“I’ll take a breath, take you by my side
Under the sunlight.
Welcome to this place
I’ll show you love;
I’ll show you everything
with arms wide open” ~Creed
“Ugh! Winter!” she’d groaned. “I hate winter!”
“I’m determined to like it this year,” I challenged. “What a waste of months of my life always wishing for something else!” She and I both suffer from the winter blues, when we become lesser versions of our best selves.
She and I had noticed the leaves on the trees earlier – the ones that are harbingers of the cold and limited daylight that are creeping in closer and settling down in our lives for the next five or six months. I’d noticed the pattern years ago and had tried various things like hiking to higher places where there were no trees to obstruct the light. But winter remained the enemy.
That was until I started my polar plunges last January – New Year’s day 2013.
“So, you know what my one goal is this winter?” I only have one goal at a time ( that’s a lie that I like to believe) because it’s the thing that shows up as a wall to my joy – the thing that if I refuse to push through it, it’ll continue to control me.
“What?” she asked as we rounded the bend and saw the beach. I’d missed the turn we were supposed to take because I can’t talk, shift gears, and pay attention to where I’m headed all at the same time. Funny how we ended up at the beach since we both crave a glimpse of it daily!
“I’m going to stand open-armed on the beach before my polar plunges and let the winter wind go through me instead of fighting it and wrapping my arms around me to stay warm (er).”
“Well, THAT’S a fun goal!” she said while rolling her eyes and silently admitting that she wasn’t going to enjoy THAT journey with me.
“You know, like fire-walkers. They just walk over the coals…”
“You’re going to find your chi, ” she interrupted. She uses different words to tell me that she understands what I’m talking about. I had to look up “chi” and I guess it’s true – I’m going to find my chi. That makes me laugh.
Whatever “chi” is, I know that I don’t have to “find” it. I have to stop fighting against it, blocking it, or whatever one does that stops one from feeling what is there to be felt at any given moment. It’s different for each of us. Isn’t it? What’s a struggle for me is cake walk for you. But what IS the same for all of us is the choice we make to be the person who’s fully present and alive despite the circumstances – knowing that everything shows up as a challenge to choose how we experience the moment; it’s either a blessing or a curse, depending on our choice.
I’m done seeing winter as a time of fighting cold and darkness, even if that is only part of my experience.
I can’t wait! I’m so looking forward to bitter winds and stormy seas to knock me off my feet and swallow me up.
When I woke up this morning I had a private message from Lisa (my polar plunge comrade) waiting for me on Facebook. She wanted to go for a dip in the wee hours of the morning “if we were both up.” I was. She wasn’t. But that’s okay, ’cause it’s still too warm out.
But there will be other things to push through or work with today, I’m sure – many opportunities to find and balance your chi!
I just hope that today is your day to live with your arms wide open….even if it’s just a little wider. 🙂