As I’m writing this, it’s December. It’s cold outside, the nights are longer, and I just want to rest, to roast pumpkin and make my mom’s herb bread recipe, followed by snuggling on the couch with my partner and fur babies, under our huge plush purple blanket.
However, I have a lot of projects to get to. Writing to get done, client work to finish, Christmas shopping to wrap up, holiday parties, cookie dates and all the rest of the buzzing of this time of year.
These are all things to be thankful for. I’m so grateful to have a to-do list of meaningful work– professional and personal.
But there’s a natural tension, being called to rest and hibernate and to keep up with the extroversion of the season.The truth is we are deeply cyclical beings who are connected innately to the cycles of nature.Click To Tweet
Although we are being pulled to shop, to wrap up projects, to set new goals, all while leaves fall, water freezes, animals rest. Our culture runs backwards in this regard.
I think the tricky part is working with our cycles while also still living in the real world. It’s not always realistic to go into hibernation and slow things waaaaay down.
But there are ways to cultivate a bit more balance.
1. Be Gentle with Yourself
I’m often hard on myself for pressing snooze that extra time, for not hitting the ground running. For not being as inspired as I am at other times. Look at what honestly can get done. Can some things be let go of? Know it’s okay to want to sleep a little bit extra or to eat that comforting food.
2. Create Spaciousness
Are there places in your life that you can create some spaciousness and slow things down? My calendar is pretty full, but I know I need to recharge. I do my best to space meetings out, to not plan all my extroverted activities back to back. Ultimately, I consciously space things out a bit more during the winter.
3. Trust Yourself
Your wisdom and internal clock will always guide you. Know what fills you up and nurtures you. For me I know I have to find ways to get in my body. I prioritize yoga, meditation and ashwagandha tea in the morning. I make sure to read before bed. I know these things ground and nourish me. They add a slowing down to my day. I make them non-negotiable.
I’m using the example of winter here, but there are other cycles are are constantly connected to. The seasons, the moon, the rhythms of our bodies. Everything is in movement and we need different things at different times.
Our creativity comes in cycles as well. Our writing, our business–It’s always in movement and exists as an extension of our process. When we honor our natural rhythms we have more energy overall. We get more done because our actions come from a place of deeper alignment.
But overall, probably the simplest but most powerful recognition for me is just naming that the way I’m feeling is natural. It’s connected to the time of the year, or the moon or whatever it is. Not to take away from personal accountability when we need to get things done, but as a way to be gentle and mindful with ourselves.
We let ourselves off the hook a bit, which opens up space to explore how we want to move forward. Our deadlines and projects are going to be there. But we have an option about how we want to approach them, what perspective to carry with us, and how to nurture ourselves during the process.
In noticing and working with the cyclical parts of our experience, we honor the ancestral and deep parts of ourselves that connect us to deeper rhythms. We learn to work with the grain rather than against it.
Did you enjoy this post? Please share with your friends. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!