The Elegance of Paradox


I've been thinking a lot about paradoxes lately.

This fall I had the great fortune of spending 3 days at a Courage and Renewal® Circle of Trust retreat in Burlington run by WholeHeart. The focus of the retreat was about scarcity and abundance. We spent a lot of time talking about and reflecting on the idea of paradox and I continue to ponder on it.

My quintessential paradox at this time of year is that I am by nature more yin than yang and winter is a very yin season. If you're not familiar with it, yin qualities are quiet, inward, still, low, cool, dark, and all about being rather than doing. Yet, this is not my favorite time of year. I don't appreciate being cold and find I unconsciously hold myself in a full-body clench until May.  I try not to dread the winter but I can't seem to help it. I tend to fall out of touch with myself and have a harder time staying true to my values. I do more of all the things that don't make me feel good and fewer of the things that do make me feel good.


So why isn't this my dream time of year? I get to snuggle down and be quiet and reflective without guilt. I can stay home and be less social and blame it on the weather.  To be honest, I'm not sure why I resist this time of year. At the retreat, it dawned on me that it's better--and easier for me to accept who I am right now than to critique or label this interesting cycle as "not my best self." This discomfort has something to offer me that I need to get quiet and listen to. I need to get more yin like to find out why I'm resisting yin time but maybe I also need to think about what yang I need to stay balanced now that the warmer lighter days are gone. I'm not sure how it will go but lucky for me, I have a lot of time to practice and find out!

Jen Peterson has been studying and practicing yoga and meditation for more than 11 years. She has over 1000 hours of yoga teaching experience and has been instructing and sharing yoga since 2012.  Want to commit to your own health and wellbeing in the new year? To learn more about Yoga Grace and upcoming opportunities to practice with Jen visit:  Yoga Grace Class Schedule.