“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” Og Mandino
I recently wrote this post for my work facebook page through Owens and Associates Counseling & Therapy, LLC, https://www.facebook.com/OwensAndAssociates/posts/763828583750586. I wanted to share it here as well, because I think we all can use help being happy during these winter months!
Many clients tell me they suffer from what they believe is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that happens when the days get shorter in the winter. It is said that SAD occurs due to a lack of sunlight during winter months. In the past, SAD has frustrated me. We cannot control the amount of time the sun is out, unless we move to Hawaii! The seasons come, and they go. We like some seasons better than others. But seasons are a part of life, especially if you live in the mid-west. How do I help my clients be happier in the winter? How do I help MYSELF be happier in the winter?
Last winter I was mad. It was 30 below zero, and all I could think about was why do I live here? I was frustrated with the ice, the snow, and everything that came with it. It felt like the winter would be forever, and I was stuck having to deal with this season for the rest of my life. So I planned my move to a warmer climate.
But something has happened to me this winter. I have gone deeper and deeper into my meditation and yoga practice, and this has changed me in ways beyond my expectations. It actually changed the way I look at winter.
Yogis look at The Winter Solstice (the shortest day of the year in December) as a time of inner reflection and quiet. Many cultures celebrate the winter solstice. In the article Growth, Rebirth, and Renewal, (http://www.manifestdaily.com/winter-solstice-a-time-for-growth-rebirth-renewal/) Lisa Maria describes The Winter Solstice as being central to the cycle of nature. She says it is “a time of new growth, rebirth and renewal. It is a reminder that in order to begin anew, the old must end. It is the time of year when we pay homage to the darkness of life’s mysteries, while still keeping our faith. Spring will come again.”
This made so much sense to me. As much as I got mad at the winter last year, and as much as I love my flowers and sun in the spring and summer, there was also always a part of me that felt comfort in the darkness and mystery of the night and storms. I actually remember feeling like maybe I was weird because I liked rainy days. I felt a sort of relief when the sun went under, and I could go inside.
Last week, I went to my niece’s house who is 19 years old on break from college. I walked into her house around 3:00 pm. She was all comfy on the couch in her sweats. But she wasn’t like many teenagers I imagine laying around all day in the middle of a mess. She had all these fragrant candles lit all around the house. She had a fire in the fire place. She had everything clean and nice and was snuggling on the couch with her new teeny kitten and huge german shepherd. She was home.
My niece has always had an inner wisdom beyond her years. She is what many people call an old soul. She always knows these things that I read about without knowing that she knows them. My niece loves the summer more than anyone I know. But she finds peace and beauty in the winter.
So I can say honestly this winter, I am happy in a way I have not known since I was a child and saw winter with wonder and awe. I have found peace, contentment and even comfort in the darker days. 4:30 pm is the most beautiful time for me. It is so mysterious and peaceful. Last weekend I even saw a rainbow. I keep spring in my mind with high vibrations and will be ready when it comes. But for now, winter is my friend.
So I challenge all my readers to find peace in this winter. Feel the comfort of the heat inside or in your car. See the beauty of the snow. Smell the warm soup you cook or the fresh crisp air. Listen for the quiet.
Make a day to be cozy inside and delight your senses. Start a fire in the fireplace. Light those fragrant candles. Cook a cozy meal. Be with your loved ones or be alone. Drink some warm herbal tea. Enjoy the comfort of being inside, reflect on your past year, and imagine what your spring will hold.
Peace, Love, and Winter Months,
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