The truth is that I really dislike winter.
So this time of year it is hard for me to be motivated or purely excited about anything. Instead, it’s my nature to hibernate, hide and heal until it’s time to welcome my spring.
Yet that’s not really an option, not when things like work, children and writing deadlines tap at my nap times. So I find things to make the bone-chilling months more bearable, if you will.
In my early 20s, in between my college careers, I spent two years behind the counter as a manager for a major cosmetics company in a fancy department store. I loved dabbling in the makeup and the corporate world as I entered adulthood. it was the same as dressing up in my mom’s high heels and pearls as a six-year-old – pure fun while it gave me a bird’s eye view of my impending womanhood.
One of the things I learned about early on was the effect of layering. With something like a fragrance, skin will hold onto the perfume - the top and bottom notes. Better if you use different layers of the same scent.
This practice is especially beneficial in the winter, when our skin is thirsty for sunshine and hungry for moisture. When you use a body cream, followed by a lotion and then a perfume, you are letting your largest organ drink in all the essential nutrients it really needs.
In comparison, our souls are the same. Our hearts and lives are fragile, desperately seeking encouragement, affection, eand appreciation. Through our lives we learn to wear the layers we have chosen, bundling ourselves against the elements of loss, ignorance and failure. They keep us insulated from the hurt caused by other people and the disappointment of the world.
Those layers become our protection.
But just like winter gives way to spring, sometimes the layers we have amassed need to be cast off, or put away for another season. Sure, they are comfortable and easy to hide behind; the truth is that we are just the children we were in grown-up clothes on any given day, but the lesson of layering teaches me that they aren’t always necessary.
There is a time for deep nourishment from another source and a time for nourishing ourselves. The seasons of our life offer us the ability to make that choice wisely. Whether we seek that cultivation in someone else’s hands or on our own is entirely up to us.
This time of year, I find it beneficial to reach out to others for support, and a little scented body cream never hurt either.
How about you?
How do you nourish yourself during the “winters” of your life?