As we near the Winter Solstice, I find that the soft animal of our being yearns for stillness, quietness, and calming peace. Like the silence of a crisp night with a clear star-lit sky reflecting glimmers and sparkles off fresh snow. The comfort of a soft chair full of fluffy pillows while snuggled into a fuzzy blanket with a pet nestled in against us.
This is the natural rhythm of winter. Plants go into a deep sleep along with the hibernating mammals, curled up in soft, warm burrows. The most active of animals in the Spring and Summer slow down to conserve energy and grow thicker coats of fur or feathers.
Meanwhile, society and the media bombard the two-leggeds with a frenzied, chaotic and bustling energy of 'go-go-go,' ‘do-do-do,’ ‘consume, consume, consume,’ ‘waste, waste, waste,’ ‘more-more-more.’ An insatiable hunger that constantly seeks and never settles. Like we’re trying to outrun ourselves for fear of what we’ll find, or what will happen, if we stop.
This is wholly unnatural. And we genuinely yearn to stop.
If I were to take a poll, my hunch is everyone is exhausted.
And if there were no fear of the future, fear of failure, fear of being judged unworthy, fear of facing whatever it is we think we’ll face by slowing down…my hunch is, we’d all collapse into rest like a child riding home from a long day of overstimulation at Disneyland.
If fear is all that’s holding us back from peace, let’s take a note from nature. Bears do not worry there will be no food or shelter upon waking in Spring. Squirrels do not stress that they’ll run out of nuts and berries. The hawk does not fear it will forget how to fly by landing. The tree does not worry it won’t grow more leaves after they fall. The earth does not stress that the Sun’s heat won’t return to thaw out the dirt and ponds.
We are all capable humans that can solve real, current problems as they arise. We don’t need to manufacture possible ones that may never happen.
“In this moment, am I safe?”
“In this moment, do I have everything I need?”
If the answer is yes, then I invite you to lean into the soft animal of your being and give it the rest it so yearns for…in whatever form rest feels replenishing and rejuvenating to your body, mind and spirit.
This is how we live sustainably. This is how we live in harmony with ourselves and with nature.