Hello, and happy winter to you. I hope – anyways – that your winter feels rich, if not happy, in the ways it might draw you inward.
I notice I have been “wintering” myself much of these last couple of months; relishing going inward; often preferring to hibernate rather than be out in the world; wrapping myself up and drawing inward as I self protect from the cold, dark, and rain. I have shared in the experience shared by many of my clients of feeling weary, tired, overwhelmed and depressed by the pervasiveness and seeming unendingness of dark heavy times. I have moved ever so slowly as I try to make headway with projects or plans. I feel so sleepy and my body hurts a little more, is a little less comfortable; is not so eager to be active when the sun doesn’t shine so much or as long. I have thought about love or loved ones lost, and mourned their absence in a deeper way.
I have noticed with a heavy heart, the many terrible acts and harms we humans can do to one another. I have felt the suffering that somehow seems deeper in the winter of many people I talk to. I see how the stressors can feel greater at this time of year. Dealing with things like a relentless invasion of ants or broken down appliances or never ending added expenses can feel so insurmountable.
Lest this picture sound so full of gloom, I actually am pleased that throughout most of this winter, I have been especially mindful and attentive to the darkness I carry in my soul at this time of year. I have actually been more able to sit with my deep feelings and let them be. My life feels richer because of that, and I move onto the next moment or experience, more freely. I have practiced mindfulness more regularly in these dark days, and feel deep solace as a result. Much as I dislike winter, I believe I have truly felt winter this year. I am grateful for this time to go inward; to be a little more silent; to be kinder to myself. This personal presence with my winter feelings and experiences has in fact made me more receptive and joyous in response to the little rays of light that have come my way.
The winter blues have been a time for introspection, and have allowed me connection to my own tenderness. I have been graced by several different mindful experiences: a tea party with loved ones where we got to share in precious and rare time together; seeing how people celebrate Valentine’s Day – with or without a partner – focusing mostly on the joy of love freely shared; I have seen clients who are bereaved in one way or another, move courageously into the next phase of their lives and take on meaningful projects; I have watched the movie “Inside – Out” again and smiled through tears at it’s simplicity and truth; I have listened to Lynne Twist and Tammy White talk about money and finding true prosperity, when one is able to confront the faulty principles of scarcity and more is better; I have read Mindful Work by David Gelles and been inspired by all the ways our work lives can be made better with bringing mindfulness into the work place; I listened to some Wisdom 2.0 past recordings which try to bridge mindfulness and presence, with our technology in today’s busy world; I found a lovely exercise for touch, breathing and intimacy for couples from Sheila Rubin’s website who deals so sensitively with shame and its shadow in our lives. These are just a few of the little lights in the darkness I have found throughout this winter time, that I share with you. Just enough light to help me move through my own challenging times and to move toward putting workshops and courses together for the spring. I am working hard on developing materials that will be helpful to people and bring mindfulness into everyday life.