I’ve decided the over indulgence of Christmas in the northern Hemisphere is to prepare we humans for hibernation. Hunker down (me on my lush red velvet sofa), snuggle up, retreat within and restore until Spring begins to show her lovely face.
I read somewhere that ‘there is no companion as companiable as solitude’. Grey January mornings had me returning to bed with a cup of tea, reflecting on my gratitude at being given (and allowing myself) the ultimate gift of freedom; to have time and space to hibernate, to go within, to pray, meditate, day dream and even just sit in silence.
Incredibly beautiful February blue skies have found me walking miles, wrapped up toasty warm but soaking up the winter sun on my face.
My exciting travelling life has had me constantly encountering new experiences, changing scenery, a fast moving motion picture of colour, smells, thrills and adaptation. My latest movie is a silent one and regular cinemagoers may think it is boring!
One of my spiritual teachers in the Philippines used to tell me to ask my clients and myself all the time ‘how do you feel?’ and I’ve found myself dwelling on this question as I’ve internalized my hibernation. Every day the sky is different, some days here on the East Coast of Yorkshire we’ve had the most brilliant blue skies I’ve ever seen; some days are grey and brooding, some a mixture of both, but all have such beauty. Every day seems to make me feel gratitude, thats how I feel, grateful and loved up on the 'simple life"
The winter sun hangs low in the sky offering amazing sunrises and sunsets.
I have the most beautiful Cedar tree in my garden, which I’ve covered in bird feeders. Besides the wonderful sound of the birds waking me every morning with their harmonic trills, I can lose an hour just sitting in wonder at the colours and varieties of these beautiful feathered visitors gracing my garden.
When I had my business I often thought how marvellous it would be to have a Winter and Summer timetable. I wonder if we could work 10 hours less per week in the Winter but make it up in the Summer with 10 hours extra? A nightmare for employers to manage, but helping women particularly tune into nature’s rhythms, instead of our man-made concept of time.
The media seems to think that January is the time to bombard us with ideas about detoxing, to punish ourselves for our perceived December indulgence. My idea would be to use this time to hibernate, go within, nourish the soul and be kind to ourselves. Use the energy of Spring, maybe start on the New Moon of March (this year the 20th) to focus on the physical body.
My New Years ‘detox’ seems to be of an electrical nature. I deleted lots of apps from my phone and removed the TV from my bedroom (this was the hard part because as all my friends and family know, I always love to spend Saturday morning in bed with James Martin!). My new venture into the world of mindfulness, thanks to the author Thich Nhat Hanh, has me filling my bedside table with books I want to read, keeping the laptop in the office and generally being more mindful and present in each moment.
The absence of some of my more meaningless distractions has helped to ‘free me up’. My creative juices seem to be flowing again. Simple pleasures such as painting a shelf, arranging flowers, sewing, cutting a paper napkin to do some decoupage and even baking fluffy scones covered in melted cheese have put a silent smile of gratitude on my face.