Updated: Mar 9, 2021
Seasons change & so do we.
Isn't that such a beautiful thought?
The beginning of March felt so powerful for me. Maybe it was the full moon, maybe it was just turning the page in the planner to a fresh new month, could have been that we had rain for days that truly felt cleansing followed by vibrant sunshine. Whatever the reason, the shift in energy has been palpable. Spring is in the air!
I embraced the weight of winter with all its quiet medicine. I wrote every single day over the last 3 months. So much I am still learning about myself. What a gift! As we settled in for the winter I began to really become aware of how I was struggling with the ways my body had been changing the last 9 months as I recognized the onset of menopause. A fuller figure, fatigue, hot flashes, all the fun stuff we women get as we grow older. I spent a good deal of the winter, trying to come back to my pre-menopause weight & shape with virtually not results. I felt like I was frozen along with the earth around me.
A journal prompt a few days ago asked "What inner wisdom did you gather during the winter months?" I sat with this for a good while. It dawned on me that the isolation of Covid was playing a big role in how I was feeling about myself. Being home so much left me with a lot of time to "look" at myself. What a strange revelation but so much truth to it. Things I used to do that I enjoyed so much, weren't possible with quarantine. Like most of us, I didn't see friends for months or leave the house for work. I couldn't remember the last time I put on one of my favorite dresses that are so fun to twirl around in. I stopped doing simple things like wearing my favorite green eyeliner. I am a live out loud kind of girl but with the people so sick all around, there were days that joy was hard to find. Then there is the strange phenomena of teaching on ZOOM. I am suddenly teaching all my yoga classes, seeing clients & facilitating circles online. It is weird to see yourself like that & for long periods of time. I went from fierce self love & confidence to picking apart how I look. Too much time on my hands, or too much time alone combined with always 'seeing' myself online & I became my focus sadly.
Winter is a time of deep nourishment. Yet I was feeling disconnected from my body in ways I am not accustomed to feeling. As a pilates & yoga teacher, the goal is never achieving an ideal weight or to use exercise as punishment. As a coach to women & girls, I teach body acceptance, loving ourselves through all the stages of life & that optimum health has mostly to do with our personal contentment. As winter was coming to a close, I had so many more questions about my changing body than I could answer & I was exhausted fighting it. I was ready to surrender my striving & got curious instead. I began working with a dietician who has done wonders to shine light back into my heart & soul. We haven't once talked about "diet". Instead she is helping me understand my body as I approach 50 years old & why the changes that are happening are necessary for my health & survival.
We live in a culture that doesn't value aging, especially in women. Wrinkles are injected with chemicals, fat is sucked out of our thighs, lips are filled to plump them up, faces are sliced open & rearranged, a new diet is always claiming to make us sexier & healthier, expensive cosmetics claim to reverse aging & we are told you must walk 10,000 steps & get 30 minutes of intense cardio daily to stay young & healthy & nearly every commercial photo of any woman you see is touched up so that we are constantly believing in something that is against the laws of nature. You know the story, I know you do.
So with the fierce winds that carried us into March here in Central PA, I released the striving, or rather the resisting. Spring is the season of The Maiden, the symbol of youthfulness. The maiden energy isn't determined by a specific age, rather a state of mind. I call back my playfulness, my whimsy & passion as spring has its arms wide open to welcome us. Just as the plants & flowers in my magical garden look different from season to season, so do we as humans. There is such incredible beauty in that. Nature is intuitive & wise, letting what is supposed to happen happen. Our humanness (or rather our human ego) likes to resist nature, but like nature, our bodies are also wise & intuitive. I trust my body knows what it is doing & will welcome this new season of my life with grace & reverence.