This week, we reach the midpoint of winter, marked by the cross-quarter day of Imbolc. Imbolc is an ancient Celtic holiday celebrating the very first stirrings of new life—the earliest breaths of spring.
Even though there may still be snow and ice on the ground where you are, we begin to feel little hints of spring rising. The sun stays out a little longer each day. After months of turning inward, months of hibernation and rest, life is beginning to stir again.
I certainly hope good ole Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvanian groundhog, will bring good news to you Northerners. Maybe we should get in our jammies, cover up in a blanket, and watch the 1993 film Groundhog Day (again!) with Bill Murray and the luminous Andie McDowell. Happy Imbolc and Groundhog Day!
Here is a poem to begin the month, sent to me by my beloved friend and yoga colleague, Liz Adams. It’s followed by two quotes I love.
Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated.
—Terry Tempest Williams
“Something has happened to my understanding of existence that now makes my heart always full of wonder and kindness.”
“So all of us, spiritual brothers and sisters, have a special responsibility, have a special role to make clear that the ultimate source of a meaningful life is within ourselves. If you live in this way, until your very last breath comes, you will be a happy, happy person. That’s the goal of life—to live with joy and purpose.”
—His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Along with being the month of the groundhog, February is also the month of the heart. Join me and Caroline Kohles, the Marlene Meyerson JCC Senior Director of Health and Wellness, this Thursday, February 4, for a free webinar, “Positivity and the Heart.” We’ll explore how to use movement to experience Barbara Fredrickson’s broaden-and-build theory as we use dance to create positivity resonance—expanding joy and building hope. No experience in dance or movement is necessary, just bring your heart! Register now.
Megha Nancy Buttenheim, MA, M.A., E-RYT 1000, is CEO and founding director of Let Your Yoga Dance® LLC, and author of “Expanding Joy: Let Your Yoga Dance, Embodying Positive Psychology”. An expert in experiential education, Megha is a long-time teacher-trainer at Kripalu Center, where she has trained thousands of people in yoga, health, movement, and meditation. letyouryogadance.com