Gramma Says: Enjoy your Life!
The Ayurvedic aspect of this picture isn’t so much the food – although it’s fresh, lightly cooked for a vata, and includes simple ingredients and healthy fats. (green beans and flax seeds sautéed in ghee with ground Himalayan sea salt, if you’re interested).
What’s Ayurvedic to me is the bowl. It’s part of a set of china that belonged to my Gramma. Years before she died, she moved into a small apartment with my Grampa in assisted living, and gave this set to me.
I kept it in its box for years. What was I waiting for? A bigger place? A bigger group to entertain? A better kitchen? Who knows. The china sat in its box on the top shelf, unenjoyed.
Years later, and months after my Gramma passed away, she appeared to me in a dream. It was as if she was always there, watching me with a curious and delighted look on her face while I had fun. My Gramma was a force of nature, but “fun” and “delighted” are not words I would normally associate with her. “Toughness,” “survival,” “work ethic” – that’s what I thought I inherited from my Depression Era Oklahoman Gramma.
But these dreams were perhaps her greatest gift. They showed me how much she truly loved me and wanted me to be happy. Life was short, my Gramma seemed to be saying, and I should enjoy it now – not wait, not put it on the shelf – but to be awake and alive in the life I’ve been given to live.
Ayurveda, in its sweetest sense, is bringing that awareness of the present moment into all we do. It’s loving yourself and your sweet life not just with mindful exercise like yoga, but in the way you work and live and care for yourself. It’s enjoying your time. It’s ritual – and yes, some discipline – to give yourself the love you deserve just because you exist.
Just because you’re alive. Isn’t that what Gramma would’ve wanted?