Changing Seasons: Finding Resilience and Renewal
Winter is the most uncomfortable time of the year. Color drains from the world. Frost bites the life out of the garden we so carefully cultivated. Humans seek shelter and isolation from the bitterness of the cold. We have no choice but to sit and watch winter as it blankets us. Winter is a forced stop. A necessary ending to so much of life.
Even though winter can be difficult to endure, we can count on the emergence of early spring flowers. While snow rests across the landscape, we know crocus leaves will burst from the earth to remind us of changing seasons – in weather and in life. It may be hard to see past the darkness of winter when there is not enough light to shed. How will this season resolve itself?
The snow will melt. With winter comes spring. Difficult times present themselves with differing degrees of severity. Those who notice that seasons change and allow themselves to change alongside are able to endure. Resiliency requires us to have the ability to adapt. Survival is a skill inherent to humans.
Living with a breast cancer diagnosis can be like living through the winter. Out of your control is what dies off and how long it will take. Out of your control is what will come back after treatment. Living things need the season of stop and wait and they need the season of resilience and renewal. Both are required to grow.
It’s the middle place that is so hard to accept – that time between the last hard freeze and when new life can make it through the warming of the night. Accepting that things will grow back or they won’t. When you feel like you cannot trust the way your body has responded to treatment or you’re not sure who you are after everything has changed – know that seasons come and go. It is the only constant. Find solace in the in between times by staying tethered to the present.
In Scandinavian countries where the winter season is long and arduous, people practice a lifestyle called hygge. It means finding coziness, nurturing oneself, being at home from within. I often talk to my clients about practicing radical self-care. That is one way to find resilience in the difficult times when we are waiting for the season to change, but all we can count on for sure is this moment.
Here is a meditation on spring that might help you wait out this difficult season.
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Please contact Dr. Laura James ND, FABNO if you have questions about integrative solutions during your breast cancer treatment. If you live in the Bellingham, Washington area and would like to learn more about a naturopathic approach to your wellness, please call 360-738-3230 or CLICK HERE to schedule a consultation.