NO:06 The O Health Declaration Monthly Newsletter Oct 201826th October 2018
THANK YOU FOR JOINING a growing number of Ovvio Organic / Anthia Koullouros Naturopathic Health Devotees and Enthusiasts committed to improving health as a collective through simple, positive and powerful changes.
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MAY I REMIND YOU – WHAT IS THE O HEALTH DECLARATION?
I choose Health, Every day. Not because I should, but because I Love it and it Feels Good.
I choose what’s Simple, Delicious, Honest and True.
I choose to feel Energetic, Excited, Curious and Educated.
I choose Remedies from Nature and Food as Medicine.
I choose Old-School Wisdom for Modern People.
I choose Non-Toxic Body, Home and Lifestyle Products.
I choose Whole, Organic Ingredients.
I choose Ethical Farming.
I choose to Support Local Producers.
I choose Seasonal Eating.
I choose Cultural Cuisine.
I choose to Sidestep Gimmicks, Dietary and Wellness Fads.
I choose Food Cooked, and Shared, with Love.
These choices Positively Change my Mind & Body, and the World.
I seek to Know the Why of How I Feel and Believe it is Possible to Heal Myself.
I Allow my Joy and Love to come through.
7 Simple, Positive & Powerful Ways To Contribute To Your Health & The Health Of Others This Spring.
Inspired by my travels in Japan thus far….
Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement, a tradition that began with the arrival of Buddhism in Japan from China when floral offerings were left at temples. It literally means giving flowers or keeping flowers alive. It is a disciplined art form, even though it is an expression of creativity, certain rules gives its form. Colour combinations, natural shapes, graceful lines and the implied meaning of the arrangement whether it is for a celebration, a change of season or to mark a sad occasion are considered. Though in more modern times, the strict guidelines have been set aside and it has evolved as an art of creative expression with infinite possibilities both in style and material. Arrangements look elegant, simple and minimal and evoke the zen harmony of Japanese culture. Many retail stores and restaurants in Japan have beautiful Ikebana arrangements. There are Ikebana classes available in every state of Australia.
Mind & Body
Healing by forest bathing. In Japan, they call it shinrin-yoku. Shinrin means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” Bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses bridges the gap between us and the natural world. Dr Qing Li, the author of Forest Bathing says, “The key to unlocking the power of the forest is in the five senses. Let nature enter through your ears, eyes, nose, mouth, hands and feet. Listen to the birds singing and the breeze rustling in the leaves of the trees. Look at the different greens of the trees and the sunlight filtering through the branches. Smell the fragrance of the forest and breathe in the natural aromatherapy of phytoncides. Taste the freshness of the air as you take deep breaths. Place your hands on the trunk of a tree. Dip your fingers or toes in a stream. Lie on the ground. Drink in the flavour of the forest and release your sense of joy and calm. This is your sixth sense, a state of mind. Now you have connected with nature. You have crossed the bridge to happiness”.
Surrounding the many temples in Kyoto are exquisite gardens, which evoke a feeling of zen and harmony. Find your forest, park or garden and take in nature – a remedy for a burnt out, wired nervous system. Stresses of a modern day. Daily meditation and soaking in nature’s green medicine has become my daily ritual and I’ll continue back home.
Colour me happy. Garden green has been the theme colour of this trip so far creating a zen like feeling but we’re also seeing the rainbow. From the neon lights of Shibuya to the smiling Kyoto girls in kimonos to pretty floral offerings on a shrine. Colour is playful and fuelled with joy. Joy much like the feeling of zen, soothes a busy and stressed out mind and body. Find colours in the everyday that evoke happiness and joy – a pastel mint car, a pretty pink wall, a bunch of yellow daisies, a bright blue sky, an orange tiled wall…..
Lessons from the ultimate in customer service. Courteous respect and humility is deeply ingrained in Japanese culture. They are polite and kind and extremely grateful and gracious. They call it the ‘omotenashi’ spirit, which highlights the importance of making each meeting count, the best it could possibly be and this was our experience. We are wholeheartedly cared for and addressed without any expectation. A spirit of selflessness. Credit cards and receipts are taken and given back with two hands. Bowing deeply several times with a smile of gratitude and arigatos, while walking to the exit occur in every small and large restaurant and retailer (these fond farewells occur even when we don’t buy a thing). Items on display are neatly organised, clean, categorised, signed, priced and cared for as if they are precious jewels. The care that goes into wrapping your purchase is undeniably like no where else – no matter how big or small the item. Taxis are spotless, seats come with embroidered covers and drivers are courteous, wear white gloves and open and close the back door for you.
Heart & Soul
The importance of a holiday – a break away from the everyday.
- Rest, restore, revitalise and centre.
- Instil a daily healing ritual – meditation, prayer and nourishment.
- Flow in harmony with whatever comes your way.
- Trust life….be open, curious, brave and spontaneous.
- Saturate the senses.
- Gaze in wonderment.
- Reflect with gratitude.
- Be in purpose – be in the moment, every moment and rise to the occasion.
Monk is a small restaurant located just along the Philosophers Path, in Kyoto. It offers simple food prepared by the primitive way of cooking around live “Fire”. Every morning Yoshihiro Imai, the chef, visits farms tucked in the mountains of Ohara and visit markets around Kyoto to collect and gather fresh ingredients. He says, “Breathing in the wind I absorb the earths energies which I transport to the kitchen, the dishes, and our restaurant. With the offerings from the ground and sea from a far and near. Considering the thoughtfulness and patience of the farmers. Is it possible to express the beauty and the life of the vegetable; to invoke such feelings as the sunlight, the moisture of the soil, the blowing of the wind? These are the questions I always ask myself when I make my dishes, in hopes that the wind blows in the hearts of those who eat it. I hope by dining with us, it evokes countless memories of the gifts offered to us by mother nature. And to leave a impression as if you were deep in the forests or in the blue ocean”.
This was our experience. I hope this inspires you to think about the beauty of food, how it is grown and how it is cared for and by preparing it with the same care and thought it will reward you with more than simple elements. It will reward you with a nourishing life force and a joyful experience.
Japanese minimalism is inspired by nature and the flow of energy. It creates harmony and balance. The key is to subtract to make room for abundant energy, creativity and beauty. The following essential elements create a zen like home.
- Horizontal lines – book shelves, tables and seats are lined up with the wall. Books are stacked in line. Towels, bed linen, blankets and clothes are folded, sharply and crisply.
- Raw materials and natural elements such as wood flooring and panelling, concrete walls and floors, woven tatami mats, rock gardens, bonsai and soothing water features.
- Neutral colour palette of soft whites, creams, greys and wood tones.
- Clutter free spaces with only items you use on a daily basis are displayed and all other items are placed in cupboards, cabinets, closets and boxes.
- Light and airy spaces with open windows and light filled rooms.
- Low furnishings and seating. A feeling of being grounded to the earth.
- Negative space. A celebration of the space between things – the space between specifically chosen items in a home, give those items more value and appreciation.