Coming Out of Hibernation
I’ve been in a slump. In fact, I heard the term “second draft slump” this week and thought yes, I know exactly what they are talking about! This giant book project, one which I’ve dedicated nearly all my time and attention to for the last several months, is nearing completion. I chose to hibernate for the winter, glued to a screen. My cave walls plastered in floral wallpaper and inspirational stickers. My dirt floor covered in wood planks.
I finally feel my soul stirring, the sleeping bear jaws of winter yielding a giant yawn. Like the tender tree buds working their way to the surface, little tendrils of energy are moving through me. Encouraging me to step on my yoga mat more often, make (safe) plans with friends, see the glass half full; signature character traits buried under six inches of snow last month.
Maybe it’s an energetic shift in the world around me. Headlines of vaccines mean there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Collectively, the world hopes for some semblance of normalcy soon. I’ll take it, but I know myself well enough now to recognize my own energetic seasons too. A gift of the awareness that came in sobriety, but which is available to anyone.
I first learned about cyclical living from a workshop I took with my reiki healer, Kasey, last spring. I was already familiar with lunar cycles from my yoga community; that we experience energetic slumps and spurts every 28 days. Calendar seasons were pretty obvious: spring, summer, fall, winter. The workshop helped me solidify the idea that my energy would wax and wane throughout the year, just like it did throughout the month.
Paying closer attention to the seasons of my life has created more grace than I ever imagined. I used to wallow in seasonal affective disorder in late fall. I wanted everything to look exactly the way it did in the summer, on the exact same schedule. I would beat myself up for having less energy to exercise, for gaining weight, for sitting around. Now, I structure my efforts according to the season.
In winter, I know to pare down my desired outcome to just a couple of goals. This year, it was simply “finish the book”. The year before it was “start the book, volunteer more”, the answer to which was the interview process for BBBS’s Mentor 2.0 program. It may mean nature walks are few in number and stretching in front of the television is all I can muster for movement. And that’s okay, I know “this too shall pass“ and trying to rush it with a frenetic pace sets me up for failure.
Now, as spring arrives, I can dream with abandon. I can plant seeds, both literally and figuratively, knowing some will shoot up toward the sun and bear fruit. Others will need to be thinned. More skin will be bared as I molt the heaviness of winter. The calendar may not read spring yet, but the little twinges of energy say “I’m ready.”
“No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn.” ~Hal Borland