Everybody always wants to feel cozy and bright as the weather turns cold and the days dark. In pursuit of that common goal, there is a lot of cultural prompting to do so, but little real support. You can’t be of good cheer on command, that comes only when you have truly taken care of yourself and all that would be blocking the flow of spirit. In the winter time, humans are naturally more reserved and inward looking, it’s a time more appropriate for us to burrow in, to rest, review and restore – just like many plants and animals are doing. No one can tell you how to feel, so please recognize the pressure to “be happy” this time of year. Rather, work with what is authentically happening inside yourself.
Our prevailing culture prizes behaviors that, when you think about it, are very artificial. Life seeks balance. There is a time to laugh, a time to cry; a time to sow, a time to reap.
A successful friend of mine was staying at our house a few years ago. After she came in from a long day full of exciting meetings and shopping, she changed clothes got ready for a dinner date. She flopped down on the couch in the minute she had while she waited for her date to pick her up. She asked me, “What can I do for tiredness?” She was hoping for a secret yoga tip or herb to keep her going. I said to her, “Rest!”
I suggested to her that tiredness is her body’s way of asking her to relax and replenish her reserves. This thought had never occurred to her. It took a while, a full on collapse later on – for her to learn to balance her output of energy and her need for rest. Now she enjoys being busy, but she knows to take a break when her body or spirit says, “Enough!”
This holiday season, make sure to relax and nourish yourself. There’s always pressure to have a great time, or to take care of your family. Balance you extroverted activities with time spent just nurturing YOU! When your energy is contained, it can flow. Then the holidays can be truly enjoyable!