Firstly I realise humans can’t actually hibernate. But the sense of the word hibernation means enough for me to use it, the feeling of slowing down, going inwards and ultimately doing less.
At the start of autumn I set myself a word for the season, and that word was hibernation. I realised I had a pattern, I’d have the intention of slowing down and doing less, but as soon as that became too uncomfortable I’d revert back to my “busy” self. Until I was exhausted, then I’d say “I’m going to do less”.
This was my pattern and it’s had been my pattern for many years, because, slowing was uncomfortable. When you do less you have time to think more, you can’t hide in the busy and so the monkey brain has a chance to really get going. To quell the monkey brain, I’d just get planning, get going and over commit. Then eventually I’d crash.
The problem with this was I wasn’t actually dealing with the underlying reasons I was being busy. I was avoiding the subject.
So to set a word meant that if I was truly going to honour that word, every time I felt the urge to get busy I had to ask myself, does this align with hibernation?
When I set that word in the autumn I had visions of learning to knit, or having a beautiful slow living home, doing crafting activities and making all the christmas gifts!!!! What actually happened was I found myself drawn away from all of that and pulled back to what I love the most, what I’ve loved all my life and where I feel most at home, I found myself being drawn back to my horses.
As hibernation took hold I made the decision to go inwards even more and honour what I was being drawn to do, I had no energy to be “out there“ so I deleted my social media apps and quietened that part.
I found my evenings were spent curled up on the sofa doing nothing, and my days were spent quietly in the barn with the ponies. I had no inclination to check my phone or broadcast what I was doing, the biggest pull was I wanted to be hidden.
Instead of putting pressure on myself to come up with an answer, a plan or a new mission, I just felt what felt good, and if it didn’t I consciously chose not to do it. I turned engagements down I’d originally said yes to when I was “in the busy” and I slowly plodded through the day. I still got a lot done, my days were no where near empty, but I spent them at home or on the farm and not driving all over the place “catching up with people”.
The one thing I’d struggled with since having Olive was finding a routine, and by finally drawing inwards a routine appeared. Instead of forcing it it arrived.
And then the final pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place, ideas I’d been struggling to bring to the surface started to become clear, clarity on what I want to do with my time, my career and this next chapter started to bed in and a feeling of deep intuition started to overcome me.
Things I had thought I’d wanted to do slowly moved away, as the path started to unfold. And that’s where you find me now, on the edge of spring, after two seasons of hibernation, a long slow unravel. I now feel ready to step back out slowly, the odd post on social media, the rare social event, and slowly I can feel my energy and confidence coming. This time not to get out of the uncomfortable of being quiet, but instead with excitement of something new, like the first snow drops appearing and the odd daffodils opening, I feel like I have it in me now to really take those leaps, to not just choose the easy path because it sorts out the immediate but to start walking this next long road.
I don’t feel the urgency of panic like I would normally, I feel this time like the seasons it will take time, and the fear has gone, now it’s just time to nourish the seeds and see them grow.
Through allowing myself to slow with the seasons I feel I have gained something so much more than just rest, I feel I have found myself again.
For more about the importance of hibernation take a read of this article