As soon as I settled into the cold, I became okay with being uncomfortable. Let’s be honest, nobody likes the sun setting at 4 p.m. Nor do they like spending their time finding ways to stay warm. The extra layers of clothes just about killed me.
I realized that if I was going to make it through the first winter of my new life in Maryland, I was going to have to start from the inside out. It wasn’t about the clothes, it was about what they were trying to preserve: heat, light, that flame burning, always burning. And that was frustrating because I’m always trying to set things free. Give thoughts away like high fives. Everyone deserves a hand.
But you can’t touch whatever it is that drives you. You just have to surrender to the ride, a hitchhiker to your own body. You will remember the very moment this happens to you. For me, it was sobbing uncontrollably in church last Saturday night, just like the way I did in preschool waiting for my mom to pick me up. It wasn’t separation anxiety. I know this because I sobbed in the exact same manner when I was on the green team in recreation basketball. We lost every game. Humiliation. And complete lack of control. I sobbed in my pew with no tissues, for reasons I have yet to identify. When people started looking at me, I walked to the back of the church. I managed to make it through the Gospel and homily, but I walked out on Jesus. Truth is, I was terrified he had abandoned me.
So, back to the weather. Though I knew it was winter, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t willing it to be warmer or for the sun to stay out later, because I was. I most definitely was. I just knew I was never going to get anywhere. And I didn’t. The world works on its own clock.
If I couldn’t swap my pea coat and boots for shorts and a t-shirt, I was at least going to wear a scarf and look stylish. And if I couldn’t run outside due to mentally-threatening frostbite and sub-zero temperatures, I would at least walk. The closest thing I could do to change the world was to change the way I behaved in it. After all I was born in January, and this was my month.
I wasn’t going to let the cold and darkness turn me all cold and dark. I was going to take yoga. I was going to inspire myself, breathing in and out just to make it through an awkward moment with my body. Stretching all my muscles seemed to be the closest thing I would ever get to touching my intuition. If I could withstand tension and breath my way into oblivion, then maybe I could set myself free from whatever fears I had been holding on to.
After a few classes, I realized that I used to love the winter months as a child. They actually were my favorite. But somewhere along the way I had become so uncomfortable that I had become completely disconnected. Yoga was helping me navigate the discomfort where the cold had suddenly got to me. Now I was working to solidify a core that would keep the heat. But of course, my rib dislocated after two weeks time. The same one that popped out of place during basketball. I know what this really is though, it’s as if I can touch it.
It’s the release of my spirit, and my body is just along for the ride. A friendly reminder of where I come from, I’m sure.