A Light in the dark

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So, I am starting a little handmade candle company. I’ve decided to make some little affirmation cards to go with each candle based on their themes. People can read them or meditate on them as they light the candle. One big theme is finding light in the winter. Here are a few that I have written up so far:

1

In the winter when it is hard to find the light I crave, I will make my own light. I will do what nourishes me and keep the fire inside me going. I will remember that I am not alone in the world.

2

The winter is cold, snowy, and dark. But I will make my own light. I will take care of myself even when it seems hard. I will have gratitude for the light in my life that I am able to find and soak it up.

3

I am not alone in this winter, this darkness. Others before me, and in the present, struggle as I do. I must remember to take good care of myself. Be patient. It is okay for me to practice being still, quiet, and be well rested.

4

Like a bear in the winter, I need to take this time to hibernate. Rest is important. I will practice taking care of myself without a feeling of guilt so that I may awaken feeling bright and new; ready to take on my challenges.

5

This winter I will reflect on the light I receive from the world and do my part to share that light with the community.

Check out the facebook page for the company, at Queen Of Quirky Candles. And you can also find me on Instagram, which has been tons of fun to find inspiring images to build up my presence on social media as I launch this new adventure @queenofquirkycandles.

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Nature Field Trip #2 Saturday February 27

Nature Field Trip #2 Saturday February 27

On Saturday, February 27th, I planned to go to a Yoga for Athletes workshop by a vegan couple called Yogi Triathlete. Since it was a bit out of the way from where I live, I decided to go exploring in that area. I don’t know North Kingstown, Rhode Island well at all, so I googled some stuff and decided upon a nature trail I could explore that was convenient to the yoga studio. I arrived at Wilson Park, and at first was a bit nervous because it didn’t seem very natural at all. It had a grassy field, lots of parking lots, a softball field, playground equipment, etc. I gave it the benefit of the doubt though, and after I parked, started walking to the wooded area visible to my eyes.

This led to a bike path, which led to a path through the woods. I saw another path through brush and vines and started following it, but it became too thick and I wasn’t sure where it’d even lead to. I kept getting stuck in thorny vines too and it wasn’t pleasant.

I turned back…and followed the paved path for a bit. It looked like this:

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Eventually I found another path, which took me here:

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I stood here for awhile, taking it all in. It was windy and I could hear birds and the rustling of the grass and trees. There were also wind chimes and other human-caused noises I could hear. It’s not pictured but I could see several buildings and boats from where I was standing if I turned around a bit.

After awhile of being there, I went back out to the path and eventually came to a place where there was another big parking lot. It led to the shore and quite nice:

I explored a bit more, there were some boats turned over and a boat filled with ice that I saw. The only other people there were a father and his boys exploring as well.

After staying for a few minutes, I turned around and took the walk through the path back to my car. I was a little fearful I would forget the path I took like I did with my last field trip, but I was paying more attention this time.

I only documented one blatant piece of litter…

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Overall, this area seemed pretty well kept. I even saw this sign by the water:

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There weren’t many people here, but I became a little nervous that I was so far away from my car and all alone. I started wishing  I was at least with a dog like most of the other people I encountered, if not another human. In fact, I let myself daydream a bit too much about one day having a dog. But, I tried to calm myself and enjoy the nature. Maybe I had difficulty with being present because it wasn’t as beautiful and interesting as my first field trip and I was sort of disappointed. I certainly got plenty of time to be mindful in the yoga class later on that day though!

 

To spring forward I must slow down first

 

IMG_7044The winter has always been my enemy. I have always dealt with frustration and lack of inspiration during this time. Every time this season comes along I long to plot an escape from the dreary darkness and move somewhere consistently warm and bright.

I like palm trees a lot…I envision those in my head frequently. I feel a warm sun beaming down on a body that is considerably less bundled up than I am now. It is so tempting to dream of getting up and moving that sometimes it feels like that’s all I can do to survive.

The funny thing is that although I start dreading the winter at the end of fall, I don’t really feel hopelessly frustrated or a lack energy to do things until the end of winter. I knew this was a pattern for me but I had never paid enough attention to the actual month all this seems to happen until now.

I realized that this happens every February. February is usually the last month of the season that really feels wintery. Sometimes we get some “spring previews” of unpredictably warm weather that makes me long for spring even more.

A few weeks before February rolls around, I slow down a lot. I am stagnant. I feel the need to take care of myself above all else. I feel guilty for not being as active as I am the rest of the year and assume that means something is wrong with me or my choices. It can be especially hard when I’m in school and letting my work take a backseat to self care. It’s as if I am a bear hibernating.

When February comes, I am frustrated by this slowness. I am restless. I am suddenly much more aware that I have not been as active as I would like and it triggers some discomfort. As a result, I feel the need to make drastic changes. I want a rebirth of sorts.

The problem  with that is that I seem to get confused by the type of rebirth I need to experience. Instead of seeing the winding down I do in winter as a natural cycle, I typically see it as a sign something is wrong with what I am doing and that I need to change that instead. But that is not the case. In fact, I need to realize that, when spring comes, I will be back to my normal organized, busy, focused, dedicated and active self. That is the rebirth I long for, not this other stuff I fantasize about.

 

I had never thought about it this way before. Now that I have I feel much more relaxed and can be easier on myself. It is OK that I have slowed down. In fact, it is necessary and good for me. Come March, I will feel a lot better about most situations. I will be able to focus on things other than myself again.

And when I realize that it’s February 12, that there are only a few weeks left of this historically crappy month for me, where I always seem to feel better soon after it ends, it makes me hopeful. Just a few more weeks. I can get through it even if I do feel restless and annoyed with myself sometimes. I need to stop feeling guilty for not wanting to do as much, because I know I will want to do it all and more come the beginning of Spring.