Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about. -Rumi
There is a whirlwind in my head this time of year. My brain is addled. Christmas, for me, isn’t the joyous occasion it is for a lot of people. I feel overwhelmed by the busyness, the commercialism, the consumerism. I participate as little as possible in the madness (I’ve written previously about it here). It’s not that I’m a Scrooge, but it’s kind of the opposite. I feel bombarded with chaotic meaninglessness. I want only one tiny genuine experience, instead of myriad obligations and expectations. I like gift giving, but it often seems forced instead of true. I’d rather they were given and received sporadically and unexpectedly at all times of the year. I like visiting with people, but not everyone all at once.
I choose to celebrate instead, Winter Solstice. And life – the return of the sun and longer days. I celebrate nature. Winter Solstice was the most important day for ancient cultures. It is nature, after all that sustains our existence. I collect and display evergreen branches if nothing else, to remind me that though the natural world appears to have succumbed to the death of winter, it is not dead. It is resting and recharging for another season of vibrant aliveness. I try to let that be what happens to me, too, during this season. I seek out rest and quiet time, read, walk the dog, exercise, and meditate. And I enjoy spending time in the kitchen, baking and cooking for the few gatherings I do enjoy attending.
(The kale and pomegranate salad I whipped up was delicious and was an unexpected hit. It was basically this recipe, but without the chili powder).
This year with the super warm temperatures, I spent a lot of time hanging out with the cats on the porch, listening to the birds singing, playing my banjo, and visiting the ever entertaining circus in the backyard that consists of three goats and four chickens.
I used to wonder why it was difficult participate in the season just like everyone else until I recently discovered that there is a good possibility that I am a ‘highly sensitive person’. Many of the characteristics seem to fit. That, coupled with the fact that I am an introvert, makes a pretty convincing explanation. I just can’t handle too much of it…Whatever IT is…people, small talk, sparkle, etc. When my senses become overloaded, I have to retreat and repair. At Christmastime, IT is amplified even more than at other times during the year.I constantly replay a clip from the Abonimable Snowman Looney Tunes cartoon over and over in my head in which Daffy Duck says, “I’m not like other people. I can’t stand pain. It hurts me.” For so long, I thought I was a simply a weakling. Knowing there is a viable explanation to why I can’t handle a lot of activity helps so much, because now I can learn to manage this issue and use it as a creative tool which I hope to hone and use constructively. And, instead of feeling guilty that I can’t manage all activity, I will now give myself permission to opt out when necessary in order to recharge and stay centered.
I always look forward to the new year, however, when everything quietens down and the world seems to start fresh and new. The air seems filled and charged with new possibilities, challenges, and growth. It is often a time to reflect back on the previous year as well as a time make lists of things we want to change or accomplish.
I don’t have a list of resolutions made up just yet. I’m just happy I made it through 2015. I’m healthy and well and hope you are, too.
I offer gratitude to the universe for all my gifts, blessings, and for the people who are helping me get to wherever it is I need to go. I wish for us all to have peaceful hearts…
P.S. Here’s a seasonal playlist for you to enjoy…At least listen to the first one.