How can you infuse your mind, body, and soul with a little more juiciness? A few simple steps can put you on the road to Blissville. So if you're ready for more “Mango Moments,” your time starts...now!