Ethiopian Jazz by Mulatu Astatke - The musical equivalent of a warmly spiced tagine, where the homey cinnamon of jazz instruments is met with a blend of fantastic African influence.
February is for Candles & Centring
January is always a post-holiday blur where we're trying to get back on track with food, finances, and fitness. After we've had a minute to digest our feelings and choices from the previous year, February feels like the right time for a real restart. What better a time to re-evaluate your life choices than by working on your tax return by candlelight? Ha.
History of the Candle
Candles are as old as kitchen fires. The first candles were created with animal fat with plant matter for wicks. People across the world experimented with whale fat, bayberry, fruit from the cinnamon tree, yak butter - it took quite some time before we perfected the recipe for the smelling, clean burning beeswax and soybean wax candles of today.
Records of candle-making date back to 3000 BC with dish-shaped candles found on the Isle of Crete. Other early references include murals carved by ancient Egyptians depicting the use of tallow soaked reeds for light, and writings about beeswax candles from the Han Dynasty (202 BC - 220 AD) and the Jin Dynasty (265 - 420 AD). There's also the 'Eulachon' or Candlefish, a type of oily smelt found on the West coast from Oregon to Alaska. Indigenous people made a candle by simply putting the dried the fish on a stick and lighting it. Ingenious!
Because you’re a newsletter insider - you get the inside scoop - this year we’re excited to pair the ancient Egyptian technology of candle-making with their other amazing invention - the ultraviolet glass jar for ultimate storage of botanicals. Light is your biggest enemy when it comes to keeping your cannabis fresh, so the dark glass walls let in just a few rays to keep your bud from getting mouldy. Keep your eyes on our website this summer, we'll be launching a Canadian-scented candle that comes in our ultraviolet jar. Enjoy the cozy vibes of flickering light, and then use the jar to store your cannabis once you've finished the candle. Bonus points - you get to feel good about re-using the container.
Where is my centre, exactly?
Winter is a time for recharging and introspection. If you can brave the elements why not try a gentler form of yoga. Carolina has been been taking Yoga Nidra workshops with the amazing Taryn Diamond. We get that pressure to attend the intermediate hot class and leave a dripping, exhausted champion, but you gotta believe in the power of interspersing tough classes with a supreme reset through restorative and yoga nidra. Check out her pop-ups at Octopus Garden, Union Yoga & Wellness, or Yoga by Sarah.
Heard of Vipassana? While this isn’t a last-minute Tuesday evening spur-of-the-moment class, this slower time of year might be just the moment to find time for a 10 day silent meditation retreat.
Yes, we know that sounds intense, and yes, we’ve tried it ourselves. We didn’t even have to travel across the planet - the Ontario Vipassana Centre is a little over an hour’s drive north of the city. While the retreats tend to book up six months in advance, there’s also a pretty good chance you could get in with a last-minute cancellation, as I’m sure you can imagine there are a few who get nervous in the days before the retreats begin.
And what an incredible gift to give yourself - time to process physical, emotional, and spiritual issues in a beautiful setting with support. Oh! - and it’s PWYC (pay what you can).
While the digs definitely aren’t five star, we were impressed with what they’ve done with the former boy scout camp. To our surprise, silence was easier than we thought. We left with the power to quiet our minds and focus deeper on what means the most to us. An incredible payoff in focus and understanding the self.
It's easy to get caught up in counting down the days until spring and get caught in the conversational black hole of bitching about the Canadian weather. We challenge you to make the most of the season, whether it's embracing an outdoor adventure or taking the quiet time for personal challenges and growth.