New Year – 2014

I always end up eating too much over the holidays, and now I am feeling heavy… In the sub-zero temperatures of New York, my body is also stiffening. When going outside, with my tears and sniffles freezing in under 30 seconds, my skin tightens to the point I cannot even move my face. Although I have never had one, it is as if I have just received a Botox injection. It is very difficult to find opportunities to “move” these days…

Zoni (Japanese new year's dish including rice cake) - photo by Shinji Yasui
Zoni (Japanese new year’s dish including rice cake) – photo by Shinji Yasui

The ozōni (a Japanese New Year’s dish) I make for my family is one with many ingredients: rice cakes, chicken, Japanese radishes, carrots, sweet potatoes, green onions… It really warmed my body, and got my insides moving. And, despite coming home today not feeling like cooking, I threw a nabe (Japanese hot-pot) together in just 15 minutes. (I always have finely chopped welsh and green onions prepared in a container, so it would have taken much longer if I were to have started from scratch.) After eating, my fatigue was alleviated by the energy I gained from the meal; I sensed the food’s prana, and counted my blessings. These are days where foods like root vegetables and Chinese cabbage can really help you out. After all, in these early months we are like seeds still in the ground. Inside us we keep our energy stored, and now is the time for our roots to spread out and take hold.

super moon and clouds in the night on sea - photo by Romolo TavaniWhile it is difficult to find the energy to move these days, if you look inside yourself, you will find a great amount movement. Feel the palpitation of your heart. It is time to sense what resides within. So, as you are still a seed, embed your prayers inside yourself. It does not matter how long you must hold onto these prayers, as when they finally grow, they will take root inside of you with more ease.

It is said that this is the year of the supermoon—a year where the moon makes its closest approach to the earth. Although we may not realize it, the gravitational pull of the moon is already having an affect on both our body and spirit. Hold on to your prayers tightly, use the power of the moon’s gravitational pull, and welcome this new year with open arms!

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