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What this time of year is really for–don’t let an overfull calendar steal this gift from you.

pic by Barbara Willi
pic by Barbara Willi

The other day I received something in my inbox with this message: This is the time of year we need to motivate each other so that we can feel and act like we do when it’s 65 degrees and sunny outside. And my first thought was, “No. No we don’t.”

It’s dark out. The earth has gone to sleep. Look around you—every part of nature (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) is dormant. Do you know what an animal in this kind of situation naturally wants to do at this time of year? Yes. Lay low. Humans are animals.

I know, I know. You might be thinking, “But I’ve got so much on my plate right now.” Or, “But I love holiday parties!” Cool. It’s fine. And I get it. The kids and the in-laws and the whoever else need gifts—you’ve got these family and social obligations to fulfill which are also a part of your human animalness! Festiveness calls. I get it. It’s what we do.

But to balance it out and remain healthful in your pursuits you also need to pay attention to and act on the natural rhythms of nature, of which you are a part. What they are telling you right now, in case you can’t hear them, is “Sleep, rest, now.”

It’s not hard. It’s simple actually. It means if you’re tired—go to bed. Don’t think that because you don’t usually go to bed this early, you’ve got to fight this desire. If you want to put your PJ’s on at 7pm and lie around reading or watching movies do it. This is your time! The earth graciously gives you this gift every year. It’s for your inner work. It’s for your contemplating, for your rest, for your rejuvenation.

IMG_8457.JPGIf you need to put it in your calendar to make it happen do so. How about, “Snuggle party, Tuesday night.” Movies and popcorn with the kids or early to bed with books. Your choice. Schedule a few. Balance out the mayhem and merriment with a little pure animalistic lay low.

When I went to my studio this morning at 7:45AM it was still dark here. And we’re not even at the pinnacle

yet. The days don’t even start to lengthen again until the end of this month, (which means right now, they are still getting longer). And even then, the light only increases a second or two per day.

So enjoy your respite. This much dark and stillness comes but once a year.  Don’t pretend it’s 65 and sunny out. Summer will come soon enough. Use this time the way nature intended—for a little R& R. If you need an excuse, you can say the sun told you so. He’s doing this just for you.

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