As I write this is it almost March, the herald of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Yet, if the inch of snow we got last night wasn’t enough to let me know that it isn’t quite time to Spring into action just yet, my body is telling me loud and clear: it’s still time to rest and hibernate.
We talked a couple of weeks ago about the Frustration of February and how, after a long, hard Winter, many of us in the Northern Hemisphere are ready for Spring to bloom. Yet, as in Nature and in life, there is a Season – a right time – for everything. If I’ve learned anything over my 43 years on this planet, it’s that you can’t force things to happen. You might think you are in “control” and have it all together, but don’t be surprised if and when Universe knocks you off your high horse!
I used to be a control freak. Truth be told, it’s still something I fight nearly every day (I was born on the cusp of Virgo…). Several years ago I had a pretty bad year. It was one of those years that was jam-packed more “life lessons” than I cared to learn, but learn them I did. Three of the biggest lessons I learned that year were:
- Life happens for you, not to you – I used to get so mad at the Universe when things went wrong. I would think to myself, “Why me? What did I do to deserve this?” Yet, I learned two important lessons that year: 1) I wasn’t in control of everything; I couldn’t be. 2) Playing the victim and asking, “Why me?” was getting me nowhere. Here’s the thing: you can’t control everything, but you can control how you respond and what lessons you learn from everything that happens for you. Life is nothing but a journey of opportunities for growth, after all.
- Honor the rhythms of your body and of life – I used to try to be the Energizer bunny. I would go and go until I crashed. I would work through pain, sickness, grief. Work became my go to coping mechanism because it’s what I learned growing up. Unfortunately, that viewpoint very nearly killed me (I almost died of pneumonia when I was 25). I’m nothing if not a slow learner, and I am still a work in progress. But here’s what I know about me: my energy levels vary. They are not constant. Also, I am not the Energizer bunny (nor are you, for that matter). We weren’t meant to keep pushing ourselves until we break. It’s not healthy and it likely won’t make you happy either. (See today’s video for more on cycles and rhythms.)
- You can’t fight the Universe – after my very stressful year of learning these lessons, I started January of the next year with a new motto: instead of fighting the Universe (a battle I never won), what would happen if I tried to go with the flow more, laughed a little more at myself, and tried a little harder to pay attention to the lessons Universe was trying to teach me? This wasn’t easy, mind you, as it was a complete 180 from what I had been doing most of my life. But, I found that if I just stopped resisting for a minute and allowed myself time to breathe, check in with myself, and ask, “What’s the lesson here?,” Life got, if not easier, then at least more enjoyable. Those onions didn’t seem quite so bad and instead of getting hit with Cosmic 2x4s, Universe turned to more gentle nudges and whispers because I was finally listening so it didn’t have to scream so loudly!
In today’s video, I discuss a little bit more about these life lessons and how you can learn to harness the power of the cycles and rhythms of your body and your life.