Wednesday, February 24, 2016

February's Hidden Secrets

There is something kind of beautiful that happens in February, isn't there? Something haunting, deeply truthful and transportive, if you let it. I let it. Instead of wishing the month away, or getting caught up in to-dos, I have let it wash me. I have leaned back, opened my arms, and waited to see what enters. I have practiced patience, waiting, ambivalence, distrust, confusion, and trust, all in the name of a curiosity-driven game I've been playing. A new hat I'm trying on.

February is dark, cold, long and intense. Instead of running from that, I have found that if I embrace it, beautiful results can occur. Results have included a heightened appreciation for everything, slower breaths, deep hugs, hot tears, a sense of purpose, and a foundation for something big. 

I have been working hard (really hard) at a few things this month: Not complaining, practicing being fully present, distance from Facebook, getting outside when I really don't want to, reading more, watching less TV, looking at my excuses and working through them. And you know what? Dark, cold, snowstorms, and long winter weeks can be circumstances that lend themselves to really deep introspection. The nitty gritty.

I know this can come across as vague, spacey and empty. Like, what is this girl talking about? Concretely, I have been making some changes that have manifested in a much better me. I feel a big shift. I am feeling dots connect. Concepts I understood in theory have become practices that greatly improve my days. I am reaping the benefits of the hard work it takes to look myself in the mirror and see what's really there, even the stuff that causes me shame, guilt, fear and worry (those are the worst, aren't they?). Breaking those things down, I see of what they are made. With work, I can blow them out from my palm, like dandelion fluffs. 

I am meditating every day, and can feel space in a head that has felt cluttered and narrow for a long time. I am checking in with how my jaw, my breath, and my feet feel. Checking those three things throughout the day has been a helpful way to be present, undoing tension before it builds. I have been continuing my daily yoga, less now as exercise and more as a way to access the deep, powerful reservoir of light that comes from inside me.  I have been understanding the reasons I do harmful things (like yell, judge, and control) and why they have become my default reactions. I am becoming a version of myself that feels so good. I am getting much more comfortable in my skin.

window markers, joy!

I invite you to see what February and march can do for you. Some lucky ducks will sail away on amazing adventures, escaping the cold drudgery, and good on you! The rest of us, left behind, need not suffer through until the buds of April and May. 

"And don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." -Rumi

Check out what's going on beneath the surface. Apply all the metaphors you know about phoenixes rising from ashes, the darkness that comes before the light, the quiet magic that can be done by the light of one small flame.

I'm going to get back to school now, where I am learning the most from the four little teachers who live with me. Masters of living in the present, of being open-hearted, of finding joy in simple pleasures. I take furious notes during their lessons on innocent, bright-eyed love. Class is in session and I don't want to miss out.

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