Over the years, I have learned to eat comfort foods with warming spices to warm me up. I have learned to use a light box to give my body the necessary signals to regulate mood and sleep cycles. What I haven’t been able to compensate for is the speed in our culture during the slower seasons. Just as nature prepares to hibernate, we speed up into a season of continuous holidays.
My natural rhythms do not want to go there. So when the days get shorter, I feel like working less, and sleeping more. I even feel like doing less of what I love. I love to Ballroom dance, yet my body actually felt tired at dancing. So I took the clue and gave myself an at home retreat weekend.
I got this idea after I once drove to a Buddhist Retreat Center in the Santa Cruz Mountains and marveled at how much it felt like home. I am blessed to live on a beautifully forested hill under Redwood, Oak and Cypress trees. My home-office is a peaceful sanctuary. I can rest in a hammock under the Oak, or walk a block to see a spectacular sunset over the San Francisco Bay.
So I stayed at home, just being with myself in nature, letting myself move at my own pace. I put on a pair of shorts and sat outside, filling myself with the sunshine of Indian Summer. I trimmed some roses, watched some deer meander by, and listened to the stillness. I felt the pulse of the earth coming up through my feet and knew I was in sync with nature. I drew the light and warmth of the sun into my core. I vowed to remember that it was there. So when the crispness of Fall settles in, and the dark, cold days of Winter arrive, the sunshine within will burn brightly.