January is a funny time for humans. While the half of the planet for which it is winter is hibernating, we tend to expect to spring forth from the holidays with renewed energy and start new projects, radically change our lifestyles and otherwise "better" ourselves. By February we're burned out. Why? Because Winter isn't the time for new endeavors.
Actually, I think that little voice in our heads telling us to just relax and take a nap instead has the right idea. The birds have flown south, the trees are dormant and the animals are hibernating. What makes us think we can go out and stir things up in such a radical way? So this winter I'm listening to that little voice. When it says nap, I'm doing my best to comply. When it steers me toward warm, simple root vegetable and bean stews, and dark leafy greens, that's how I feed myself. I'm working on refraining from overloading my schedule, too - something that's difficult for me. And you know what? I'm a little less stressed out. I'm a little easier in my body. I'm even losing some weight - without trying (the only effective way I have ever lost weight)! But the best part is that I'm truly enjoying the season.
After all, Winter is one of my favorite times of the year, right behind Fall. It's a moment of quiet before Spring bursts on the scene and things begin to grow and change and blossom. It's a time to gather energy, rather than expending it. And it's a great time to really connect with ourselves. To go deep, explore and see what's making us tick these days. My favorite image of winter is a playfully crackling fireplace, a cozy chair, a book and a napping cat. Or a journal. Maybe a sleepy dog. Definitely a cup of tea. Anyway, coziness. Calm.
Or a walk in new snow - a wonderfully crisp cold, crunchy footsteps and, again, peace. Calm. The world at rest.
I have all kinds of ideas about how I want to change my life this year - resolutions, if you will. But more and more I'm finding that, instead of rushing into large changes, if I take small, even teeny-tiny steps - infant steps - I end up much closer to my dreams.