The Path from Tears to Cheer

winter tree and benchNovember 13, 2018

Oh! The weather outside is frightful!

So much more goes into thriving through a Wisconsin winter than hot soup and cozy socks. We look forward to sharing some time-honored (#8000 years) techniques to combat the cold this Saturday the 17th in our workshop, Traditions and Tears: Self-Love for the Holiday Sneezon. Think tea, candles, and blankets as a starting point, but…

We can’t fool ourselves that weather is the only source of cold. Cold hearts are a symptom of the season, too. Even with mod cons like furnaces and hot water heaters, this is a time of year when we are less active and more isolated. Against the wind, our postures fold in, shoulders curling toward the middle of our bodies, shielding our hearts from pain or disappointment, and also shielding our hearts from joy and connection.

In the midst of this chilly and chilling reality are the rituals and ceremonies intended to bring light to combat depression, loneliness, and doubt. How many of us (…all of us, right?) have found that these very rituals and traditions can contribute to our angst and agony instead of dispelling it?

As egalitarian as December despair is, I also know a lot of people who think it’s a queer thing or a mom thing or an only child thing; if you look around, you’ll certainly set eyes on someone who is gearing up to struggle through another season stuck in their own solitary struggle. (Maybe you see that same pattern if you look in the mirror.)

Isn’t this the key to loneliness, this idea that I’m all alone in it?

It’s easy to get caught up in that story. We are inundated with visions of metaphorical sugar plums: clean houses that glow with nuanced lighting and laughing loved ones. Everything is supposed to smell good, sound good, taste good, and look good. In holiday movies and magazine spreads it happens. Of course we envision that for our own gatherings. The sourest part of this story: when our days and nights don’t live up to that imaginary standard, we might buy into the lie that everyone else has the sparkly life of our dreams while we hang out alone in the deep, dark midwinter.

The truth: finding the light requires that we walk through the darkness. When we are honest even about discomfort, we pretend less, which frees up energy for seeing the sparkles.

For a refresher (or a start) at finding your light this season, join us this Saturday from 2-3:30pm. You can RSVP on Facebook or reply to this email. If you can’t make it on Saturday, try taking advantage of the protection darkness offers to examine ways you struggle in this season–and the ways you are supported. Consider starting two lists: one of all the reasons you feel cold, lonely, and sad, and another tracking all the proof you have that there is light in you and in the world.

ALSO: We have (nice lookin) gift certificates. Reply to this email or call us at 414-239-8234 if you’d like to shower loved ones with healing.

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