The Holiday Dilemma:  Finding Balance Between Nature's Call and Cultural Hustle

The Holiday Dilemma: Finding Balance Between Nature's Call and Cultural Hustle

Nature is cyclical. She has four distinct seasons: spring of new growth, summer of growing strong, fall of propagation, and winter of rest. I recently heard an interview with Kate Northrup Watts that really stuck with me. She talked about the power of marrying one's year with nature's seasons. Most of us naturally feel drawn to some seasonal cycle, especially feelings of rest and reflection as we get deeper into winter. Unfortunately, the western world and capitalism drive a year-round season of growth. This contrast between nature and culture has stuck with me the past couple of weeks as I reflect on my own tendencies.

"Four Seasons" by Jo Anne Wyatt


This December, I've particularly noticed a contrast between the subtle whispers of nature, urging me to be still, rest, reflect, sit and create, and the resounding culture of festivity and commerce. I think this contrast is heightened by being an artist and small business owner for the first time. Everything I'm consuming says that, unsurprisingly, art is at its highest demand through the holidays. So there's this unspoken pressure to sell, sell, sell, while I'd prefer to spend my time painting.

Lucky (or unlucky) for me, art is not currently my livelihood. I don't depend on it to put food on the table or keep the lights on. So, this winter I can take a more relaxed approach and blend holiday traditions with times of quiet. I can honor my personal creative rhythms amidst the societal hustle. I've found that by embracing this slower, more intentional pace, my creativity is flourishing and there's just not enough time in the day to paint everything I want to paint, to write everything I want to write, and to share all that I want to share. Like the plants of winter, I feel myself storing up and getting ready for explosive growth in a future season.

I'm curious if you feel similar ebbs and flows with your own productivity and energy throughout the year? If you are like me, and are hungry for quiet time to rest, reflect, and create, I hope that you are able to find an equilibrium, balance, and harmony this holiday season. Amidst this whirlwind of societal obligations and personal aspirations, take a moment to delve into your reflections, to cherish the simplicity of this season, and to honor your creative instincts. These are the times when silence speaks volumes, and a quiet moment of contemplation births a masterpiece or grand plan. Let's acknowledge nature's rhythms and the harmony she can bring to our creative endeavors.

For me, this means leaning on my core values to celebrate nature, be creative, and be healthy. Explore more of your own core values and what balance might look like for you here.

If you enjoyed this post, forward to a friend or family member who might also enjoy it.

Even if you can't get long stretches of time, don't forget to take 15 minutes for you today. It can help you find this wintery balance, and have a sage day!

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