Friday, February 10, 2017

Making Winter and finding a little spring

Sun shining up like God behind the clouds
Though the silence here might suggest it, I haven't actually been hibernating all winter. It's kind of been like my summer but colder, greyer and damper. A bit like Eeyore in a puddle. As soon as I work out which country has only spring and autumn, I'm there, till then I seek coping strategies.

So far this year I've found three great ones -

No.1: a day long yoga retreat with my regular class teacher. It was such a gentle day I felt lovely and mellow that evening, full of the kindness that I had been cultivating in the practice and then I spent the next four days in bed! It had been coming a while in all honesty, I think the work we did just unlocked a wave of exhaustion and made me face where I really was. The only way is through.
Journalling on wisdom from Mara Glatzel
No.2:  A seasonal virtual retreat with that bodhisattva of self-care Mara. Happily a shade less dramatic physically but it has really helped me pick my heart up from the lows of that crash. I signed up for Cycle about two seconds after resolving to stop trying to buy myself 'better' through books and courses and Stuff. Thank goodness for my contrariness because a few hours of virtual retreating with a lovely circle of women was just the catalyst I needed to clarify what I am craving this year and to gently ease me back towards helpful practices that had become increasingly fragmented. I see how that old rascal - practice - is so key to everything but I feel like I need a constant reminder that just a little can still make a difference. Stitching together little pockets of care creates a very different outlook.
 Knitting and blankets, cosy craft time
No.3: The Making Winter retreat and its after effects are a testament to exactly that. A little of what you fancy does you the power of good. Emma drew together four fabulous craft workshops over two days to allow a little dabbling in what all crafters can testify are serotonin boosting activities. Of course the laughing and laughing and chatting and laughing in beautiful surroundings didn't hurt one iota either. I've come home with a well of inspiration and written myself a daily craft prescription for the rest of February. I'm thinking that might be one practice that lasts out these last cold days of winter.
Willow weaving lanterns or bird feeders
Emma Mitchell, Silver Pebble's teaching collection
Hand holding seedheadBlossom peeping over a wall against a blue sky

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