When I look out into the world I see a significant amount of “efforting". I see humans spending so much time striving for more and better. The pressure to “perform” that we put on ourselves is relentless.
Because I am a woman deeply connected to the Earth and to nature; it’s got me thinking that maybe we are all just missing a trick. So I’m one week into a new approach.
My intention for the next few months is to follow the season.
When I read Tom Rath’s Strenghtsfinder 2.0 back in my corporate days at T-Mobile I took the information I learned about my natural strengths seriously. The characteristic that came out on top for me was an “Achiever”. Per the report that accompanies the book: “People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.”
I also remember a reference to having accomplishments at the end of the day makes Achievers feel good. Yes, even on weekends.
My decision to follow the season means I’ve taken the season and personally, turned it into a verb; I told my acupuncturist that I was “wintering” for the next few months.
The best description I found for the winter season came from a very talented man named Cedric. I’m lucky to call him a friend.
Here’s what he wrote: “Winter. The season of transition and turnover. At first glance it is cold, lifeless, and stagnant. But Winter has it’s secrets. Life is hidden under layers of cold and snow. There is an energy and a way of life that the creatures of Winter follow. A flow that lacks the frenzy of spring, and the intense clutter of summer. Deliberate, intentional, and with purpose.”
Those words. I love them.
It is the perfect description of what I’m feeling right now: the desire to be deliberately quiet. Intentional in being present in the moment and purposefully not moving with frenzy.
Beneath the snow and frozen ground of winter lies the seeds that will bloom in the spring, the roots of the trees surviving on the light of winter, storing energy for the renewal and birth that spring will bring.
That is how I feel right now, like I need to gather energy and strength for the rebirth that 2017 will bring for me.
This is what I’m choosing to honor in myself and for myself.
I have a quiet December planned and a few amazing soulful deep dives in January. One surrounded by my tribe of Desire Map sisters, and one with the one and only L’Erin Alta of Sisterfire who I am blessed to have as my “soul coach”.
At the end of January I will attend a 10-day silent meditation retreat called Vipassana.
Vipassana means to “see things as they really are”. Every person I’ve talked to who has done this said it changed their life.
I am ready for that kind of change.
I’m still getting the hang of not feeling like I “have” to do something. I had always swore that if I were going to run my own business that it would be bespoke to me and my life. The stories of people slaving a way to build something never appealed to me, even if I’m technically wired for it.
If nothing else, it’s good practice leading up to 10 days of silence and meditation.
Here’s what I know for sure about my first week wintering; there’s a beautiful sense of freedom from the pressure to execute on anything and a welcome chance to be guided by whatever stirs my soul in the moment.
This feeling, time and space are precious and rare gifts and I don’t take a second of it for granted. It doesn’t mean it feels natural.
As I adjust my footing, my pace and give into my internal desire to hibernate I do so with the fullest intention on soaking up the energy for what’s coming next.
Deliberate quiet. Intentional Presence. A purposeful, graceful snow-like movement.
This is how I will winter.