Friday, December 28, 2012

Beat the Winter Blues

        This Autumn, as the days started getting shorter and the temperatures got lower, I noticed my patience dropping as well.  The 4:30 sunset was throwing off my schedule and altering my mood.  I love the heat and despise the cold.  My life has been shaped by my warm New England summers and I've cherished every minute of them.  However, the problem with living here is our precious summers are too short.  Every January through March I come down with what I like to call the "winter blues" and this year I started to feel them before winter had even officially begun.  I knew I had to do something before the cold took control of the positive mood I had so effortlessly kept all year long.
        The snow came early and instead of going out for supplies and locking myself in the house for 3 months, I decided to take a few steps back and look at the snow from a whole new perspective.  I began to see passed the dirty, white slush and into the environment around me. This was when I chose to attempt a short yoga practice outside in the 30 degree crisp, cold air. The first thing I noticed was my breath. Being aware of it was not hard at all.  This of course, was because I could see it with my own eyes.  I could follow it as it flowed through my body, feeling it even in my fingertips. I was more aware of my senses than I had been in a long time.  In the summer, you can see and hear so much life around you, the birds, the squirrels, the leaves dancing in the wind. You can smell the heat. You can taste it.
         Now the air is still.  There is barely a sound to be heard, and yet there is still life.  As I sat there in silence I slowly began to focus on the soft noises my own body made; my lungs inflating and warming the air as I inhaled, and letting go of what I no longer needed as I exhaled; the silly chatter of my teeth as I involuntarily shivered to keep warm; and the steady pulse of my own heart, keeping a beat to the life within me. There, in that moment, I was sure of one thing. I am. I exist. I am here on this earth, a living, breathing being, put here for a purpose, be it big or small.
          I was born with the power to be in complete control of how I feel.  I will not let the chill or the absence of the warm sun paint a shadow over my happiness during the coming months.  I will stay rooted to the cold, snow covered earth.  I will smile. I will laugh. I will love. This winter, I will not hate on the snow. I will dance in it.

This was just a few days after the first picture.  I found an even greater balance and was able to stretch  higher into dancer's pose. :)