Is the change of seasons stressing you or inspiring you?
We’ve had a gorgeous Fall this year in Minnesota. The red leaves peaked about three
weeks ago and now the yellow leaves are glittering like gold coins in bright sunshine.
But with the colorful beauty comes the dimming daylight and shorter days.
Like many people, I usually feel initially resistant and sad when the days begin to
noticeably shorten, around the first few weeks of September. My time seems to get
squeezed tighter and tighter as the daylight hours get shorter and shorter. I gradually stop
going to the gym in the morning and taking my after dinner walks, both which give me so
much joy in the summer, because it’s now dark and cold. Little by little, I begin to feel
out of sorts. That is until I remember that the change of season isn’t causing me
limitations. It’s what I’m telling myself, my mental story-telling, that is making me feel
I’m now in a mental state of loving the colder, shorter days. Here’s how I’ve learned to
allow the season’s changes to spark a happy and inspired state of mind:
- I decide to stop resisting reality, and to allow acceptance of “what is”. After all,
the shorter days of fall and winter are neutral events of nature. They have no
meaning until I give them meaning. Only when I focus on what I’m perceiving as
“loss”, do I feel sad.
- I choose to embrace the opportunities the change of weather provides: more
reading and reflecting time, deeper sleep (more darkness = more sleep inducing
melatonin in the brain), time to take long, luxurious baths, reuniting with favorite
sweaters, scarves and hats, warm foods, stillness and quiet.
- I tell myself, “I enjoy going to the gym and walking even in the dark”. Now that
I’m not allowing the darkness to keep me from exercising, I feel happy, healthy
and in control again.
- I decide to enjoy the seasonal changes and my ability to be resilient and flexible
as the weather gets colder. I feel happy and content, not victimized.
Where might you be resisting the “what is” in your life? How might you change your
interpretation of reality to change your feelings?
“ Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly
the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if
you do. “ Byron Katie