being a bear

i think i blogged six times last year.  i love to blog,  i find it very calming and satisfying but when i found out that last year i had only blogged half dozen times, i was a little unnerved.  i think i didn't blog because i was too busy doing things.  i had lots of inspiring experiences last year,  but what do they matter if you don't take any time to reflect on  those things at all.   and that is i feel what i did all last year.  no time to stop and tell my little kittens about anything that tasted good or felt good or something i completely failed at or never want to experience again.  it was all go go go and all is lost.  so i apologize to you and to myself for that.

these thoughts are flying at me as I'm preparing for a workshop I taught this month about setting intentions this year filled with clarity and purpose.  it was on the heels of the western new year and i was lucky enough to share my time with friend,  colleague and acupuncturist Erin Telford and 18 other amazing women.  my side of the workshop apart from oils to be wearing in the dead of winter was to teach a short sequence geared for the winter months.  my sequence was based on supporting the kidney and urinary bladder meridians,  and also respecting the idea that movement was less important than restoring energy and pranayama or simple breathing exercises.

in Taoist philosophy the importance of rejuvenating yourself in the winter comes from the idea that the kidneys,  the body's batteries need time to recharge.  the bears have it right,  setting time aside in the winter time to relax reflect and recharge is crucial to our lively hood.  as soon as I got back from the holidays i could feel the need for some serious bearness.  My man and I had 36hrs to say goodbye to each other say hello to the new year and then he was off to Oregon with a new job.  72 hours after that I was teaching the workshop.  The practice was soft and cool.  It was slow and mixed between gentle and passive heart openers and forward bends that massage the adrenals.  i was teaching to spend more time in each pose and really sit with it, but i realized i had done none of what i was saying.  I had rushed through each pose when i designed the sequence,  thinking about timing and wording and never taking time to live in it.

i felt exhausted when i was over and not unitl it was over did i actually practice it myself in real time.
the whole time I'm thinking about being a bear.  how i needed to be still and sleep and reflect on everything i had done last year.  i needed to praise myself for all the good things i did but i also needed to reflect on things that cluttered my mind and my body and think about the changes that needed to be made to keep evolving into a better version of myself.

but then i had another workshop to plan for and my cat had all her teeth out and life life life!! i kept pushing myself, against what i felt and my nature and the temperature was dropping and the news says stay inside and so i did,  i gave myself ONE DAY to reflect. i had decided that was the most time to give myself before i trucked back outside into the grind and the whole time i could feel it,  i need more support,  my kidneys are smoking out from underneath my body and i need to be still.  i kept asking the universe for it.

as importnat as it is to bang out a whole to-do list in a day,  it is just as important to give yourself time to rest and be still.  winter is the most Yin time of the year,  the Earth and its creatures are sleeping and resting.  except for us,  we plant a very intense holiday season right in the middle of it,  run around in the cold,  travel,  over indulge and stress.  all these things are horrible for our kidneys and our body feels it.  so what do we do? we get guilty and set "resolutions," not because it is something we want to do or something that you are excited for,  but because you are supposed to or you feel like you should.
eventually i got it.  of course not in a fluffy vacation package with free parking and a new bathing suit,  but with a deep reflection of choices i have made that stopped me in my tracks.   someone bigger than me said  OK THEN BE A BEAR.  And i did,  I am. I have been.  Sometimes you need a slap in the face,  a stomach flu,  or zero degree weather to get your attention to what you need.

Things to do while being a bear  things that connect you to the real energy of the earth,  not a created shiny expensive one, is as follows:

  • Take a long hot bath,  water is very restorative.  Warm baths especially in the winter are very soothing.
  • Journal to clear your mind and express yourself in a safe creative way.  It also gives you time to reflect on all things that are happening or things that did happen that you didn't fully process.  
  • Be Still: take a 20 minute yoga class with a 15 minute savasana.  See what happens.  
  • Accept yourself.  Digging deep doesn't mean tearing yourself down.  Being introspective is having the courage to take a real long look at yourself without judgment. You are simply looking at what works for you and what doesn't.  Its scary but "beyond fear lies freedom"
  • Hydrate.  The cold outside and the dryness of the what in your apartment is sucking the moisture out of everything.  
  • Sleep. Go to bed earlier and then on Saturday take a nap.  I cant ever nap and I napped so you can too.  
  • Wear oils that ground you like Frankincense or Patchouli.  
Heres to bearing it up this winter.