How are you doing on those New Year’s resolutions? Did they fall by the wayside yet? Are you achieving some of them?
After many rounds of the time wheel (I’m still in Mayan mode), I have learned that I need to hibernate in winter and it is winter here in the San Joaquin Valley of California.
We don’t put much thought into what Nature is telling us in our modern, electronic-gadget filled world, but we are not electronic beings. We are children of Nature, with a capital N, and we should listen to our mother. Many creatures of Nature hibernate in winter—or at the very least, their activity is limited because cold slows everything down.
What does hibernation look like for a human? Reflection, taking stock, sleeping more, fewer to-do lists, re-evaluating our life, to name a few. Think about your spiritual, physical, mental and emotional bodies or states. Tend to them—make sure you are taking care of each one.
I have read a lot of blogs this month and there is a rush to activity—make those goals, get on the bandwagon, push to achieve, do more, hurry—all increasing stress at a time when we should be reducing stress. This can easily lead to feelings of failure when we don’t measure up to someone else’s goals (or our own that we have made without proper reflection)—and we aren’t even out of January yet.
Um, no thanks.
For some people, that may be a good strategy. Maybe their hibernation period is much shorter or at a different time of year, but it is not who I am, and I suspect not who many of you are. I have found that when Nature tells you to slow down for a bit and you don’t listen, you get ill, which is Nature’s way of forcing you to slow down.
What if we thought of hibernation as a soup; the ingredients gathered throughout the year—books read, new skills learned, emotional highs and lows, physical trials and challenges and periods of spiritual renewal. Now that the ingredients are in the pot, we add lots of water (something you probably don’t do enough of in the winter-drink water) and let them simmer over a warm fire during the cold months, until done. The timing is personal. Only you know when your soup is done.
I used to think January was a bad month for me. Everything seemed to go wrong this month, every year, and I would inevitably feel depressed. It took me a long time to understand I was pushing when I should have been pulling—back, and letting go. Nature has its seasons.
Think of the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare. It is not the hare, jumping around, back and forth, bragging about how much faster he is than the tortoise, who reaches the finish line first, it is the slow and steady progress of the turtle that wins the race.
(and taking time to smell the flowers-or eat them as the case may be)
So if you have blah energy, feel uninspired, or have thoughts that you are not measuring up or not doing enough, maybe you need a hibernation period. Be kind to yourself, remember you are not a machine; you are a child of Nature.
What is your finish line-the long range goal to which you aspire?
Are you a tortoise or a hare (hares definitely get things done-but that's a different post).
Is your soup still stewing or is it ready to be eaten?
Let’s hear your comments on this subject. We all learn when we share.