Winter Musings

Words: Dr Rajgopal NIDAMBOOR

As the cool waft of winter cuffs our face, it ushers in an early nightfall. To use a metaphor, winter strikes a chord. It reminds us that it is time for leaves to wobble in the air and bring in more radiance into our life. Yet, when the leaves slowly shed, it tells us to let go of things not harmonious to us, our life, or relationships. Likewise, when we shed our negative thoughts, like falling leaves, it brings us a spark of optimism — to discard the old and ring in new thoughts, new dreams and new hopes.

You may call this the purging, or emptying, process — of letting go of something old to make space for something new. The purging process isn’t easy, thanks to our proclivity to hold on to things. Blame it on our ego, or reluctance to giving up control. For one who is a control freak, winter is tantamount to displeasure. It is aptly labelled as the season of discontent. Besides, it can also be the time of the year spent in the rut. You guessed it right — depression, or moody blues. It is all in the mind, our emotions, and surplus chemicals circulating in our system. You would do well if only you think of winter as just another time with a predictable pattern, where nightly shadows lead to daylight. You will be happier for it.

The idea of purging one’s negative thoughts, or habits, is not new — it has been in vogue since the dawn of civilisation. For some, purging is a religious exercise; for others, it is a spiritual voyage. This is reason why we have as many practices as methods — from fasting to periods of silence, where time stands still in your mind. A case in point — if such emptying practices lend a helping hand to the spiritual aspect of the purging, or cleansing, process, there are times when one goes through them without an iota of hope. For example, a job loss, the death of a loved one, a messy divorce, or financial debacle. This leads to instinctive, or unconscious, cleansing. It heightens our emotional thoughts; it expresses the archetypal emptying process, because many of us would, by way of reflex, think of our lives as nothing but chapters full of ups, downs, profit, loss, balance and imbalance.

Yet, the fact remains that there is a higher purpose of letting go in the midst of change. This mirrors a promise — a pledge we all owe to ourselves that something of equal, or greater, value will always follow change. To highlight a philosophical paradigm. It is rightly said that to be in the world we should experience as many positive thoughts as possible, without getting marooned in gloom. This adds to our optimal health and well-being — this is also, in part, essential wisdom. It helps us to run the full distance on our journey on planet earth in comfort and savour life to the full. It is also, ironically, our greatest challenge.

On the other hand, it is almost a norm for sceptics among us to relate to the purging process as an enormous waste of time. This actually represents fear; also, ambiguity. It is equivalent to reaching the top of a peak, looking over the edge, taking a step back, and hoping that there is another route. There is, of course, just one path. This is to let go fully and descend with both feet. You’d call it a huge leap of faith. It inspires us to see the big picture, not just the image, for realising life’s fresh insights.

Dr RAJGOPAL NIDAMBOOR, PhD, is a wellness physician-writer-editor, independent researcher, critic, columnist, author and publisher. His published work includes hundreds of newspaper, magazine, web articles, essays, meditations, columns, and critiques on a host of subjects, eight books on natural health, two coffee table tomes and an encyclopaedic treatise on Indian philosophy. He is Chief Wellness Officer, Docco360 — a mobile health application/platform connecting patients with Ayurveda, homeopathic and Unani physicians, and nutrition therapists, among others, from the comfort of their home — and, Editor-in-Chief, ThinkWellness360.

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