By Hans Freiwald
Well it’s true, the toilsome truth of winter is upon us. That time of the season that seems as though it will never end. The excitement of feeling that first chilly briskness; the joy of seeing that first falling snowflake, and the hullabaloo of the holidays have long since passed.
So, as you stare out the window at that now “once” Winter wonderland, you’re probably asking yourself when will it all be over. “I got some summering to do!” But is that any way to operate? Living for the future? Letting today slip away? No way!
It’s time to let go of that unhealthy grip on the unknown, and time to take hold of the now. Impossible, you say (as images of the salt bags and snow shovels hang heavy on your periphery)? Nothing could be farther from the truth (except for maybe that first sighting of spring). All it takes are a few adjustments around the home, and perhaps a little yogic wisdom.
“Atha Yoga Anushasanam” – Add Some 'Now' to Your Home!
Did you know that the first word in the “Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” is “now” (translated from the Sanskrit “Atha”)? Yoga Sutra 1.1 is “Atha Yoga Anushasanam” – Now we begin our practice. So, why not apply that “nowness” to the current, or rather cold-current situation?
For example, when you look at the photos around your home, what do you see? If the answer is a bunch of happy sunbathers lounging on the beach in Acapulco, then no wonder you’re feeling cold. Get those pictures outta their frames, and replace them with some wonderful winter memories. Seeing those pics of the family with Frosty will help to ease the fright of those frigid morning chores. Also, keep those calendars and computers current; avoid exing out those date boxes, creating a countdown to California Dreamin’ time, and pasting up pretty screensavers of penguins sippin’ on coconuts. The simple act of reframing a few pictures can help reframe your whole perspective.
“No Time Like the Present” – Gaining a New Point of View
Renowned Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn once said, “People suffer because they are caught in their views. As soon as we release those views, we are free and we don't suffer anymore.”
The long winter months have the tendency to trap us in a bit of a lackadaisical lull. And that malaise often translates into our upkeep around the home. And that previous heavy holiday spending doesn’t help either. So, we tend to take short cuts when it comes to winterizing the homestead.
For example, are you having trouble even seeing winter’s wonder out your window, due to one of those plastic-wrap patch-up jobs? You know the ones; the ones that you spend all afternoon trying to even out and make tight with a hairdryer, before remembering that you didn’t lock the window in the first place. Well, for whatever this eyesore may save you on energy, which truth be told is not that much (especially considering you’re going to be purchasing the same kit year in and year out), you lose in your wellbeing.
While this quick fix may keep a bit of the heat inside, it’s also keeps a bit of you feeling stuck inside too. Do yourself a favor, avoid quick fixes, like window-wraps, door-snakes, and AC covers; get a professional to do it right before that first snow falls, and you’ll be feeling as free and clear as your unobstructed view.
'How Many Marshmallows Would You Like in Your Cocoa?' – Embrace Winter's Clichés
Why fight the doldrums of winter, when you can beat it at its own game? Hate shoveling, and it snowed a foot-and-a-half overnight? Well guess what? There’s one sure way you’ll never have to shovel again – get a snowblower! Now more affordable than ever, most people still don’t invest in one because of their mental aversion to the white stuff. Do yourself a favor, embrace the inevitable, and rev up that engine; your outlook (and lower back) will thank you.
The same goes for decorating around the house. Don’t just keep the same linens on the bed, tablecloths on the dining room table, and throws on the sofa. Change it up, and bring it back to the seasonal-now, with lots of calming cool blues, and wistful winter whites. And make sure to stock plenty of marshmallows and crock some hearty stews, for all those cozy nights by the fire.
Philosopher and author (“The Power of Now”), Eckhart Tolle explained, “People don't realize that now is all there ever is; there is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind.” Adapt that advice to your home, and you’ll have great experiences from now until…
A graduate of Hunter College, Hans Freiwald writes and resides in New York City with his fiancé Megg, and their three dogs Rudy, Warren and Dirt.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.bigstock.com and www.dreamstime.com