For a few years I lived an endless summer – June-July-August in the northern hemisphere, Christmas and New Years down south. My wardrobe dwindled to dresses, bikinis, sunnies and Havaianas. It was as awesome as it sounds.
This year, after winter in California I’m unexpectedly spending winter in Australia. This might not sound super harsh – and compared to some of the nastier Januaries I spent in Amsterdam, Australian winter is a piece of cake. But the short days and relatively cold weather are having an impact on me that I did not see coming.
No swimming in the ocean. No splashing in the river. No warm, early morning walks in the hills, watching for kangaroos before the sun rises. I’ve had to totally adjust my schedule, my expectations of how my day evolves and what I achieve. Without the extroverted high energy of summer, the lower, introverted energy of winter days forces me to shift behavior. I have to dig deeper to find creativity and motivation, and work harder to keep my spirits buoyant.
It’s really hard to be in the moment when I have the winter blues. I find myself leaning into future hopes and plans or dwelling in happy memories of days gone by. Staying present has never felt harder.
The upside is an opportunity to focus on grounding, meditation and the inner journey. Travelling a lot, and the sporadic nature of freelance work, means more sleep and rest, and increased reflection and inner work, is just what my soul needs.
Staying busy with nourishing pursuits is helping. Seeing dear friends in Adelaide and around Australia feeds the flames in my heart. I’ve scheduled another vipassana meditation course, will be doing a ton of yoga in the next few weeks at the local Barossa studio and am looking forward some awesome springtime hiking.
Finding inspiration and positivity in the dark of winter helps me forge strength and wisdom, and trust in the whole, ever-changing process.