Posted by : Grant Maxwell /
Winter is the time of year that sees very few people rejoicing when they peek out the window in the morning. Unless they are of the special variety who have spent all prior months longing for their days of preference, usually to be spent sliding down mountains on planks of wood.
For the rest of us, winter is a the time we spend reluctantly nestled inside a sea of blankets yearning for the days when excess clothing isn't mandatory and we can regain feeling in our toes again…and inevitably fighting the urge to overlook our financial situation and instead favour a totally justifiable week eating exotic fruit somewhere.
But what if we were to see this time not as a hindrance, but rather a gift? A chance to regroup, restore, rebuild and replenish mind, body, spirit and soul. The word ‘balance’ loves to appear in almost every well-being article these days, so I will try my best to use it as briefly and honestly as possible to shine light on what I know we all know being human is like…Cultivating balance on our own terms is often a waste of energy. We are all fully aware of our shortcomings, limits and constrictions, and tend to inundate ourselves with lists of ‘should be doing, could be doing and if only I was doing’…yet when things get that little bit too much for us (and although we know this is a time when self kindness would be most beneficial) balance seems impossible to muster, albeit incredibly unattractive and seemingly unhelpful.
I am the first to admit that in the past, winter has been the bane of my existence - an unwelcomed foe who seeks to steal my fun and make me feel pale, overly greedy, and impatient. Miraculously, this year I've found myself actually relishing in its comfort, fully allowing myself to enjoy the luxury of hibernation without guilt... I encourage you to stay open to enjoying the pleasantly recharging intimacy of these winter months. Summer can be so full on and engaging, and in it's midst we seem to have an abundance of commitments taking up the hours in our day; often times blindly leading into schedules that have us feeling more entitled to ‘going’ and ‘doing things’ all the time.
But maybe winter doesn't have to be the season that is so arduous and unproductive.
Maybe it serves as a time to honour space and reflection. Maybe it offers more time to really delve in to our relationships and understand each other and ourselves in a much slower, quieter, and foundational manner than the fast paced energy of summer activity. Maybe its not a road block to satisfactory living, but a chance to make it richer and more meaningful?
A quote from author Paulo Coelho may assist in summarising this thought:
“Solitude is used to teach us how to live with other people. Rage is used to show us the infinite value of peace. Boredom is used to underline the importance of adventure & spontaneity. Silence is used to teach us to use words responsibly. Tiredness is used so that we can understand the value of waking up. Illness is used to underline the blessing of good health..”
So too, may the lyrics of Kiwi songwriter Holly Arrowsmith:
“Surely we need to know darkness to see the good light of the sun.”
Perhaps we come to respect and celebrate the warmth of more jolly seasons after experiencing times of absence - both literally and figuratively, circumstantially and internally.
Could it be summer is just a state of mind?
Can it be bright year round?
It is up to us to wake in the morning and, despite the dirty grey clouds that threaten to throw our day into turmoil, rise with buoyant spirits and observe how ‘a cheerful heart does good like medicine.’ Thankfully bask in the beauty of the day that is, for the grass will be greener and the air will be warmer soon enough.
Guest Blog by Rosie Fea