Feminist Mantra Monday 23: Stay Seasonal
Every winter I tend to hibernate. I enjoy more pasta and drink more coffee. I crave the warmth and comfort of blankets and hot beverages and one too many night-caps. During those months, however, I get really down on myself for not making it to the gym for pre-sunrise workouts or skipping a run because it's too cold, for choosing garlic bread instead of gazpacho or a milkshake instead of green smoothies. The past few weeks I've found myself spiraling into that pattern of blame and abysmal body image, judging myself harshly for "bad decisions" instead of "better choices."
But this morning I woke up at 7am and went for a run just because I felt like it. I remembered that when the weather warms and days lighten, I find myself craving salads and bike rides and long nights outside again, how during the summer I'll bike twenty miles in a day with little thought, or eat raw meals for a week just because it's what appeals to me.
This is because Spring-Amelia has different needs and desires than Winter-Amelia, meaning that those "bad" or "better" decisions I had been judging myself so harshly for are only bad or better in the context of the season I'm making them in and whether or not they suit what my body and spirit need at the time.
In the face of all this, I've been meditating on the role of seasons in our lives and how we're not encouraged to live seasonally. The productive, abstract, rational world we live in tries to demand that our lives function without care for or appeal to the seasons. Your boss expects you to be at work at 8am regardless of whether the sun rose three hours or one hour before that. Your crossfit gym and paleo diet demand that you follow rigid guidelines year-round rather than embracing an intuitive eating plan.
This is largely the result of a patriarchal and capitalist value-system that demands we remain productive at the same rates year-round for maximum profit. Rationally, this shouldn't be a problem, we're told. But in reality, our bodies and minds are more in tune with our environments than we know. Their needs and desires ebb and flow the way that leaves grow and fall from trees.
Stay seasonal is a reminder to listen to your body and give it what it needs with the understanding that these needs will fluctuate with the seasons. It's a call to tap into your feminine power of intuition and allow it to guide you to what you need and desire at any given time.
Let me know where it takes you.