Now for those who aren't in the know, in the United Kingdom "pants" refers to underpants. So what this is saying to me is "put your big girl knickers on with loving intention and get to it!" And these days, I need the not so gentle reminder to do so.
The last several years, Winter has become a rough ride for me and I find myself more prone to navel gazing and contemplation than during the heady green energy of Spring or the blazing energy of Summer. Autumn starts the slowing down process and I have been finding that come late November I am more than ready for the cranky weather of the Pacific Northwest to settle into freezing rains and maybe even a bit of snow. (Let's be honest, here: a LOT of snow.) I want to settle into a comfy chair with my journal, a book or a good movie and be a bit, well, fallow. I don't feel as much like creating (other than cookies), engaging with others in any sort of meaningful way becomes a real struggle and my motivation subsides to close to nil. Action is not exactly the first thing on my list, as I'm wholeheartedly practicing not doing something but just sitting there. And almost completely at peace when doing so.
Now before anyone suggests I am saying it's better to be busy than to take time to renew, please note that I am NOT saying that at all. I believe one of the primary purposes of Winter is to make us slow down a bit, to regroup and reassess where we are on our life journeys. Bad weather gives us permission to stay at home, spend time in solitude or with loved ones and perhaps even do something that brings us that enlivening energy: joy. We are being blessed with a sacred pause. And that pause is as necessary as our breath and the beating of our heart. It's that pause that allows us to gather our scattered selves so we can continue doing our work in the world.
And for me, that's where Action message comes in. I am coming up on three months without working outside my home, and that's been a blessing that I cannot begin to quantify. It has taken that long for me to begin to feel within a spark of joy, of creation and of generosity. My last job was one of the most rewarding jobs I have ever experienced, even if it drained my heart and soul to a breaking point. I learned a lot about myself, how I want to be of service to others and I don't ever regret the cost. Now, as Imbolc draws near and I begin to feel the stirring of creativity, of curiosity. I find I am willing to consider actions that before cost too much time/energy/effort or that I feared would leave my well within depleted. This contemplation of choices is altogether liberating, and a little frightening, and I'm doing my blessed best to keep my heart and mind open to the process.
Although Winter will not end until mid March, and we're sure to have many days of wet, chilly and windy weather ahead, I have to say I feel a hopeful optimism that has been decidedly absent for a very long time. I think I'll have to go shopping for new undergarments and see if I can find some with huge pink and red hearts on them. It is almost Valentine's Day, so there should be some options out there. And lord knows, I could use another tangible reminder of choosing to act with love in all things...