P1000311“Life is very short and the quiet hours of it few.”

As the Polar Vortex threatens to creep southward and invade the northern states again, we San Diegans are hearing forecasts of 80 degrees for the week ahead. (No, I’m not trying to rub it in to all my friends and family in New England.) As I watched the early January nightly news reports of sub-zero temperatures and viewed clips of the snow and ice and people braving the cold, I felt compassion for them, but I also felt a little envious. Really. 

 I can’t help but observe how the bitter cold, ice and snow enforces mindfulness.

Maybe I’m a bit nostalgic, but I still remember the positive effects a snowstorm can bring; so here are some ways to find more winter appreciation:IMG_1057

200-120
210-260
200-310
SY0-401
810-403
300-320
400-101
70-533
N10-006
MB2-707
210-060
400-201
350-018
ADM-201
CISSP
1Z0-060
400-051
300-075
MB2-704
100-101
100-101
9L0-012
642-999
300-115
MB5-705
70-461
1V0-601
300-206
352-001
70-486
300-135
NS0-157
210-260
70-246
1Z0-144
3002
AWS-SYSOPS
70-347
PEGACPBA71V1
220-901
70-534
LX0-104
070-461
810-403
200-120
400-101
CISSP
300-320
350-018
300-101
210-260
300-208
MB2-707
400-201
SY0-401
210-060
300-070
210-260
300-075
300-101
NSE4
EX200
200-120
CISSP
400-101
810-403
300-320
210-060
300-070
210-260
300-075
300-101
NSE4
EX200
300-115
100-101
1Z0-808
AWS-SYSOPS
1Z0-434
300-070
CAS-002
352-001
1V0-601
220-801
N10-006
642-999
SSCP
100-101
1Z0-803
9L0-012
70-480
200-310
EX300
ICBB
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1Z0-808
AWS-SYSOPS
1Z0-434
300-070
CAS-002
CRISC
MB6-703
1z0-808
220-802
ITILFND
1Z0-804
LX0-103
MB2-704
210-060
101
200-310
640-911
642-998
1D0-435
APM-001
MB2-706
NS0-157
9L0-624
M2040-725
ST0-147
HP2-W102
MB2-704
300-550
M2040-725
1Z0-060
400-051
300-075
MB2-704
100-101
9L0-012
642-999
300-115
MB5-705
70-461
1V0-601
300-206
210-065
300-075
210-060
400-101
CAS-002
1Z0-425
1Z0-480
1Z0-028
1Z0-465
1Z0-461
70-534
70-742
1Z0-804
LX0-103
MB2-704
640-911
200-120
EX300
300-209
  1. You have to slow down and be present. Otherwise you may slip and fall, or if driving, you could cause an accident.

  2. You may meet neighbors for the first time ever as you attempt to dig your car out.

  3. With extra time in your day from everything being canceled, you are likely to notice other people outside your normal world, and are able to express compassion or care for those who may need a push, or a helping hand.

  4. Maybe the power goes out or the cell towers are down and you can’t get the Internet, but you get to have a face-to-face with your teen or spouse or even play a board game with them.

  5. With the sharpness of the cold snap, your awareness awakens and you can’t help noticing your breath as it quickens and you see it freeze like smoke in the air.

  6. The white fluffy stuff reminds you to soften your voice, to speak with kindness and practice deep listening.

  7. The stark black and white beauty of snow-covered trees and structures, the solitude of empty streets, and the silence of softly falling snowflakes all shout to your senses.

Connecting to nature is essential to our well-being.IMG_0059

I saw those images of people on the news, (and maybe you were one of them), their heads and faces shrouded with wooly scarves, bent low for protection against the wind, like the trees and all of nature, drawing inward and conserving energy to allow for a new cycle of rejuvenation. A reminder that this is the Yin season, a dormant period to go within, to reflect on our true nature, to take time for creative pursuits that nurture our soul and replenish our energy stores.

 So – if you live in a cold climate, it’s easier to be mindful in winter.

Don’t fight the weather.  Accept it. The change in routine cultivates your natural resilience, which will help you through bigger life changes. See if you can sense in your body how slowing down and mindfulness can help you feel more joy and less tension.

 If you’re like me, and live in a warm climate, you have to try harder to be mindful.

We do have seasons, they’re just much more subtle. The more we use our senses, the sharper they become and we are able to notice more, what’s different, what’s new, what we’re feeling.

 One last bonus tip for everyone in every climate:

IMG_0062Try to be outdoors even for a short time each day so you can observe the quietness of nature as you observe the quietness in your own mind. 

All this winter talk has me thinking about snow:  Looks like I need to head out to snow country for an extra dose of mindfulness and some new winter photos. But today, I’m headed outdoors to the canyon to hike and soak up some of that summer-in-January California sunshine.  🙂

 For more on how to connect more with the seasons, read “Twelve Mindful Months: Cultivating a Balanced & Fit Body, Mind & Spirit” by Carol Tibbetts.  Stay on the mindful path with me by signing up to get future blog posts delivered directly to your inbox.