If you can’t find a solution to the problem, the problem is likely a truth you haven’t yet accepted.
Winter is coming and like just about every other transplanted Northerner you know, I’m dreading it. It’s 4° outside, there’s approximately 22 seconds of sunlight daily, I have to wake up early to shovel and my drive time is doubled everywhere I go. As if that wasn’t all hateful enough, the season is merely a lead up to April which brings flooded backyards full of mud and Tax Day.
Ugh. Just double ugh.
Like Dominique shared with the group at last Friday’s Monthly Healing Ceremony, “My favorite winter sport is complaining about winter. Every day.”
So imagine my disappointment when, at that same Healing Ceremony, our guide, Dawn, invited us all to pull a card from the Tarot and Oracle cards laid around the altar and the one I choose was a winter scene that simply read, “Reflection.”
“Oh, hell no!” I exclaimed. “I’m putting this card back.” Never mind that I had actually seen a very similar image during the guided visualization portion of the Ceremony just moments earlier. This card was obviously meant for someone else… I. don’t. like. winter.
Dawn, normally a pretty laid back person, stopped me in my tracks. “No. It’s your lesson. Take the medicine,” she quietly demanded.
Time to pay attention
Dawn doesn’t offer outright challenges often, so I decided to abide. I took the card home and tacked it to the bulletin board in my office. I’ve been asking myself all day what it is about this heinous season that I’m supposed to be appreciating?
Truthfully I know that the lesson - the medicine, if you will - is a Universal demand for me to slow down and turn inward. It also happens to be a strong suggestion of my therapist’s too. It’s a message I’m getting all over the place.
Perhaps it’s time to pay attention?
Time to slow down
Even though this is the lead up to our busiest time of the year at the SheHive, it’s a slow time everywhere else in my life. I take most of the month of December off from my consulting gigs and my social life grinds to an halt until I can safely leave home without fearing a frostbitten death.
Winter means lots and lots of time for just me. Time to reflect, to breathe… time to exhale, to sit and contemplate. Maybe even time to evaluate my plans and get back to this intentional way of living I recommend so highly for the rest of y’all. It might also mean a little extra time for my family, those amazing and amazingly-neglected people I believe still live in my house.
And time to appreciate
Slowing down and turning our attention inward can be a scary proposition. If I slow down enough, I’ll actually have to face a few facts I’m not yet ready to face… goals not yet met or plans that didn’t exactly pan out. But always moving at a frenetic pace also means that I never slow down enough to revel in all that did work out… goals that were exceeded, plans that pivoted to something ten times better than originally imagined and loves, ideas and friends that I didn’t even know this time last year.
In it’s infinite wisdom, the Universe may be onto something with this seasonal stuff (even if I still vehemently disagree on the necessity of snow in the overall grand plan). It’s the season to slow down. To relax. To be with family. To reflect. To appreciate.
What does winter mean to you? I’d love to hear what you appreciate about this season! Drop a comment below or shoot me an email at email@example.com.
With much love and gratitude,
The holiday madness has begun at Chez Rogers... I’ve finished most of my shopping, distributed three of five Advent calendars that I created for a few lucky people in the family. A plan has been made for buying a tree - a tradition my husband requested so that our house can smell like evergreen. I found fun wrapping paper with tropical scenes (totally my style) and one with T-Rexes wearing Santa hats!
One of my favorite parts of the holidays are the cards we receive with family pictures. I know we have more access to pictures of each other via social media, but I must confess… I like to see my friends and their kids sitting on my mantle! It’s so fun to see the little ones growing each year, taking up residence in their world, deciding who they are and what’s important to them. I love the letters with their updates on lives - it allows me to feel connected to people I adore, but don’t see much.
Over the years I have sent out similar cards, letters and photos. When our dog came into our life in 2015 I made sure to showcase her in the holiday card. I added a little of my personality by dressing her up and was happy to send off the greeting to friends and family. In the next few years I began a tradition I thought was fun. I dressed our little Malteepoo in costumes from Christmas movies and created cards with messages that came from the script.
My husband went along with this, mostly because I’m a pain in his ass when he doesn’t. He makes sure to remind me frequently that I am “stealing the dog’s dignity.” She hates every minute of wearing anything, including her harness, but is compliant thanks to handfuls of meaty bribery.
This year, while contemplating spending WAY too much money on a costume for the little dog, I read a piece online about how women go above and beyond at holiday time. Click here to read it.
Disconnected & Unhappy
In summary, we women run ourselves ragged in the spirit of making everything “perfect.” Most of it isn’t important, and it doesn’t leave us feeling more connected, happy or cheerful.
After reading, I scrolled through photos I had taken this year, cut and pasted them into a card, typed up a quick blurb about our life, (it really is a good one) and pushed “order.” When the cards arrived this week, I noticed a typo. When my husband looked at the photo I chose of us, he let me know he didn’t like it because it wasn’t flattering. The dog, however? Still cute.
This experience, juxtaposed with my constant commitment to live authentically, has me questioning all of it. Perhaps I can further lean into an honest stance this holiday season. When I consider what it is I value about December holidays, it’s connection, fun, giving gifts and the beauty we create to contrast the lack of daylight. My spiritual connection to this time of year focuses on the rebirth of hope and the coming of better, brighter days.
This begs me to ask, which of my holiday based choices are in alignment with my values?
I’m pretty sure I’ve bought my last roll of wrapping paper - it’s horrible for the environment and a waste of money. Sure I love the pretty packages. but it cannot withstand my new standards for holiday joy. I’m also reconsidering the time I spend looking for stocking stuffers. No o one really uses what I get them. And I am ABSOLUTELY not doing the shit show that is sugar treats this year. Puh-leeze!!!! We are all getting sick from this JUNK!
Traditions I'll Keep
Some traditions I will keep.
I love the tree - and that it makes my husband happy to smell it. I love buying stuff for the kids in my life. I love the new tradition I’ve started of giving Advent calendars, booze to my brothers-in-law, lots of specific treats to my nephew, and some fun treats for my in-laws.
I’ll keep sending the cards as well.
I have to admit, I considered redoing the card for just a few seconds. I’m choosing to double-down on my efforts to be authentic and send it even in its less-than-perfect state. That photo of me is how I look. I think my husband looks good in the photo - he’s wearing a fun t-shirt and smiling and he’s my favorite husband ever! The typo is something that happens to us all. Hell, I‘ve read published books with typos! The dog is smiling in her photo too. She was outside sunbathing - not posed, or wearing a costume, or doing anything I had to bribe her to do.
It’s real. It’s imperfect and it’s good enough.
Just like me. Just like you. Just like this beautiful life!
Stop Killing Yourself
What holiday traditions are you killing yourself over in effort to live up to some standard that isn’t real? What can you prioritize? Let go? Lean into for more joy and connection? Inspire your Hive and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Dr. Corrine Rogers,
I’ve been working on a book for the past year and, for whatever reason, it dawned on me over the weekend that some might consider it a self-help book once released. And that scared the shit out of me. It’s full of truths I have learned along my life journey and lots of beautiful language - and a fair amount of cussing - but nowhere in it does it give practical advice on how to actually help yourself.
It’s a memoir to inspire, not a toolkit.
It’s an important distinction. So much so that I added a preface over the weekend saying exactly what I just said above, but with about one thousand extra words - including the words dildo, phallic and twat.
Because that's how I roll...
My bookshelves are full of books that promised a “better” me. In fact, right now I’m staring at a stack that promised me they could help me fix my finances, my ability to speak up, my memory, my business, my love language, my relationships, my Zen, my inner feminist, and my supremely fucked up relationship with food.
Most of them fell flat.
Why? Because my fear of money or inability speak up when I really needed to were merely symptoms of a larger affair… my inability to truly believe I deserved any of it. I have yet to find a single book so powerful that it could rewrite 40+ years of what I had been trained to believe about myself - that I wasn’t worthy of prosperity, love, kindness, self-love…
Irregardless of the author’s intent, these books could have never “fixed” me. I had to adjust my expectations. They were merely inspiration.
And inspiration is a big part of our journey. So is connection with others that are experiencing / have experienced the same. It’s the premise of the SheHive, in fact. But at it’s core, sustainable change only happened when I did the work to uncover the core beliefs I had about myself, how they were formed and how I could rewrite them.
I needed to do my work.
And my work included t-h-e-r-a-p-y. Lots and lots of therapy. Time spent with a trained professional who best understood the tools that could help me rewrite a story I had about myself that wasn’t, necessarily, all true.
That’s not to say that classes and books and time spent with other “lay people” who get it” isn’t important, because it absolutely is. But it’s just part of the equation.
Are you doing your work? If so, inspire your Hive and share your experiences in the comments below. What have the therapists and healers and counselors helped you to discover about yourself?