You know what inspiration is? It’s someone who lets you know life will go on and something beautiful can be waiting….waiting when you least expected it.
~ from Waiting to Exhale
Today marks the Winter Solstice and the end of the Mayan calendar, signifying new beginnings and rebirth. It’s also my first year without hosting a winter solstice celebration with friends in fifteen years, and I’m coming to the realization that yes, like with so many things that have been culminating this year, it is time to allow the evolution to occur. Deep breath.
Things are changing. But I am still myself at the core.
I had a really beautiful yoga practice this morning. Very similar to yin yoga, this class I’m in is more about stillness, breath and deep stretching of the body rather than sweating through sun salutations. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the feeling after a good ashtanga session, but it’s not where I am right now. Yin yoga and similar is gorgeously conducive to emotional and physical healing and the most therapeutic gift I can give myself.
[When everything you have been building towards has left you suddenly and without explanation, the first instinct is to fight for what you want. Then you ache and you weep for your loss. Yet you try to fight again, but the silence cuts you, like a knife to the stomach. He’s gone, and nothing I do myself will bring him back. If his heart is open, if he treasures me, if he meant it, he will come back. Everything he gave me is now in the linen bag he bought me, tucked away. He knows of my love and my heart, they are not gifts I take back, they are his. At the same time, I have to keep breathing, and knowing that my continuation is elemental. I write these words, and maneuver through the darkness.]
“Slowly, I learned that I had no real power to affect change other than in my own life…I could do no more than hold my ground...We are all just getting by on hopes and vapors…We are attempting a transformation and a recovery.”
~ Harriet Fasenfest (from A Householder’s Guide to the Universe)
I am preparing for another transformation, another evolution. In a month I will be 39. I hold my ground in knowing who I am – the generosity of my heart, my willingness to trust rather than be cynical, the way I unapologetically wear my heart on my sleeve, and how I am fiercely protective of those close to me. I will take this with me into the coming year.
In the meantime? It’s the little things that heal me – from the winter greens that are happily growing in my garden, to the winter snowdrop buds peeking out of the ground, to the pretty red in the trees, to the way I felt on my bike today heading home from the grocers, to this simple happiness talking with my friend Rachel at breakfast today over biscuits and chocolate milk, to the way I felt my mind shift midway into my yoga practice. The gratitude I feel? It’s an easy kind of bliss. It gives me strength.
Courage is not the towering oak that seems storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.
– Alice Mackenzie Swaim