Thursday, October 14, 2010


It is a seasonal thing, this feeling that descends on me when the weather starts to change and the light starts to shift. Sometimes it's in the form of free-floating anxiety, sometimes I just feel sad, sometimes I get run down and get a sinus infection and sometimes it creates a longing in me that stops me in my tracks and leaves me breathless.

In the past, I've tackled this feeling with vitamin C and coffee. I've done a couple months of therapy trying to erase it altogether. I've ignored it. I've tried to just power through it. I've thrown exercise and wine and a new pair of shoes at the problem.

One thing I have never ever done is embrace it. Try and listen to it.

I've been reading and listening to Jen Lee in the last couple of months. Yesterday, as the sun went down and I found myself wiped out by 8pm, I remembered the title of her podcast, You Can Be More Gentle With Yourself Than You Imagine. I repeated it to myself a few times as I tried to get to sleep last night, and woke up this morning saying those words in the dark.

So today I am choosing gentleness. I am choosing to take care of myself. Today I am honoring my change-of-season-blues. I am listening.


  1. This topic came up for me during the Writer's Retreat in Taos--and it was something I meant to blog about, but just never did. Very strong, very negative emotions came up for me during the retreat, and rather than just call myself mean names (well, okay, maybe I called myself just a few mean names), I chose to sit with the emotions. And it was so interesting--it's almost musical--crescendo and decrescendo. And at its peak, it can feel pretty bad, but it always, eventually, comes back down again. And you can survive it. And it can be okay. Feelings seem to have feelings, too--they like to be heard. Acknowledged. Not pooh-poohed. And when they feel heard, they go away much quicker--and you're left feeling pretty damn strong.

    Gentleness is oh so good.

    May you find peace.

  2. I get this too. I think the change of the seasons can leave us feeling very ungrounded and almost in mourning. I always find myself very melancholy at the end of summer and also at the end of winter (April is the cruelest month and al of that). And then there are the times when I'm almost giddy - late spring and midsummer.

    I've tried all sorts of things to get rid of my Autumn and Winter blues but lately I've tried just being with them. Just recognising and sitting with the funk. And it's worked wonders. I feel much more in tune with my ups and downs throughout the week, month year etc. I can be kind to myself when I need nourishment and I can harness the power of my prolific times. I have become so much more powerful by accepting the rise and fall of my energy. I hope that you will find the same.

  3. I'm reading about the power of silence in one of my education books -- pausing before you answer (or call on someone to answer) a question (not just a little pause, a long pause); a teacher who made her class be silent for an entire week, while they figured out (after going renegade) who they wanted to be as a group; hearing something read aloud and then absorbing it for a few minutes...

    who would have thought i didn't need all the answers, i just needed to let it soak in?