Experiencing Winter’s Effects through Personal Illness

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If you live in Minnesota, then you know what I mean when I say, “Winter, what winter?”

While many people could get used to the mildness of this year’s season, I know plenty of others who are actually a little disappointed that there wasn’t a big snowstorm to lock people inside for a few days.  Personally, I fall into the latter camp. I definitely enjoy seeing people, bundled up, walking down the middle of city streets to the grocery store, because roads are too icy for driving. Yes, I enjoy cancelling plans due to bad weather conditions. Call me weird, or call me Minnesotan, I don’t know. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, I think we all can agree that winter offers an invaluable time for humans and animals to slow down, be with each other or without each other and really carve out time for rest and reflection.

Well the MN snowstorm never came this year, and people continue to speed down the roads by my house. I, too, have been in super-speed mode, and I was super-proud of it, too, until recently. Right as I checked my “to-dos” into “to-dones,” my body decided to create its own time and space for R & R through illness.  Already two times this winter I have been stopped dead in my tracks by bad colds (the ones that never seem to really go away), which is very unusual for me. Instead of the bitter and harsh winter influencing my behavior and setting me straight, my body reminds me that I still need to take time to slow down, reflect and let go of the parts of my life and myself that no longer work for me.

As I sit in recovery-mode, my emotions take me on quite a ride. From angry, to sad, to lonely to happy to grateful to confused to anxious–the list goes on, but now I have finally relaxed and realized that it’s okay be sick and it’s okay to let my body and self recover on their own schedule. It’s okay to do nothing. I can be patient. I can sit still. I can listen to and receive the messages my body sends me, and I can experience the transformative healing that occurs when one pays attention.

How is the mild, MN winter affecting your health?

Sometimes we fall ill to receive a greater message from ourselves. Can you think of a time you were sick and your body was trying to tell you something? Did you listen?

How can you listen to your body’s needs without falling into illness? 

Can illness be a good thing? Why or why not?

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