Traditionally, winter is a time of rest and renewal for farmers and gardeners. A time to sharpen tools, rest the soil, and take stock of resources. I would argue that this approach is just as valid today as it was 100 years ago, and I would argue that we are the garden. Let me explain.
There are times in my life that the small things, the seemingly minuscule things, stack-up and overwhelm me. Or, something that is so minor, and could be changed so easily, remains and stops me from doing something I want to do (this is usually a sub-conscious phenomenon for me). I have found that for me, the best way to break-out of the paralysis is to take on the worst job I have standing in my way, and from the rest just flows. Here’s an example: I very much needed to get my canning gear out of the attic – it was so much trouble to get it all down I would rarely can. Worst job first – reorganizing the bathroom linen closet (that took hours). Once the linen closet was organized, it freed up space in a smaller cupboard, where (wonder of wonders) all of my canning gear now rests – out of the attic.
And I didn’t stop there – oh no. Once the momentum struck I just kept going. I cleaned out the pantry (reorganized my fermenting supplies), the cupboards in the kitchen (found some really random items in there), the refrigerator, the small inside freezer, and that one drawer we all have in our kitchen that is loaded with random items (think super glue and batteries). I honestly feel lighter and more prepared to do the things I enjoy doing, which makes it much more likely that I’ll actually do them.
Here’s a quick rundown on the approach:
- Sharpen the Tools – Refocus on making the things that are important to you accessible in your daily life (physical, emotional, spiritual)
- Rest the Soil – Breath, relax, and imagine – there’s no telling what you can do when you approach life from a place of peace
- Take Stock of Resources – Is a particular object bringing you satisfaction? Great, keep it. Is a particular item draining you? Fine – pitch it.
I am someone who has always felt a strong connection to the four seasons, and I recognize winter for what it has to offer – the ability for me (and all of us) to hit the reset button. Winter gives me the time to reorder my life, prioritize my pursuits, and structure my environment intentionally to best support my endeavors for the coming year and beyond. We all must live as our authentic selves, and if we’re not careful we can end-up just going through the motions. Take some time to reflect on what you need and what you want, and set into motion the actions required to get there – you will never regret doing so. As for me, I’m off to play with my pressure cooker. Happy heart gardening!