During intake with new clients, I often ask “So what’s your favorite season?” Time and time again, winter falls to the bottom of the loved list and rises to the top of the hated list.
I used to be one of those people – dreading the cold, waiting impatiently for warmer weather. I went as far as disliking autumn, because it was a sign that winter’s deep cold was coming.
When I started acupuncture school, I learned of “unnecessary suffering” and how we create this with our minds. I realized how I created unnecessary suffering for myself in many ways, just with my thoughts. One was my relationship with a season — a season that just is. I began opening up to the idea of accepting winter. A few things helped me along this journey.
To start, I began looking through a different lens. I started asking people who admired winter, “why?”. They shared that they loved getting warm and cozy after coming in from the cold; looking at the beautiful white scenery after a snow; wearing layers of clothing; the deep silence of winter. I attempted to feel these experiences. When I looked through the admiration lens, the first thing I observed was the beauty of the land after a heavy snow. What a wonder! The white trees are such a delight. I am still working on layering because nothing beats a skirt, tee and flip flops. 😃
Then there was the understanding of the seasons and their gifts. I realized that winter is an inward time. Nature goes inward and it may help me if I did the same. What if I tried to hibernate as best I can? Now, that is exactly what I do. I stay indoors more and I only go out for necessities. In autumn I prepare by ordering herbs & seaweeds for teas and soups, I stock up on dry goods, I prepare my book reading list by asking for recommendations. I can now fully admire the beauty of autumn colors as I prepare for winter. When temperatures drop, I pull my crock pot out and start slow cooking. Bone soup has become my winter medicine. I actually hibernate, relax more, meditate and plan for spring projects. I find by taping into winter’s gift, going inward and storing my energy, I am better prepared to burst forward in spring.
I also attribute my being more in tuned with the seasons to acupuncture. I am not just saying this because I’m an acupuncturist. One of the goals of acupuncture is to create balance. Highly disliking a season was a sign of imbalance for me. And you know what, I found that I resonated most with the winter season which corresponds to water, the kidneys and bladder, fear, courage, wisdom, depth, and preferring dark colors or clothing. As acupuncture has helped me become more balanced, I am seeing a shift in this element/season within myself. For example, I no longer only wear black, grey and brown; I actually flaunt pink, orange, green, and purple – colors I never enjoyed seeing on myself.
I am finding that appreciating winter is bringing me inner peace, more joy and more energy.
I hope that I inspire readers who dislike winter to find their path to enjoying it more. We can’t beat nature, may as well join in!