Cope with Winter Weather Stress, Make Soup and Let Go of Illusions


Most of the time I view piles of snow as opportunities for fun and play; they are great for jumping in 🙂

This year Monhegan has gotten hit harder than ever with snow. Instead of viewing the beautiful white scene with joy and wonder, I have gradually felt a hard pit in my belly and a sense of dread creeping over my entire body as the stress of the weather has started to affect me.

I have lived on Monhegan Island for almost 15 years and one of the best lessons this island has taught me is to live in the moment, to not sweat the small stuff, and to let go of my illusion of control. In this day and age of technology, innovation, and choices, you have the illusion that somehow you have complete control over your life. But you don’t. Nature and weather cannot be controlled by you. You may have a certain idea of how you want things to go in life and then something completely out of your control comes along and flushes those plans down the toilet. It is not just weather that will do this to you, it’s death, disease, family crisis, career turns, or any number of things.

Recently I was ‘stuck’ inshore due to wind and snow. Initially I was stressed, frustrated and annoyed. Once I took a moment to breath, settle down and get perspective the life lesson that Monhegan had taught me came back and a sense of calm came over me. Monhegan has taught me to let go of my illusion of control. Whether it is my business not growing as quickly as I would like or my dentist appointment needs to be rescheduled for the fourth time because of weather, once I let go of the illusion of control I cope with my feelings of stress and anxiety better.

My home, Monhegan, has taught me this life lesson because here I live intimately with nature, and inclement weather directly effects me and my plans. The first few times the boat didn’t run because of the weather and my plans got thrown out the window, I got really angry and a little panicked. My father-in-law who has lived on the island for most of his life pragmatically said “It is what it is.” At first I thought he was crazy, and I thought if I lived inshore, something like this wouldn’t happen, I would have more control over my life. That is when it sank in, my anxiety and anger wasn’t because I was missing an appointment but that my illusion of control over my life was slipping away.

If I did not live on Monhegan Island, I would probably still have a greater hold on my illusion of control, but I have been lucky enough to learn this lesson through the safety of weather upsets and it has served me well. I apply this life lesson when my business doesn’t grow as quickly as I like, projects fail, or things just aren’t going my way.

Take this winter weather disrupt as your own opportunity to safely learn this life lesson and start to loosen your hold on your illusion of control. Trust me you will be okay 🙂

Your children have been home from school, you can’t get to work, everything you had planned for the last couple of weeks has been thrown in turmoil. This is the time to meditate, give up control and make lemonade from lemons.

  1. Find the silver lining. The weather has kept many home from work and school, this is a blessing, a time to spend with family and friends.
  2. Your plans and appointments can be rescheduled or new plans and appointments made. Let it go.
  3. When a wrench is thrown into your life plans or you are served lemons, take the opportunity to turn the situation into something better and more powerful. Like a mutated cell can be an opportunity for growth and evolution, disrupted plans is a time for new perspective.
  4. Meditation: When you are feeling especially overwhelmed by the loss of control, sit calmly and focus on your breath for 5 minutes. You will feel calm and focused after the practice.
  5. Make Soup: This is the perfect time to cook with your children, family and friends. Make bone stock and see how many different soups you can make. Soup is comforting and nourishing. When you teach your children how to make soup, you will nourish them both physically and mentally for the rest of their lives.

The illusion of control manifests in fear, anxiety and stress. How we choose to deal with these emotions can determine our physical and mental health. Take the time to assess your illusion of control and the emotions that are attached. What can you do today to help ease these destructive emotions? Make Soup? 🙂

For support through difficult lifestyle changes contact Tara Hire, 207-594-0707 or sign up today for one of Monhegan Wellness’s Detox and Rejuvenate or Balance Your Chakras, Balance Your Energy day retreats. These retreats teach you simple, applicable tools for coping with stress and making lifestyle changes.