Walking outside is a simple pleasure these days. We are slowly emerging from the longest and coldest winter in my memory.
To be blunt it was brutal.
Coinciding with the weather warming, I began my cleanse and since continued keeping my body clean and feel lighter physically, mentally and emotionally.
Looking back, I realize I was in a dark place this winter. Sitting home night after night snacking, watching TV, writing and drinking wine.
Don't get me wrong, I actually really enjoy that life - my body does not.
I gained 10 pounds and had no energy.
Even though I knew it for a while, it took me some time to get to the place that I could begin to change it.
I was eating and drinking my feelings.
I read and discussed Tara Brach's book Radical Acceptance this winter. I've learned so much from this woman (she also has free podcasts that I've been listening to). Two quotes from the book really spoke to me.
"….opening ourselves can be a gift for others…it invites them to do the same."
"While it takes courage to be vulnerable, the reward is sweet; we waken compassion and genuine intimacy in our relationships with others."
To be honest, this winter I received more pleasure from spending my evenings eating, drinking and isolating myself, than opening up to others. I realized the school year was nearing its end and I hadn't really made relationships with my children's classmates parents. Heck, I didn't even know the names of a majority of the Kindergarten moms.
Since the sun has come out, the cleanse, my new perspective and confidence, I've notice big breakthroughs in the littlest of moments.
At school pick up, I don't need to bundle up, hiding behind my layers, careful not to make eye contact with anyone. Just a few weeks later I am standing taller and smiling or chatting with people that are interesting, compassionate and helpful.
My heart softens with each interaction. It becomes contagious. My yoga teacher passed on compassion and knowledge to me and then I pass it on to one of my students (hopefully more) and they pass it on to others. Seems simple now.
I've lost a little weight and haven't drank or snacked all week (baby steps). My family has enjoyed delicious clean meals and I have been texting and reconnecting with friends I pushed away while I was in hibernation.
Spring is all about a new beginning. Just as the green is poking out of the ground; so am I. Here's to hoping by summer I have flowered into a kinder, sweeter and stronger person.
Can you relate? Did you have a rough winter?
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- Check out my 2014 photo project How Quickly They Change.