– Bing Qian
It has been a busy couple of months for me! Like many of you, I’m busy balancing many areas of life: – relationships with family and friends, running a business, taking care of ageing parents, house hold duties and more. What tends to get squeezed out is time for relaxed conversation, and time to observe the signals from my own body. So, although I’ve noticed the weather warming up (occasionally), the blossoms on the trees, and the early spring flowers, I hadn’t really taken the time to listen to my body, and notice my own body’s response to the changing season.
Last week, my partner and I went to see our tax agent and afterwards we sat down for a well deserved cup of coffee and a chat. We’ve both been so busy recently that our conversation has been mostly confined to essentials, so it was a real pleasure to enjoy the sunshine and sip one chai latte, and then another. Before we knew it, nearly 3 hours had slipped by and we were both feeling refreshed, energised, and re-connected. I went home that evening and looked around for salad ingredients, because that was suddenly what my body was craving. Maybe it had been telling me earlier, but it wasn’t until I took the time to clear out some of the things that were on my mind and then share them, that I was ready to listen to my body.
I was taken by surprise because, to be honest, I was still thinking about soups, and heavy winter foods and habits, and suddenly my body was telling me that it was spring: – time to cleanse, release, and lighten up. You probably know what I’m talking about… Have you ever noticed how much heavier you feel in winter and how likely you are to drink more alcohol, go to bed later because you can’t be bothered moving off the couch, stay in bed longer in the morning, crave warm heavy foods…? That’s your body’s natural response to shorter days, colder weather, and winter conditions and you should acknowledge and honour that (in moderation). Equally, as the days lengthen, the weather warms up, and everything around starts to unfurl, it’s time to welcome that feeling of lightness and growth and pay attention to its voices.
Sometimes we have a tendency to over-analyse our feelings and instincts and evaluate them against what other people are saying and doing. While it’s always good to get advice and do our own research, sometimes we do just need to take time to listen to our own body and do what it’s telling us, even when it goes against the grain. Of course, it’s best to deliberately set aside time to be quiet and just listen, but when life gets too busy, following your instincts is a good Plan B.
As I said last month, “We are not robots.” The cycle of seasons… through the year and through life include times of growth and challenge, times of harvest and abundance, times of conserving and storing, and times of hibernation. Without winter, there is no spring!