“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.”
Robert Jordan, The Fires of Heaven
Returning from a trip to Loch Lomond I noted the adaptogenic qualities of the landscape around me.
Winter is coming. The hills are turning warming hues of orange and brown, snow caps the mountains, the nights are drawing in and the air is sharp and clear.
The plants are changing so they can survive and emerge again strong and bountiful.
For many the winter months call for resilience.
When I think of the word resilience, men of courage like Louis Zamperini and Viktor Frankl come to mind.
Both are heroes to me because of their fortitude, endurance and attitude in the most dire of circumstances.
I often wondered how Louis endured the beatings, weakened from hunger and the horrendous dysentery in the Japanese Prisoner of War camps. But he did and he came out the other side and lived to ripe old age, learning how to skateboard in his 80’s. His story offers hope to so many who have chronic physical and emotional conditions.
“People tell me, “You’re such an optimist”. Am I an optimist? An optimist says the glass is half full. A pessimist says the glass is half empty. A survivalist is practical. He says, “Call it what you want, but just fill the glass.” I believe in filling the glass.”
― Louis Zamperini
Viktor Frankl was a Holocaust survivor and reading his words leaves you aghast at the ability he had to somehow survive in the most inhumane conditions.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
Like nature which ebbs and flows, changes and adapts with the seasons, we too can adopt habits to be strong and come out the other side.
The sun will come again but in the meantime we can embrace the change and love this new time of the year.
Measures for resilience through winter –
- Have an early morning walk in daylight
- Spend time in uplifting company
- Listen to your body clock and retire to bed in the evening when it feels right to
- Consume nourishing, warming foods and drinks like Moon Milk
- Take an adaptogen like Ashwagandha to nourish body and mind
- Take an immune support
- Keep warm
- Stay grateful for even the smallest things
- Always remain hopeful
“My barn having burned down, I can now see the moon.”
Mizuta Masahide (17th century Japanese poet and samurai)