Two weeks into a new year, I’m slowly emerging from the mental and physical congestion of a cold that accompanied me through the turning of the calendar. I had hoped to spring forward into this new cycle with start-up vigor. Instead, I lumbered into 2013 bearing boxes of tissues in one hand and cough drops in the other. But this morning, encouraged by a bight, winter sun and by a lifting of the fog that muffled my mind, I turned for encouragement to a recent book released by a friend.
In Twelve Mindful Months: Cultivating a Balanced & Fit Body, Mind & Spirit, writer and fitness guide Carol Tibbetts defends the seasonal slowdown that has been frustrating me. A period of hibernation and rejuvenation she reminds me, is an essential part of the life cycle, in nature and in people.
A trainer at The Golden Door resort in Escondido, CA., Carol has been a friend and coach for several years, a relationship that emerged in my work as a guest presenter at the resort. (I’ll be back at The Golden Door for another week of Spirited Walking April 14-21, 2013). Carol’s book consolidates her appreciation for nature, journaling, and a healthy lifestyle in a guide that honors the cycles of seasons.
“Take this month to follow nature’s lead,” Carol writes in the January chapter of her 12-month guide to creating balanced, healthy, and happy life choices. “Allow yourself time to slow down, to pamper your soul and spirit, so you can experience energy rejuvenation.”
Slow down? That’s sounds dangerously akin to “surrender” to me as I balk at the virus that has drained my energy. And yet, we know that colds come and go, running their own course of attack and retreat. The pattern seems to reaffirm the unavoidable cycles of ebb and flow in nature.
Outside, the sun is bright and I am tempted to wrap myself in fleece for an easy walk. I want just enough movement to set my metabolism in motion, and to reconnect with the natural world around me. On the streets of my neighborhood, the oak trees that shaded sidewalks three months ago now stand stark and bare against the sky. The limbs of dogwoods and maples are stripped and dormant. Yet, I imagine that deep inside these barren branches, the life force of nature is at work. I don’t question the vigorous burst of life that will spring from these limbs in two months.
I’m hoping that my friend Carol is right—that I, like nature, need a time of hibernation. And that this same cycle of renewal and regeneration is at work somewhere deep inside of me.
If you’d like to get new posts on A Spirited Life by email, sign up above and then confirm your subscription in the follow-up email you’ll receive. Read more about Carol Tibbetts, at her website: www.truenaturepress.com