November has arrived in New England and with it some cool, damp days. Mother nature has showered us with an orange confetti of leaves. The winds of November have blown soft this year. Soon this colorful landscape will give way to the monochromatic season of winter. Like black and white photography, winter has a way of revealing hidden beauty, structure and form. Blessed are we who witness the change of seasons for we take nothing for granted and can easily measure the passage of time. Water flows in streams over granite boulders and pushes aside snow and ice, bare trees claw the sky and animal tracks make visible their presence in the snow.
Winter strips life down to essentials; natures party clothes are put away. The warmth will return predictably, when the calendar turns and one season folds seamlessly into another. For now, the season of rest and reflection is upon us. What will you do with this time? Will you hide inside and wait it out, pine away for summer, or sustain your spirit with a few weeks of vacation in a warmer place? You could use this time as nature intended – a time to reflect, rest and re-energize.
Consider examining your emotional inheritance. Ask yourself which of your beliefs were handed down to you and then decide if you wish to keep them. It requires self-inquiry, it is hard, it is worth it.
Louise Hay, the best selling author of, “You Can Heal Your Life” says we are all victims of victims. We unwittingly enter into a chain of pain passed down through generations and repeat those unconscious patterns until someone is aware enough, strong enough, brave enough to shatter them for good.
Become aware of your “Chain of Pain.” What did you inherit? How will you change it? Is it your pain or the pain of your ancestors you feel?
As the weather here in New England prepares to shift seasons, it reminds us that change is a constant in life. Even beneath the deepest blankets of snow and a frigid February – the coldest and snowiest on record with cruel winds and thick ice – spring was quietly preparing its return. In late January, the sun took on a warm glow, hinting at its return to the northern hemisphere. It is now early March and spring is shouting from the rooftops, melting the heavy snow winter deposited there. As we leave behind our hibernation and begin shedding layers of clothing, our bodies began to shift and we move with joy in our step, our souls reach outward and we seek connection, visibility and sunshine again.
As in nature, many of us experience our personal winters, turned inward and shut away from the outside, cold, frozen and seemingly dead. We trudge through these bitter days consumed by the misunderstanding that this is a permanent state; we lose faith. Winter brings withdrawal and a turn inward; it can also bring scarcity and loss. During the darkness of the winter season, it can seem as if everything we loved and dreamed of has slipped away. In some cases, our career sputters, we lose loved ones and jobs, our focus and perspective shift to a focus of loss and depression. The juicy goals we had no longer tug at our heart or seem hopelessly out of reach. We may also sense our values are shifting. We find ourselves in a survival fight caught up in the maelstrom of our lives. Winter always requires surrender; storms can lock you inside for days, in darkness, reminding you of what you take for granted.
Your personal winter is a difficult time, but it does not last either – it cannot last. During this time, change is already underway. At the darkest hour, in the frozen land of loss, the shift occurs and although it remains unseen for a while, the movement is toward rebirth – the sun is coming and your spring is on its way.
Nature provides us with clues everywhere that everything cycles and spring always comes again. Spring will come even when it appears that all is dead and gone. Rejuvenation, rebirth and resurrection are all clues that no matter how bitter, barren and frozen winter looks. Once again, glorious, sexy, fertile spring is on its way, faithfully. – Diane