I hate being cold. If you know me and my sweet southern roots, that statement bears much weight. Every year without fail, when the air gets chilly and darkness sets in, I start negotiating my way out of Minnesota. This is year thirteen.
Maybe I'll quit my job. Maybe I'll ask for more vacation. Maybe I can work virtually from my parents' house in Louisiana. Maybe I can be like Jenny in Forrest Gump and ask God to "make me a (snow)bird, so i can fly far, far away from here."
Winter doesn't suit me; it never has. The hot yoga room keeps me sane, but it's a borderline sanity at best.
I'm reminded of Molly's tips last month about cultivating peace in discomfort. It takes practice to stay in the hot room when we feel like bailing. I experienced this first hand tonight, when my body quit on me during opening breathwork of the Modo series.
Overcome from dizziness and heat, I knelt down to slow my heart rate as tears streamed down my cheeks. Although nauseous, I was grateful that my sad emotional outburst looked just like normal old yogi sweat (because winning).
It took some legit perseverance to not get up and leave that humid dungeon as soon as the floor series began. (Real talk, I started to get up but Dave Driver was in the back of the class blocking the door. The concerned yoga dad look and/or smack talk he would've given me as I scooted past the old man would have been too much for me to handle.)
So I resolved myself to stay and just breathe.
And guess what? I survived.
If it takes a commitment to stay in an uncomfortable place for 60 minutes, then it takes some serious mental gymnastics to appreciate winter in Minnesota. I've realized the more anxious I am about winter, the worse I feel during winter. Which leads me to pose this question to you: Is your mind making your suffer needlessly? If so, can you use the power of your mind to reframe the situation in a different light?
I read recently that excitement and anxiety share the same exact chemical process in the body. The way our brain interprets that signal is the emotion that manifests in the body.
No, I haven't yet tricked myself into getting all jacked up for winter. I'm not that good! But what has helped me is realizing that the uncomfortableness I may feel right now, even though it seems like impending doom, is just a brief extract of my life. It doesn't last forever. It's just a season.
The time my husband and I barely lived paycheck to paycheck? Just a season. The years of health issues and insomnia when the only sleep I found was on the heated bathroom floor with my cat? Just a season. The time I convinced my husband to move in with my parents, with no plan after that? Just a season. The crazy stupid uncertainty we feel right now since we've both quit our jobs to chase our dreams? Just a season.
This stuff ain't easy, ya'll. The journey and its lessons teach us something about ourselves. We need those lows to truly appreciate the highs. Problems don't discriminate, either; the trials we suffer through (and eventually overcome) give us empathy for others facing the same thing. But where is your head at during the struggle? Are you showing up and doing the work? Or is your mind exacerbating the problem? Stay calm. Reframe. Breathe.
Try not to be so heads down and consumed by your emotions that you forget to look for the light at the end of the tunnel. What you are going through isn't going to last forever. Nothing does. This is just a season.
I may not be able to control the weather, but I can choose my attitude. I can choose to live here or not, and I can choose to take big risks to see if they'll pay off. For me and Minnesota, that meant quitting the job that tethered me here year-round to see what else the universe has in store. I don't know how this is going to play out, but I am along for the journey and ALL THE FEELS and I am excited/anxious for it.
So during this season, I'm choosing gratitude. I can see the tree branches covered in white after a fresh snowfall, and it is magical. I can hear the soft crunch of winter boots on freshly fallen snow, and it is the epitome of peacefulness. I am blinded by the sun shining brightly on a two degree day, and it is flipping awesome.
I choose to embrace the spirit of The Bold North...and I welcome this beautiful season of winter.