On Weather and Darkness

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This morning as the first strong storm of our stormy season rattled the windows, I became compelled to share some thoughts regarding the coming winter's weather and darkness.

Some of you have not worked with me through a winter, so this environment may be new to you.

In general, I would like to offer some ways to think about being outside during these times. I have found over the years that the weather can pose its own challenges as we are outside, and often these challenges are great opportunities. The first challenge is the mental one. When we are warm and dry and we hear the gusts and the spitting rain outside, see the darkness and consider the cold, there is usually an urge to stay in our comfortable, controlled environments.

I propose that the environmental conditions directly correspond to our personal edges of growth and empowerment. Almost every time we actually get ourselves to don our appropriate clothing and step outside, we find that it is not as bad as the thought told us. In fact, there is a part of us that rises to meet the weather. A strong and vibrant part. An alive and responsive part. 

For the mind, the thoughts about the weather are similar to our thoughts about any other challenge or stuck pattern that is not accurately perceived and is not actually serving us. We think it is harder and scarier than it is. Some part says to avoid it. But when we step into it and meet it, we find that we are more resilient and resourced than we thought we were. We find beauty and aliveness in the thing the mind wanted to avoid. We learn our power.

In the outdoors, we witness just how alive and nuanced the wild world is during these winter months. Birds, mammals, plants, fungus, and more are living full thriving lives. It is a source of inspiration if we look.

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So, I suggest holding this simple awareness as the days shorten and the storms come. What happens if you get outside anyway? What do you discover about the world and yourself that you would have never known if you had stayed in a building?

I encourage each person to consider how this fits for you, and I welcome a conversation about it if you feel compelled. Together, we can decide where you fit on the outdoor appointment spectrum and what your needs are.

Please know that I will continue to have appointments outdoors all year long, and my in-town appointments will solely be outdoors.

In the winter, at the North Shore Rd property, I do have the ability to have fire and/or shelter and/or an occasional indoor appointment in my office space. 

One practical point that will seriously help you to find joy and meaning in the outdoor experience is to come prepared.

This means to have rain gear and layers. A hot drink is a good idea. I will have butt pads to sit on and I often bring tea (but not always.) 

If the weather is dangerous or just too bad for any reason, we can reschedule. In my experience this is actually a rare case.

Feel free to contact me a call about this if you'd like.

I wish you all wonderful days and I look forward to being in the vibrant outdoors with you in the coming season.

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Matthew Fogarty