This is a season I struggle with, and I know I am not alone.
It is a time when the cold brings an inclination to look inward, and nature strips down all that is excess leaving the raw bare bones. It is a time of death before re-birth, a silent waiting in solitude and stillness.
There is such beauty at this time of year too, and I have made a conscious intention to be patient enough to enjoy and learn from it this year. I’ve found a wonderful guide in Joanna Powell Colbert and her midwinter Gaian soul practice online course. It has given me the courage to be still in the quiet and cold, where my natural tendency would be to gallop manically towards the sun
As we move towards Solstice, let’s remember to keep our little lights shining, to gather together for warmth , to sing, tell stories and to remind each other that we are part of this turning cycle which will bring us warmth, light and new life after the darkness.
December is hug month.
Last year we were in San Cristobal in southern Mexico. We were quite startled by the rapid drop in temperature and rather alarmed by the apartment we had booked for two months. It had holes in the roof, holes in the doors and walls and the only heating was a damp log fire and a gas fire we couldn’t use because it leaked.
Our vision of a cosy Christmas was dwindling rapidly until I asked our neighbour, a journalist from Columbia, if it is possible to get the place warm. She looked at me sternly and said with great authority ‘You are two, you can hug.’
We thought we would take her advice and I made a hug chart which we ticked five times a day. It really did the trick, warming us outside and in.
I already have my present this year, my sweet hubby came clambering down from his loft office clutching a paper plate he had decorated with HM, and the dates for ticking off the hugs…16 down 135 to go!
Give yourself and your beloved a present that costs nothing and means everything this year, join us for hug month.
I feel inspired to write a bit about inspiration.
That elusive and beautiful muse who sometimes floods you with golden ideas and sometimes packs up in a hissy fit without letting you know when she’ll be back.
Sometimes the reasons for this are clear, you may be overly pre-occupied with worries or simply not making enough time and space to graciously entertain your muse.
I have grown to think that creative inspiration is like a friendship or relationship. It’s easy sometimes to have a loving companion to play with, to laugh and share intimacies, but sometimes relationships get complicated. When there are jealousies or hurt feelings of abandonment and the heart petals close in protective hurt, sometimes just a call to say “I’m busy, but I still love you” is all that’s needed.
So too with your creative muse, imagine her as a precious friend. How are you treating her, have you bought her any nice treats lately just to show you care? Or is she shoved in the cupboard while you get on with the ‘important’ things and then a little sulky when you eventually invite her to come and play?
I have found though I have not always treated my muse/inspiration/creativity as kindly as I would like, that she is really pretty faithful. She never retreats so far that I can’t find her and always has some interesting surprises that bring colour and depth to my life when I take the time to pay attention.
Here’s to the wonder of inspiration, make time to make friends with yours today!
I made this image yesterday as a reminder to myself.
The day before I discovered my only Sister is to have a mastectomy. I was shocked and saddened by the news and immediately offered to cut my travels short and be with her if she needs me. I imagined myself in her position and my heart hurt for her gorgeous children.
Yesterday I was behaving very erratically, flying into tempers over trivial things and crying about anything. Any kind of song had me oozing, and the Winnie-the Pooh story my kind hubby read to me about Eeeyore’s birthday had me positively blubbing.
I consider myself pretty sensitive to the emotions of others, I’m naturally attuned from childhood and my training as a psychotherapist developed it. But I can be pretty slow when it comes to defining and responding to my own feelings. This ‘bizarre’ behaviour brought my family of inner critics marching out in force accusing me of weakness and craziness and so on and so on.
It took a while to realise, doh!, I’m sad, and maybe I need some compassion too. It’s relatively easy to self love when behaving nobly and selflessly, but it’s harder when thrashing around in wordless pain. That’s when it’s most important to wrap yourself up in love and hold yourself in kindness until the hurt diminishes and you can see straight again.
Have a compassionate day.