I don’t know about y’all but I get pretty crunchy about now every winter in Minnesota. Here on February 37th, or whatever the date is, I am sick of snow, sick of ice, sick of slush, sick of cold. I start kicking those ice/filth clumps by my car wheels pretty hard, not that they pay any attention to me. And don’t even get me started on ice dams.
Times like this, it’s good to remember to breathe, and to seek fluidity wherever we can find it—in swimming pools or bathtubs, in yoga or stretching, in breathing or hunkering down with a good book and warm tea. Whatever helps us to remember that we don’t need to be clenched all the time!
We all deal with unwanted weather systems of all kinds on our life journeys. Winters that won’t end, people who won’t listen to us, addictions that won’t obey our will or intentions, illnesses that don’t ask our permission to invade bodies we love, including our own. It’s easy to believe that we’d be happy if it weren’t’ for these external forces, yet that’s not what research actually shows.
Studies of happiness interest me. You can google lots of them and see many findings, but here are two that stand out to me: First, financial generosity makes people happy. As we move into the pledge campaign, factor in how happy you will feel if you stretch and make a gift that surprises you in its generosity! And, second, gratitude makes people happier.
For me, remembering to be grateful for all that winter brings can be a challenge. Luckily, my little dog Parker insists on going out for walks no matter what. Even when it’s really cold, five minutes into a walk on a bright day with white snow and blue sky, both Parker and I start feeling much happier. Also, we’re happy and grateful to have a warm house to go back to when the walks are through, ice dams and all.
And I’m grateful for you, grateful for this community, grateful for the generosity you’ve already extended that allows me to spend some time with you.