Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Sleepy Bear January 29, 2014

HibernationI think I have been hibernating. That’s what I am going to go with anyway. It’s wintertime, and this year with the “polar vortex” turning the cold season into the frigid season, it feels even more appropriate than usual to pull inward until the world begins to thaw.
In my head, hibernation has always meant dormancy; a long, slow, quiet, sleep – but my current experience calls for a little redefinition of that concept. Yes, there is a palpable, quiet, sleepiness to life at the moment – but there is also much going on. It’s just that the activity is more inward than outward. For me, these last few weeks have really been about pulling inward: reflecting, planning, reviewing and taking stock. My mind is alive and awake with a quiet intensity that fills all my waking moments, and some of my sleeping ones, too.
And, I like it. It feels powerful, it feels necessary and it feels right. In all honesty, no matter what the season, my mind rarely sleeps, there is always a lot of activity in there – but something about this particular season’s meanderings feels different. There is a sense of reflection and quiet, retooling and making ready that covers my consciousness like the quiet stillness of a fresh snow.
I will welcome the spring warmth when it arrives, but I am in no hurry. Clearly, nature has its time for all things, and being right here, right now, is where I need to be. When I awake, stomach grumbling and ready to move out in search of nourishment, I will welcome the re-birth of the season. “All things in their own time”, comes to mind. Mindfully, taking pleasure in the gifts of the moment, knowing soon the seasons will change and new moments will bring their own lessons, their own gifts and their own challenges. Sweet dreams…

 

Fall Back AND Forth November 3, 2013

Sunrise behind fragile-looking winter treesAhhh, fall and the end of daylight savings time…
I actually remembered this year, and before going to sleep last night, took the time to set back the clocks around the house. This meant, theoretically, that last night we would get an extra hour of sleep, (the only upside to this day that comes readily to mind). Unfortunately for me, the one clock I forgot to change was my internal one, so not only did I wake up early today, but I woke up earlier than I would have on any other “normal” Sunday. My day began at 5:30 AM.
This year the shift in the clocks, also coincided with a major shift in the temperature overnight, so we woke to a very chilly, gray and rainy morning in the 30’s. Brrrr! The fact that both of things happened on the same evening – really drove home the realization that fall is fast disappearing and winter is right around the corner. While I don’t dread this season as much as many folks do, I do find that I enjoy it less than I used to. I am beginning to understand why so many folks when they reach their retirement years, fly off to warmer climates. For me however, the single thing that I dislike the most is not the cold, but the lack of sunlight.
So given that the we are in the waning part of the daylight story, and that I am not even close to retirement, I guess I have a couple of choices: begin hibernation mode or make the best of it. Thus, today as I mentally prepare for the fading light and colder days, these are the things I want to remember about winter:
• I love to snuggle under the covers, when it is cold outside
• I enjoy making and eating “winter foods” such as; soups, stews, and other hearty hot meals.
• There is nothing quite as exquisite as a fresh covering of snow: twinkling in the moonlight, shining against the blue sky in the morning and cloaking everything in a dreamlike silence.
• Winter brings some of my favorite family traditions.
• It’s a great time of year for indoor projects and activities; artwork, writing, reading, having friends to dinner.
• The air feels crisp and clean.
• And winter is always followed by spring!
As my morning shifts into these reframed thoughts, I recognize that I can indeed feel a shift. I am excited to have written this blog. I have already gotten an hour of work in this morning on a couple of quiet projects. I am excited to make the beef stew, I was planning for dinner. And at some point, I am going to crawl back into bed for a little nap. It’s all good. Silly me… I forgot for a moment there that each season brings its gifts along with its challenges. Just like every aspect of our lives. I hope you find the upside in whatever may be vexing you on this Sunday morning, sometimes all it requires is a little reset of your own internal clock.

 

Here We Go Again… October 12, 2011

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A flock of geese in chevron flight, honk their way across the sky on the way to their winter condo – somewhere warmer then it will be here for the next several months. Yesterday, a Monarch butterfly took a break on its long journey south of the border, to rest on one of the final flowers in my shrinking hanging basket. And though somewhere inside me I resonate with their instinct to fly south where the temperatures will be warmer, the skies bluer and the chance of snow is remote, I know my place is here; watching the leaves turn, prepping the snow blower and readying house and heart for the upcoming New England winter. You know the days will be shorter, the sky darker, the temperatures colder, and the challenges greater but it is your place. And… you know you’ll not only get through it – but you may enjoy yourself a bit a long the way.

There is a crisp, freshness in the air that awakens you in the morning, the beauty of the changing leaves, the sound of their rustle as you paddle down the road, pumpkins, stews and fires in the fireplace. As fall turns to winter and the leaves give way to snowflakes, the yard clean-up switches over to snow removal and a light sweater is replaced by gloves and a wool coat you quietly resolve yourself to the winds of winter, and you hunker down for the ride. Even with the relative unpredictability that global warming has brought to the forecasts, you still know that the seasons will come and go with their earmarks, challenges and beauties, the turning of the seasons, marches forward no matter what.

There are days when dormancy feels about as good as it gets. When snuggling in to your cave feels like the best way to deal with the elements, but you know that it is all temporary and soon you will be witnessing the signs of spring and the re-birth of nature. I never wanted to live where the skies are always blue and the temperatures balmy throughout the year. I would miss the beauty, adventure and challenge of each new season. Spring would not feel as welcome, and the winter holidays would feel strange if winter coats and sweaters did not factor in somehow. I will take the good with the bad, the beauty of a snowflake with the bite of the cold, cause in these here parts, there is a sense of accomplishment when you clear the driveway of two feet of snow, and you don’t just get by, you don’t just survive, you thrive.

Adversity comes at us from all directions, all the time,  though often not with the same predictability with which we can anticipate the change of seasons. There is something to be said for weathering life’s storms, rising to the challenge, gaining new skills and not just making it through – but feeling strengthened by the experience. You can fly away, if that’s what your instincts tell you to do, after all, flight is a viable option for dealing with threats. Your options for dealing with them are limited by your own resources and desires. But sometimes the only way out is through – and as I don another sweater, reheat my coffee and hunker back down into my seat on the porch, I am ready for this most predictable element of life’s cycle. Bring it on…