How Christine found sunshine in a deep freeze.
Well, we are in the midst of the deep freeze. Dreary skies, blustery cold days, bare trees, and minimal life in the streets. It is winter time. As you may have read in previous blogs, I do not like winter. I am a hot weather, sunshine-day kind of girl! I will take 90’s any day, over anything below 60. However, as my path to spirituality has deepened, I have slowly started to accept, and more so appreciate, this season for what it is-a time of stillness. It is a time to hibernate, a time to reflect, a time to go inward and slow down. It is the best time of the year to take a cue from nature, when it gathers itself inward, and focus on inner silence.
This concept is something that I only began to think about last winter. And what a time to realize it! Not sure if anyone remembers the polar vortex, record snow days and just soooo cold and long!!! However, when I started letting winter be what it is, rather than being angry that it’s not warm, not sunny, not Florida, I started to enjoy the stillness. The practice of yoga and meditation were influential in this, along with my fantastic winter sidekick- my light therapy lamp J
These three winter lifesavers are essential components in my daily life. Lying on my mat, connecting to my breath is a highlight of each day, and even more so in the winter months because it allows me to focus on the season of stillness and just be. As I stand in mountain pose, I firmly ground my feet into the earth, knowing it is a moment of appreciation. My first sun salutation is done with such intent, and having my sun lamp shine on my face (as it is right now), with the winter scenery in the background through the large door window, is winter bliss. As I end my practice, whether it being 10 minutes or an hour and 10 minutes, saying “Namaste” with kindness and gratitude gives me the moment I need to move forward with my cold day. Meditating at either the beginning or end of my practice, with my light lamp shining beside me, allows me to sit in stillness, appreciating the moment and deepening my life experience.
The most powerful factor however is feeling a connection to something greater than me. Knowing I am one with the universe, a part of nature, and following its rhythm, allows me to accept this season. I would still rather it be summer, so I can enjoy being outside all day, but there is something to be said with cold, cozy Saturday’s, never leaving my house and knowing “it’s okay” to just hibernate and go inward. This gives me a sense of freedom that I may never have felt had it not be for all the beautiful transformation in my life over the past few years. Winter is here for the silence, the calm, the down-time in our bodies, our souls, and in nature before we are ready come alive again. It makes me feel as if I am a caterpillar resting in my cocoon, waiting for the moment when I will burst through and become a beautiful butterfly, rejuvenated, full of life, and soaring again.
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.”