I posted this picture on Instagram yesterday and it got me thinking about my Embrace Winter campaign and how it got started. I decided to go back into 2013 and find my original post that I wrote when I was in Inner Alignment Mandalas. This was written for our Winter Harmony series. I hope you enjoy it!
For most of my life I have not been a fan of winter! Even as a kid I was the one who walked a half a block to go sledding and decided it was too cold and I would be better off just going home.
Living in the Midwest where the winters can be brutal, I always felt like a fish out of water and the majority of this unrest happened in the winter months. Of course I never had a problem with it until the holidays ended and true, boring winter set in.
I tried to come up with ways to escape the darkness and the cold by going on vacation to Florida, Hawaii, and California and while that worked for the time I was there, I would inevitably come back and feel even more miserable then when I left!
I would whine and complain about my plight in life. Poor me! How could I stand to be living in this dark, cold, windy, God forsaken place when there were parts of the world that were so warm and beautiful?! I'm surprised my husband didn't want to muzzle me and lock me up until spring.
And then I decided ENOUGH! I had enough of the pity party I was throwing for myself every year. I had enough of the whining and complaining and the constant uneasiness that took over my world for a good portion of the year.
I launched my "Embrace Winter" campaign. It was a small campaign since I was the only person in it but it was the beginning of my attitude shift.
I started using the affirmation, "I embrace winter" every chance I got. I had pictures printed with that phrase on them and posted them up around my house.
I started looking out my window at the beautiful sunsets that could only be seen in the winter months. Because the sun was so low on the horizon the colors were even more vibrant.
I noticed that the same low riding rays of sunshine could reach into my house and warm it up, making it feel warm and cozy.
I gave up trying to eat salads that made me feel icky when it was cold and embraced the Ayurvedic tradition of eating with the seasons. I ate more cooked, warm, heavy foods and I felt so grounded and warmed from the inside.
I drank more tea and took more baths.
I purchased a full length parka, hat, gloves and super warm boots and I bundled up every time I ventured out.
I stopped ruining the autumn months with my negative attitude. While Mother Nature was putting on a beautiful show, I wasn't present enough to notice. I was always going into the future and dreading winter before it even got here.
I started being grateful for everything!
The dreary gray days,
the thousands of geese that swarmed my yard with their noise that was loud enough to wake us up,
the snow on the branches,
the fog as it froze on the trees,
the laughter of my children as they played in the snow.
I realized that as is everything in life, my disdain for winter was not about what was happening around me, but how I was reacting to it on the INSIDE.
As I shifted my focus I could begin to see things with new eyes.
I noticed the beauty in the stark landscapes.
I saw the patterns the wind left in the snow.
I felt the silence of a blistery winter day.
By changing my thoughts on the INSIDE I opened up a whole new world.
I am happier...
I am more content...
I am grateful...
I have a deeper relationship with myself...
I have lost my yearning to escape where I am...
And it all started with a shift in my thinking.