In The Mudra- December 22
Updated: Dec 12, 2022
Hello Old Friend...
After a few months of feeling lost, I've decided to come back to a blog that I kinda sorta started during lockdown...there was a lot of time to think back then. And to spell check.
This time, I'm going to try and write about the things that are really important to me; the things I am studying, working through, passionate about, scared of, and generally f*cking clueless about. Should a yoga blog even contain bad language?! I guess we'll find out. I want to explore the issues that not only affect me, but the ones I see affecting the people I'm closest to, and the ones I see from afar. We seem to be more aware than ever about mental health and well-being; engulfed in a new language that feels like it sprung up almost over night. But do any of us really know what these words mean, how they feel in our bodies and not just on the tips of our tongues? In this totally mad world, how do we actually stay sane? Is it totally selfish to pursue fulfillment when the world is falling apart? And how can we genuinely find contentment when society thrives by telling us we are not enough? I don't know the answer to any of these questions. As a dyslexic, I'm freaked out about even the thought of trying to blog. But let's give it a go, eh? After all, fortune favours the brave....and maybe joy favours the curios...
I Smell Snow
Like diving straight into an icy plunge pool after a sauna (I would imagine- I have never, would never, could never do that), we have slammed straight into winter. I hate winter. I hate being cold. I hate the short dark days. My hair and skin look like crap, and snotty cold after snotty cold strike again and again until I start to resemble an extra from Oliver Twist. I hate hate hate winter...Except that this year, I don't.
After a busy and stressful few months of feeling overworked and yet simultanously as thought I'm floundering in my career, I am finally ready for an opportunity to slow down. And what clearer signpost to slow down than Mother Nature herself waving her frosty flag. If we allow ourselves to work with nature, she offers us time to withdraw, to reflect, and to reset. Now, I know this is going to be a sh*tty winter, fuelled (no pun intended), by a rancid government that....stop Miz, this is not a political blog! But the personal is the political! I know but this is a blog about slowing down! But if wellbeing practitioners don't address politics honestly, they become part of the problem! Sh*t! [Miztli leaves her desk to go and research Masters in Politics before having another panic attack]. I'm going to shelve politics for another time.
Okay, here is what I want to talk about; we can choose to fight the season we have no ability to escape (unless you can afford three months in Bali, in which case- MARRY ME NOW!), or we can work with winter and see what joys, magic and happiness can be found under her icy layers (that sounds a bit more sexy than I intended).
Winter and Water
Did you know that in Elemental Yoga and Chinese Medicine that winter is the season attributed to the water element? Water is the element that is tied to our emotions, it is the element of deep introspection. It is the most Yin of the elements, inviting us find and internal quiet, to tune into our emotions and learn about ourselves. If summer is the season for parties, weddings, holidays and barbecues with friends, winter gives us the opportunity to come home to ourselves, to nurture ourselves. For some of us this season can be incredibly lonely, we feel we should be at every Christmas party or part of a Hallmark Christmas movie family. When these fantasies don't lineup with our reality, there may be a pressure to resist what is. To punish ourselves for not having the things the Tesco advert tells us we should have. But actually there is a beautiful invitation here to spend time with yourself. To do the things that make your heart sing. To go on chilly walks alone, to read books curled up in bed, to indulge in the guilty pleasures without the guilt. Those guilty pleasures are exactly what feed your soul.
Onto pleasure, the water element is closely related to our Sacral Chakra (the second of the Chakras). This Chakra is all about pleasure, creativity and passion. These are things that definitely can feel like they die in winter. But what if we spent these cold days feeding our inner fire and the things that light us up? Hot baths, yoga, dancing, listening to your favourite music, or coming back to an old hobby you do just for pleasure. Maybe this is the time to connect back to yourself for no one but yourself. In The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron suggests taking yourself on an 'artist date' once a week as a way to nurture yourself. This doesn't have to cost money, but simply involves devoting at least an hour to yourself and something you get joy from. If you don't even know what you like or how you feel right now, maybe a morning journalling practice is the place to start.
Finally, December offers a symbolic end to the year and the opportunity for self-reflection. As the year draws to a close, I have found it really helpful to sit down with a journal and reflect on the year gone by; to celebrate my achievements, to tend to the failures, to honour the challenges, and to let go of the things that were painful. It feels like a really nice internal tidy. There's nothing more delicious than wiping the slate clean, ready to begin again.
Rest up dear friend
What ever this festive season brings you, I hope it gives you an opportunity for rest. If you can't give yourself the permission to rest, maybe by reading this, you know you have been offered rest by me. I hope you have a wonderful break, that you take care of your body, mind and spirit.
And I can't wait to start this writing adventure with you. I guess we'll figure out what it will be together.
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