The Herb Blurb – January 2021

I’m guessing very few of us will be sad to kiss 2020 goodbye. It was, by all measurements, a pretty awful year. It was also very revealing. We learned about the great divide in our country, the extent of our personal coping skills, and our ability to sacrifice. The importance of connection and our excess of convenience and distractions.

Perhaps we saved some money by eating in more often, staying out of malls and movie theaters. We spent more time with our kids and mates. We had more time outdoors. We grew to appreciate the luxury of working from home, for those of us with that luxury, the taken for granted privileges of a roof over our heads, food in the fridge, and medical insurance.

Hopefully, we became more aware of all the social injustice, the income gap, the frailty of government. The dangers of being intent on only our point of view and how open we are to manipulation.

Well, 2020 is in the history books, and 2021 lies ahead. There is hope with the vaccine, new leadership, perhaps a slow and rocky path to healing our nation. Perhaps some new personal insights and priorities we can use to chart our future.

As we look ahead what will you create this year? What has changed for you? What needs to change?  We are easily distracted by screens, food, and clearance sales. Don’t resign yourself to mediocrity. You decide your life’s path with every decision you make, so get out of the rut, put down that cell phone and remote control, and make a choice to choose, instead of living in a semi-comatose state of screen distractions and marketing manipulations.

Think about where your life is now and decide where you’d like it to be. What worries you most and saps your energy? What delights you? Start there. Think of one action you could do to improve your days and one way to incorporate more joy in your life. Then comes the important part, do it! Just this one step can make a dramatic difference done consistently. Your life deserves your full attention, make 2021 the year it happens. Need some help? Check out 2021 Reboot, a class I’ll be teaching at the end of January, see details below.

I also use this free tool at the end of every year to plot my course. https://chrisguillebeau.com/annual-review-2020-edition/?ck_subscriber_id=30249762

Upcoming Classes – try something new!

2021 Self-Care Reboot with Susan Evans - ONLINE

January 22, Jan 29, and Feb.5, 11am – 12pm. All classes will be recorded and able to be viewed for up to 10 days after airing.
Price: $53, $48 member https://catalog.botanicgardens.org/Selection.aspx?item=4062&sch=158255

Did the year 2020 crash your system? Take some time to unplug and consider the way forward. So often we go through life just repeating the same old habits whether they work for us or not. Are you languishing in your comfort zone, doing the daily slog, or enriching your life with new challenges, going against the "norm" to follow your own unique path?
In this 3-part series, we re-calibrate and discuss time management, goal setting, priorities, and follow-through. We focus on self-care with tonics, superfoods, lifestyle hacks, and habits to assist you on your quest for a more authentic life. Take home an extensive handout with exercises, recipes, and resources included. Start your "someday" life now!
All sessions in this series will be held online in Zoom. Registration will close and details on how to join the sessions will be emailed the day before the program begins.

Kitchen Apothecary - Oils, Salves, and Balms – ONLINE

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 11 AM-noon.
Price $25, $20 members. https://catalog.botanicgardens.org/Selection.aspx?item=4063&sch=158256

Learn how to make your own soothing, nourishing, and healing herbal oils, salves, and balms. From easy-to-find, inexpensive ingredients craft skincare ointments for dry skin, inflammation, lip balms, and more. Learn the best herbs and essential oils for your crafted creations for supple skin and gift-giving. Handout with recipes included.
This program will be recorded and held online in Zoom. Registration will close and details on how to join the sessions will be emailed the day before the program begins.

Fun Things to Do

Like everything else, New Year’s Eve celebrations will be minimized this year. Start a new tradition. Take a nearly-full-moon walk out in the winter stillness. Have a small gourmet dinner at home and break out the champagne for the brighter year ahead. Or check out the schedule of happenings here:https://www.denver.org/things-to-do/fall-winter/denver-new-years-eve/

Elusive Time

Everyone’s favorite lament, no time.  According to a Nielsen Company report, the average adult in the United States spends up to 13.5 hours each day on screens. https://eyesafe.com/covid-19-screen-time-spike-to-over-13-hours-per-day/ This average includes our daily use of smartphones, computers, video games, radios, tablets, and TVs.
The answer to the time quandary becomes pretty clear. Keep a time chart for a week and you’ll be amazed at how much of your day is wasted. I certainly was. Take a phone and screen break, experience reality, skip the virtual.

Covid

Yes, we are so damn sick of this unrelenting pandemic. But with the end in sight, don’t blow it now. January is predicted to be one of the darkest months for this virus. So keep your guard up, your mask on, your hands washed, and people at a distance. Take zinc, D3, and vitamin C daily along with a good multivitamin/mineral and stay hydrated. Eat lots of garlic, onions, and vegetables. The end is in sight, let’s all get there.

Herb of the Month

Herb of the Month - Astragalus, Astragalus membranaceus, Astragalus mongholicus

Astragalus is an adaptogenic, a term used to describe something that helps the body adjust and adapt to stressors. It has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries.
Astragalus is used for fatigue, immune support, respiratory and circulatory health, as a kidney tonic, and general restorative. The root is the medicinal part. You can add it to soups and stews, sip it in teas, and also use it in tincture form. It is a gentle and effective herb. I use it whenever I’m recovering from a cold or flu or just want to build resilience and immunity during stressful times. Not recommended for pregnant women or people with autoimmune diseases unless OK’d by your physician.

"There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have and if you cannot hear it, you will all your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls."

Howard Thurman, Civil Rights Leader

Posted in 2021, The Herb Blurb.

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