It’s quite fashionable in the midwest this year to complain about the weather.
The everlasting cold (we in St. Louis, who think coats are for throwing on and leaving unbuttoned during the run between the car and the restaurant, just can’t abide single digits for long).
And it’s understandable, I suppose. After all, by early February we’ve often experienced our first thaw here…those sunny windbreaker days when people come out of their homes to take walks in the neighborhood and clear brush out of the yard. This year though, so far the groundwater has stayed frozen. And the sun teases us through the window but when we go outside we find icy blasts belie our warmer weather wishes.
I’ve noticed something interesting about myself though.
The times I’m feeling really grouchy about the weather have an eerie correspondence to the times I’ve gotten slack around my inner work. You know what I mean: meditation; prayer; journal writing; moving my body and eating with consciousness; connecting with nature.
The days just seem grayer when I’m feeling frozen on the inside.
So, if you’re feeling desperate for the Carribbean, if you’ve been yelling at the meteorologist, if you find yourself thinking that spring will never come again….then it’s time to rekindle your inner fire.
What can you do to bring about the inner thaw?
First, accept that, as we say in our house “the grumpies have got you.”
No judgment. You’re not a bad person. You haven’t done something wrong. It happens to all of us.
Offer yourself some compassion. Notice how you’re feeling. Breathe. Release any resistance you might have to “feeling bad.” Keep breathing. Can you identify discomfort in your body anywhere? Put a hand there. Keep breathing. Say to yourself: “there is discomfort here.” No judgment. No need to change anything. Just breathe.
Throughout the day, whenever you find yourself complaining, stop.
Come back to your breath and your body.
Offer the complaining part of who you are some compassion.
Do this for awhile, and something amazing will happen.
Warmed again and again by the nonjudgmental presence of your Compassionate Self, your Complaining Self will start to thaw.
You’ll start to smile.
And the weather won’t seem like such an issue, after all.
Peace of the Inner Sun to you,