When the winter sun arrives change is inevitable. I feel a profound shift, inside and out, from my heels to my hair. I get the winter blues, spend more time indoors, and crave ice cream and pizza, which I would love to be able to subsist on to get me through the winter. I constantly fight the urge to fall into a deep slumber and hibernate until March. Staying on track with everything—whether it is yoga, writing, or eating healthy—seems to require incredible amounts of extra effort.
Winter in all of its fine qualities of cold, dark, and damp has the strength to knock me about a bit. If I allow it I can become uprooted. Picked up on icy winds I can easily fall into the polar vortex and lose sight of who, what, where, when, and why.
But I don’t have to at least not for more than a day or two—okay, maybe a week lost in the Arctic Sea—at most.
When you get off track, what do you fall back on as sources of strength and stability?
After that week lost at sea, what brings me back is yoga and meditation. In practicing yoga I develop a stronger sense of awareness and awaken to where I am in a given moment without any harsh judgment. Through meditation I return to purpose and invite calm and peace. Both practices provide sources of strength and stability.
In “The Pocket Pema Chödrön,” it says, “Meditation takes us just as we are, with our confusion and our sanity. This complete acceptance of ourselves as we are is called maître, or unconditional friendliness, a simple, direct relationship with the way we are.”
Whenever you feel tossed about by strong winds return to your sources of strength and stability. Allow for the acceptance or “unconditional friendliness” of any changes you observe. Embrace your winter you.