There is a saying, that we are as “unique as snowflakes”, that “no one is the same”, by just being human. I knew there was something happening in my mind but all of a sudden, I was grouped together with a bunch of especially unique snowflakes that were sort of like me. Like a strong blizzard, you can tell there are snowflakes but you can’t see or appreciate that each are uniquely made when you're falling in your own because sometimes we, as consumers, are our own blizzards. I was like a storm brewing as I grew up, one that meteorologists couldn't determine how wild, or strong, it would be, or when I’d hit the Earth again.
Now, winter is a hard time for a lot of people. I have a huge family, I see it on them and the stress it puts them under because they can’t seem to escape the house. Especially this winter of 2015, where snow seems to be falling in even the oddest and warmest of state. I’m pretty sure even Southern California has seen a few snowflakes fall.
It’s just hard, but that doesn't mean you can’t overcome the ‘Winter-Time Blues’, or ‘Winter’s Blizzard’, as I call it. Meditation has been a huge part of recovery for me and I don’t think my caregivers even know that because I can do it in the oddest of places. So, when I get the Blues, or I switch into a depressive, destructive mode that is similar to, I just switch into meditation mode, even for a few moments.
So, let’s say my storm has started, which it had around Christmas of 2014. I was used to having a child around at all times to keep peaked, keep the blizzard away or at least, not as strong as it could be. I pepped up my niece, usually, with Santa talk, she pepped me up with her enthusiasm. It actually scared my caregivers a bit because I wanted nothing to do with Christmas this year, unless it was getting presents for my other family members that would come over Christmas day.
So, I imagined a technique for my Winter mediation this year. I named it, ‘Exiting The Blizzard Meditation’, always using imagery to help.
When I had to use my meditation, I would be driving in the snowstorm that was wild, fierce and without anti-freeze or working windshield wipers working on the car. I finally pulled into, what I called my “Stop Lane”, in the blizzard and got out of the car. I can’t drive anymore, no four-wheel drive on my car, and unable to see a thing in front of me. You’ll feel warm from the heater in your car but you’re not feeling the truth of nature’s course, and that’s what I need, could be what you need, to feel nature. It’d be better on my feet, even when the cold is biting at my nose, my lungs hurt from breathing in the cold, wet air, and my fingers numb from the lack of gloves. My hair growing damp and frizzy from wild snow, which I do not tolerate in the real world but in this one I allow.
You’re currently lost on this road, walking along it. You know the path but it’ll take a while to find a proper exit for yourself, could be a minute or days of repeating this. You get caught in this major storm, unsure if you are supposed to stay left or right. You see Exit signs and ‘Do Not Enter’ signs, blurred by the heavy snow. You feel speed bumps under your feet but you can’t tell if you’re speeding up, or slowing down.
But you know when you’re looking out, into the middle of a snowstorm and the sky seems darker? You can see the sun behind the clouds but you just can’t feel it on your skin or hurting your eyes from reflecting off the snow? Then the snow slowly halts. You see the sun, reflecting off the fresh snow. You feel it on your skin. You see the signs clearly, telling you to not enter this exit, take the next one up. You feel the speed bumps firmly, telling you when you need to slow down. The world seems like it’s alight in a new way. Those little tales of a halted blizzard, the road you’re on, fresh with snow, no tracks of your shoes to be found, an unpaved way.
It’s because you’re on the exit to recovery. Now, you have to remember, it’s still Winter. The roads are still slippery as you’re wandering this unpaved road. You could slip or the snow could start to fall again. But you have the ability to right yourself. You have the ability to let the snow fall lighter or stop fully.
That is my method of meditation this Winter, especially being in New England right near the ocean, when I’m seeing snow fall every other day. Once I’m in recovery, the snow is still thick under my feet with each step I take, but I've created places in the snow for others to place their feet to make it easier. I always find that in my meditations, putting down a path that makes it easier for people that come along in recovery after me, that it makes my blizzard halt quicker.
You just have to remember one thing when you leave this meditation, if you choose to use it. You are never given a storm that is too much for you to handle and always have the ability to stop the storm. The snow may be deep but you can lift your leg high and step through it, one foot at a time.