This is the month, deep in winter, when I start to get a bit restless,
waiting for spring.
Growing up in Michigan my entire life, I have loved the seasons. I actually can't imagine living without the anticipation of the first snow fall, watching the leaves start showing off its colors,
or one day waking up to my peonies coming to life for a short, sweet time.
I have always connected with nature for its beauty and in the recent years, I have come to see nature mirroring the seasons of my life, nudging me to learn its lessons. God's invitation.
So here we are in February.
Joys of the holiday season and the New Years bliss is behind us. February is hard. You never know when spring will show itself. It could be tomorrow (very possible in Michigan) or it could be several months from now. Feels like the in-between sometimes. The in-betweens are hard.
So, what is February here to teach us?
Slow down. Physically and mentally. I think about all that I put on just to get outside. I am thinking about those with children. This brings me back into the classroom when it would take my students at least 10 minutes to get everything on.
Another lesson emerges from these moments. Patience.
Patience in waiting. Patience in the unknown. Patience in healing.
Patience is grace.
Grace for myself and others. That's hard for me. I am learning.
February is asking us to fix less, accept more.
I get anxious when I think about how far I am from the things I want to accomplish that I wake up in the middle of the night feeling stuck. Then I take a deep breath.
Breathing, what a gift.
There has to be a sense of trust knowing that I am doing my best and the fact that my best is different everyday. Trusting that it's never in my own efforts (or others' opinions) that things happen anyway.
Learning to embrace myself and my story, right here. But how?
This is how.
On my walks lately I am annoyed at frozen over sidewalks, but one day God reminded me that even this is a reminder to take it slow, notice my surroundings.
So, I watched a squirrel jumping around in the snow. I saw dogs of all shapes and sizes. I looked up to a cloudy, but beautiful sky. I rarely look up these days.
In the slowing, paying attention, I am back to the present and experience moments of joy.
In this moment, I am okay. I am enough. Even funny and happy things happen.
Moment by moment.
When my body slows down, my mind slows down.
February, a meditative month.
It may feel like you're "doing" nothing,
but being is doing something.
I encourage us to take this month
to be gentle,
I leave you with
Things to try this month that is really about being:
- Slow cooking. Dedicate one day in the week to make something that takes time. Linger in it.
- Reading - for pleasure. Whatever you want. Not for homework.
- Walks with no agenda, no destination.
- Try something new. A new activity always helps me to slow down and pay attention.
- Sleep. Take a nap.
- Journal about an area of your life where you can practice patience and grace for yourself, or others.