In December, I started reading a book by John O’Donohue called To Bless the Space Between Us. I’ve gone back to one passage again several times. It has resonated with me, especially this week.
“Within the grip of winter, it is almost impossible to imagine the spring. . . Winter is the oldest season; it has some quality of the absolute. . . The beauty of nature insists on taking its time. Everything is prepared. Nothing is rushed. The rhythm of emergence is a gradual slow beat always inching its way forward; change remains faithful to itself until the new unfolds in the full confidence of true arrival.”
Our inner and outer lives are closely interrelated. What happens in our outer life impacts how we feel on an inner level and how we feel inside effects how we relate to life. The severe cold this winter has impacted our inner body. It may show up as tightness, fatigue, lethargy or irritation. This winter has set up an overpowering relationship with nature.
Today as I sit and write trying to make sense of this arctic January day, I don’t have the answer except to wait, allow and trust that this will all pass and that spring will arrive no matter what—but I want to do something to make it go a little faster because the waiting is hard and uncomfortable.
There is a surrendering quality this winter has taught me. It’s taught me about the mystery of our universe and how it unfolds and reveals itself in ways that are hard to understand.
I was downtown last weekend with my family, and we passed a homeless woman who was bundled up and my children asked, “what should we do mom?” I didn’t have the answer and my heart sank because we continued driving in our warm car with heated seats.
There are many things in life that don’t have answers, and I am continually learning that there is a practice of surrendering and trusting the mystery of life.
So how does this relate to the yoga mat? It is the small rectangular shape that we place our physical bodies on when we are driven from our inner voice to show up. When we arrive it’s a warm hello to ourselves, like checking in with a dear friend. How are you today? The body speaks truthfully and honestly and we can feel the impact our outer environment has had on our inner body. The tight muscles, the creaky joints, the frozen mind and the restless energy to just survive another cold day.
When you show up on your mat these next few weeks give yourself permission to really hear yourself. How are you dear friend? Let every choice you make to breathe, move and rest come from a place of inner kindness and respect of just how hard these winter days have been this year.