As any good nutritionist will tell you, the best foods are those that Nature provides. Preparing meals with fresh, seasonal ingredients is a great way to tune in to Nature’s gifts and give your body a boost. But as you meander through the grocery store, you’ll begin to see that freshness does not extend very far beyond the produce aisle.

Labels of everything from cereal to frozen foods contain fillers. If you took the items in the product’s ingredient list and laid them out on the table, would you still be interested in eating all of the ingredients? Test out this theory yourself. Head to your kitchen pantry and pull out the first packaged food you see. Then flip the box over to read the ingredient list. Would you want to ingest all of the items on the list, even the hard-to-pronounce ones? Even the packaged foods that we think are “clean” and “natural” contain something unnatural.

But fillers are not just in food products; they are everywhere. We fill our days with “stuff” we don’t need by engaging in things that suck up our Qi every day. In work situations, you might take on more than you can handle and end up scrambling to play catch-up with everything else. Or maybe you’re enjoying retirement, but you pinch hit for family members, neighbors, and nearly everyone else in their time of need. Sure, you’re a good friend, daughter/son, parent, neighbor, etc. but where is your internal connection?

Take a moment and imagine one of the scenarios above as the “ingredients” of your day. Or better yet, walk through a recent day when you felt pulled in every direction.Write down everything you engaged in that day, starting with when you first woke up, and ending with when your head hit the pillow in the evening. What ingredients made the list? Did your day involve peaceful moments or was the entire thing made up of fillers?

When was the last time you had a day just for you? Imagine this: You wake up in the morning, refreshed and renewed after a rejuvenating sleep. After a long, hot shower and a steaming cup of coffee, you walk outside for morning Qigong practice. A deep breath reminds you of the freshness of Spring, so you take walks throughout the day and enjoy the solitude that only Nature can provide. Your “fillers” in this case are the chirping birds, the budding flowers and the Spring breeze.

While it may not be realistic to envision the whole of this peaceful, serene day in your world, it is important to carve out time for you! Spring is the perfect season to enjoy Nature’s gifts. Even with a full schedule, create a few breaks in your day. Walk away from your computer or device and take a stroll through a park, visit a favorite tree, plant a vegetable garden or simply sit outside and breathe in the fresh air. In other words, create meaningful fillers that fuel you. Balance is hard to find, but is the most important element of a healthy lifestyle. And Spring is the season that sets the tone for your health for the rest of the year. Make a meaningful connection with yourself and Nature, learn to say “no” to the noise, and fill your day with the things that truly fill your soul.


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Enjoy this fresh perspective: Time Well Spent.


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