Lean in

November 27, 2016
Lean in

Once again, it is “Tis the season to be jolly”. The snow and the wind cannot lie: winter time is here my friends. Although very pretty, the Christmas lights hung on the street lights are only one more reminder that the sun is saying goodbye a few minutes after five, and that we are waking up so early that it has not showed up yet for another day.

If Christmas time is here, I am not ready to say it is the best season at all. Just like Charlie Brown, “I always end up feeling depressed”. November is also the month where the seasonal blues shows up for me. Just like most of us, I start feeling more tired, miss the light, and apprehend the cold. Transport is also a huge issue for me in winter time, since I can’t get around with my bike as I do the rest of the year, and getting to work in public transportation is not an option for me at this point.

Therefore, I used to live in the anxiety of the upcoming winter, counting the days ‘til Christmas vacation, praying day after day that I would be able to get to work on my bike until I got that very much looking for time off. As if I could do anything about the weather. As if I was important enough so that God would answer my prayers. All that time lost wishing that winter would never come (as if that had ever arrived) made be pass by most of the joys of fall.

Even if on some years we got lucky enough to be able to bike on Christmas Eve, snow always eventually catches up with us. When it did, I used to resist. I was living in denial, completely disconnected from whatever was going on on the outside. Wrapped up in as many athletic clothing as I could find, I was fighting all the way up to the mountain even sometimes at minus 30 degrees Celsius. Winter would not stop me. I was to keep on living the same way I did all year around. I suffered. Long runs in the cold and in the wind aren’t that fun. Eating a cold salad in January when you are a Vata neither.

I can do better than that. This year, no more suffering. Ahimsa all the way. Just like the Ayurveda shows us, in order to find balance, we cannot not take into account our environment, and the cycle of seasons. Winter time is a time to rest, to eat warm, mushy and spicy, while also keeping in mind to counterbalance that heavy energy with some dynamic and invigorating movement, either in the form of exercise or breathing practice.

Though I am not saying you shouldn’t get outside and Netflix binge from November ‘til the end of March. Of course I am going to enjoy long walks all through winter, I definitely need to breath some fresh air everyday. I actually love it when it’s cold enough to make me appreciate even more getting back inside into a warm and cozy home afterwards. It’s all about the attitude. These long walks outside, and even running in the snow from time to time, will be done in a respectful, taking-care-of-myself way, not a pushy one. For the sake of it, because winter can be fun if we take the time to rest and build some energy before facing the cold again. Who isn’t looking forward to hot chocolate after all that skating around?

All of a sudden, I am indeed feeling more jolly. Happiness and cheers everyone.


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