Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.
It’s Minnesota, it’s winter, and I’m fully clothed. But as the sun makes its daily circuit around my house, it shines onto my living room recliner. Its placement in the sky varies by season, and only in winter is it perfectly aligned in the side window so that it’s possible to lie in my recliner and receive its rays directly on my face and chest for about 45 minutes. No matter; in winter, when I avoid going out in the cold, is when I need it the most.
Not that I often sit there 45 minutes. The sun’s daily winter arrival at my chair begins about 11:45, so my day’s goals and appointments, my need to eat lunch, all call to me when I consider sitting there. But I’m learning to shush their muttering. If I can sit and sunbathe for just 15 or 20 minutes without thinking about other things I get up both energized and calmed. Deeply rested yet alert. My mood lifts and I feel ready to tackle the next obstacle.
Tom laughs, says I’m a cat following the sun. Yes. (When I was a girl I’d often lie on the living room carpet in a patch of sun right next to our cat.)
Reminds him of how plants continually turn their leaves and reach for the sun, he says. Yes. Why not?
Luscious as it feels, I still find that many days I have to remind myself that it’s time to stop what I’m doing and go sit in the sun. Many days that I forget until the sun has moved on. We get so swept up in our projects and concerns. And we’ve somehow been trained to question whether it’s really okay to lean in towards what attracts us, renews us, makes us happy. We worry it will diminish our Productivity, or maybe it’s a holdover from pleasure-averse religious dogma. At any rate, I tell myself that neglecting what sustains me is contrary to the life flowing within me.
(I know there is much in our institutions and workplaces that does not support the life flowing within us, but to shift the culture we have to start somewhere, don’t we?)
So this winter, while the window of opportunity lasts, I am trying to make sunbathing in my chair around noon a more regular habit. Luckily, there’s lots of sun in a typical Minnesota winter.
Hmmm…that’s fine, but what about on cloudy days? Let’s see….can I train myself to take those 20 minutes—or even 10—and find something else to do that would truly light me up, body and soul? I will have to experiment to discover simple things that invigorate and soothe me like the sun.
So that for part of each day, I lean toward the light and let it nourish what is most juicy and green within me. Yes.
Does feeling the sun on your face replenish you as much as it does me? What do you do in the winter to keep your inner fires glowing? I’d love to hear.