I hope the new year has found you well and that these first few weeks of 2020 have been kind and generous to you and yours. It probably won't surprise you to learn that I've been up to my usual tricks: traveling to see family and loved ones, hosting celebrations, working on revisions, parenting my kids, practicing yoga at home, walking on the beach whenever possible, volunteering, and on occasion, staying up too late and enjoying myself a little too much.
January is a month of deep darkness and dreary cold in Seattle and it's done its best to break my spirits. But I'm happy to report that I've mostly managed to stay positive and focused on my goals and plans. I celebrated my 42nd birthday this week and that helped tremendously. I'm incredibly lucky to have so many kind, fun, and loving people in my life.
Despite holidays and celebrations, winter can still be an isolating time for some. Life circumstances can, whatever the season, make any of us (even the most connected and extroverted) feel lonely. It's human, it's natural, and it's normal to feel lonely, but it can also be very hard. Especially in the dark months.
I work from home which can add to my feelings of isolation. Still, at various times of the year, I also really need that space and quiet. The holidays, for example, are crowded and busy and I get very little done. I find myself seeking out alone time, but once there, feeling restless and antsy and like I need to reconnect with my people. The stakes can feel high. If I'm not "out amongst 'em," as my mother would say, I feel I might sink into some kind of pit of despair. But if I'm constantly with others, I drift away from my creative center, my work, and I can feel terribly depleted and drained. It's a tough balance.
Something that comforts me, is the idea of holding space. Holding space in my time, in my heart, and even in my thoughts.
I'm not a religious person, but I do find Buddhist meditation and philosophy helpful. I like the idea, for example, that we all already hold our best selves, our most divine and pure light. We can work to improve our habits and body and relationships, but we've already got everything we need to be whole.
When life gets cluttered or cloudy or even disastrous, the simple act of stopping to notice, to breathe, and to open space for that spirit or light or awareness seems to really help me. In a sense, I'm holding myself, and that means I can never be entirely alone.
Similarly, when I do inevitably feel isolated, I try to remember that even if I'm not with someone, or able to see them, if we really love each other we can hold space for one another.
Holding someone in mind, or in love, and knowing that I'm held similarly, is possibly the best feeling I know. And it doesn't require being in the same room. And okay, it probably sounds very corny, and cliché, and I'm the first to admit to being a big old sap, but it matters to me that the people I love (likely you, if you're reading this) know that I do hold space for them.
Even if we lose touch completely, or haven't seen each other in a while, even if our interactions are limited to likes and comments, even if it seems like we're always too busy or overbooked... if we've ever been important to each other, then some part of me is holding you.
Right now, and always.
Wishing you connection and love this year.