Embracing the rhythm of winter
For those of us who live in New England and experience the four seasons, winter is important for rejuvenation. If we give renewal a place within our busy lives, we can experience a sort-of semi-hibernation. It’s a mindful exercise. We need to allow quiet time, listen to our messages that will further fulfill us come the warm months, when we need to be outdoors, full of life and energy.
When we move into the holiday season, which we just departed, there’s little room for self. In winter, we can dote on self and bring us back into balance. During January, February and March, it’s important to spend time within – be quiet, organize our thoughts, desires, dreams, passions. Prepare internally and externally in anticipation of spring’s arrival. The holiday and winter seasons blend into this new balance in time for our re-energization of body as well as spirit.
Let’s not look at winter as a period of darkness – all cold and depressing – but rather a time to breathe and renew, to prepare us to propel ourselves to what’s next. A time to journal, meditate, sleep, cook well – creating healthy and hearty meals that nourish our bodies and feed our souls. A time for quiet afternoons with a mug of tea, watching the snowfall, listening to silence without and within. Yes, let’s experience winter. Let’s listen to the crunch of our footsteps in the snow. Let’s hear our birds brightly sing between landings at the feeder. Let’s be intentional as we go about our days.
Mindfulnessexercises.com recommends “6 Mindfulness Exercises for Wellbeing in Winter (6 Mindfulness Exercises for Wellbeing in Winter).
- A cozy gratitude practice – such as sit by a window with a warm drink and note much that we have to be grateful for.
- Mindful nature walk – bundle up, head out, and become aware of the many sensations and their impact on us.
- Mindful journaling and self-reflection – get cozy with a blanket, a journal and pen and reflect on how we’re feeling.
- Slow mindful movement practices – explore slower styles of movement and exercise.
- Mindful eating – enjoy first bites of a warm meal with complete presence, noticing how we feel.
- Embrace darkness and light – appreciate the opportunity to slow down and tune inwards and also bathe in the light of the slowly brightening days.
And according to a piece on the topic in Psychology Today, “The winter cycle is your body-mind-spirit’s restart button. With it, according to Eastern traditions, you flow into that part of your mind that houses profound insights as you prepare to ‘reboot’ into the new spring ahead and begin nature’s cycles all over again.” You can read more here: The Ways of Winter Mindfulness | Psychology Today, but you get the point. And my, don’t we have much in common!
I hope you find wonder in your world this winter!
Speaking of winter, as of this moment parts of California have gotten 30 feet of snow! And we’ve had three inches! I wonder if they or we become more mindful of winter this year!
Comfort Pad news
I’m coming out with this month’s newsletter a little later than usual. We were focused on our talks with Tufts Medical Center in Boston about their tests of the Featherstones Comfort Pad and had a great meeting with them last week. The excitement surrounding the slow but seemingly sure embrace of the Comfort Pad by the hospital industry has caught our breath up in ways we couldn’t have predicted.
Scott and I met with a lovely person at Tufts, the somewhat new MRI business manager, who had been testing the medical version of the Comfort Pad and who reported great results. But it had been handed off to her by her boss and our message for its use could not have transferred well with it. In just a few minutes, however, I was able to demonstrate many more applications than they had been using, and she became absolutely giddy over the possibilities.
She also loved the prototype of our new Featherstones Comfort Block, which we had made at Boston Children’s Hospital’s request. BCH has been using the Comfort Pad in all of their MRI machines for months and love it for how effective it is in providing patient comfort. The 3x5x2 blocks we had made of the same materials are designed to position and support the head and joints in MRI tubes.
We also visited with a couple of MRI managers at BCH and talked about developing yet another sized pad for head support. Both hospitals are testing the Comfort Block, and both managers expressed significant interest in it.
Also, very cool! While we were at Tufts, the MRI manager gave us a tour of their brand-new Phillips 3T MRI scanner, the first and only 3T in use in the country! The six-month installation process concluded in mid-December. The tube is much larger than usual, eliminating the tight, claustrophobic feeling associated with MRIs. And it’s much faster, often taking a third of the time to get images. Technicians in the booth show soothing video images of the patient’s choosing, as well as play selected audio. The video displays on a wall and is reflected to the patient by a mirror.
For you techies, here is the info on it: Philips MR 7700 – 3T MRI system | Philips.
For the rest of us, here is WCVB Channel 5 (Boston) TV’s video and story announcing it, from earlier in January: First-of-its-kind MRI machine promises to ease anxiety, save lives in Boston (wcvb.com).
And here are a couple of photos we took of the 3T. Notice the color hues that stem from the video projections!
Winter recipe time
We talked above about cooking healthy and hearty food this winter. Here is a favorite recipe for just that!
Rotisserie Chicken Soup
We like working with baked chicken – or a grocery store rotisserie chicken. Though we usually get a good meal from it and then make the soup. But this is an easy, fun way to get right to the heart of the matter – chicken soup!
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (we usually go large and will substitute a white onion)
- 3 medium carrots sliced thin
- 2 large celery stalks, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded, meat shredded
- 8 cups low sodium chicken broth (we often use bone broth)
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Heat oil in large Dutch oven.
- Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic.
- Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes.
- Stir in chicken, broth, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Bring to boil.
- Reduce heat to medium, boil gently 6 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped parsley.
One more thing…
In the December newsletter I noted that Scott would be making an announcement right after New Year’s – and he did! Having retired from a long career in journalism last summer, he has just launched a solopreneur freelance writing service, designed around creating longform content for businesses and organizations looking to enhance their brand and messaging.
Articles, newsletters, blog posts, web page review, editing, case studies and such – all content he can do for entities who don’t have staff to do it and don’t want to hire expensive marketing firms. All they need is a trusted, competent person who gets it – and that’s Scott! The great slogan he wrote says it all: “Consistent, intentional performance rewards everyone it touches.”
He has already landed a major account to update their website and launch a newsletter and other digital and social products, is writing articles for a regional magazine, and is going to edit an herbal artisan’s new cookbook!
If you’re interested in learning more about what he’s up to, just hop onto his website, where he has info about this service, a portfolio page, a crazy blog, and, of course, his novels published as an indie author: https://scottcsmithauthor.com.
With the sincere thanks of a grateful entrepreneur!
If you enjoy your Comfort Pad, please, right now, leave a rating and brief review. Just go to https://featherstonesinc.com/comfort-pad and click on the pad model you own and you’ll see where to do it. Reviews help immensely with our marketing, so, sincerely, thank you!!!
It’s also very helpful for you to share our social media posts so like-minded people in your world see them. Here’s where to find us: @featherstones.comfort.pad on Instagram and @FeatherstonesComfortPad on Facebook. We post a mix of business, info and fun. 😊
And please feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone you think might enjoy it – if they like it, they can sign up at the website. We’ll never sell or give anyone’s info away!
As we say in our posts: “Featherstones – pass the word!”
A joyful, comfortable winter season to you!!!
With love, Leigh