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Winter Mood Board

It’s winter again and so far I’m managing to stay out of the blahs which feels like a big deal. It helps that I’m finally feeling settled in our new home. I can’t believe it’s been a year since we moved in. Wow. Time flies. Also, it feels like we’ve been here forever — like it has always been our home.

For me, so much of the winter blues is about feeling disconnected from my light. In the warmer months, I can get outside and be in nature, work in the yard. It’s somehow easier to find a rhythm in the spring and summer because life itself is in the flow of growth and expansion. But once winter settles in, I start to feel stagnant. The spark inside that motivates action grows a little dim.

Chloe is a constant reminder that we are born bright lights. She is light. I watch her boundless joy and her joie de vivre and remember that I am that, too, even when I can’t feel it. Sometimes I wish I could just plug into her energy and let it course through my veins. But I recognize that my work is to demonstrate how I reconnect with my light so that, one day, she’ll know how to reconnect with hers.

I spent the week between Christmas and New Year’s polishing silver for a little NYE dinner party which gave me a lot of time to think about the light within. It was full on Downton Abbey — me in my apron at the kitchen sink, covered in silver polish, removing layer after layer of tarnish. Seeing the silver shine was cathartic. I thought about the sutras (as one does) and how Patanjali tells us that we can find steadiness of mind by focusing on the effulgent light within. I’ve never really connected with this practice beyond metaphorical appreciation, but after polishing all that silver I was like, I get it.

If we want to connect to the light within, we need to commit to the practices that remove the tarnish. This is tapas (sutra 2.1) — the willingness to be uncomfortable, to embrace intensity, knowing that it has the power to alchemize. For me, tapas is discipline and discipline is self-love. Committing to rituals I’d rather avoid, like doing cardio and going to bed early, has given me more energy and motivation.

I wanted to share some of the practices I’ve been focusing on. It’s simple stuff, friends. And this is what’s working for me. It will likely look different for you.

1 / Creating a nighttime routine has really helped. This includes a winter beauty ritual, a candle meditation, and thinking about what I want to focus on the next morning. Even something as silly as wearing nice pajamas has made going to bed more of an event.

2 / I’m back on the trampoline. It’s such a joyful workout! Jumping up and down puts me in a good head space and gets me sweating fast. I swear, sweat is like a kind of polish.

3 / I now eat dinner at 5pm with Chloe which has made a huge difference in my digestion. I used to eat dinner after I taught and put Chloe to bed, so we’re talking like 8pm or after. Now that I’m not going to bed on a full stomach, I’m sleeping better.

4 / More about food (of course) — I hate to even write this but it seems my body prefers less gluten. I’m playing with eating gluten-lite, which basically means I try to avoid gluten after 3pm. I’m not sure how that works but it’s helping me sleep better and I feel more  comfortable in my body so there you have it.

5 / I’m leaning hard into my candle game. Lighting all the candles. We also lit the first fire in our fireplace on Christmas Eve and we’ve been on a roll ever since. It has brought me so much joy. Chloe got a chess/checkers set for Christmas and we’ve been doing family game night on the rug in front of the fire. The best.

6 / I’ve shifted my yoga practice from the morning to 4pm and it has become the pick-me-up I need in the afternoons. It’s a good reminder that we don’t necessarily need to change our rituals but maybe just how we approach them in order to experience the shifts we need.

7 / I mentioned the NYE party we threw. I swear it brought me back to life! I was in my glory painting menus, decorating the table, and cooking up a feast for friends. I’ve been trying to carve out more time for meaningful connection with neighbors and new friends. It gives me something to look forward to and keeps me busy in the best possible way!

I remain hopeful about navigating the rest of winter, but I know the hardest part will be showing myself compassion and grace when I inevitably fall out of my routines. It seems that getting back on the horse is far more important that obsessing over the fact that you fell off in the first place. With every kindergarten germ that sweeps through our house, I lose a week of my life and have to start all over again. I guess I’ll just light another candle, go to bed early, and remember that tomorrow is a new day.

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  • Thanks for welcoming me into your h(om)e.

    May this meditation help you find the peace within. I look forward to sharing more inspiration and goodies with you in my regular newsletters.

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