The Radiance of Deep Winter February
February, to me, is the month that I begin to pivot to spring, believe it or not.
It is the month where I can see light at the end of the winter tunnel. As you can tell, I am not the biggest fan of cold, snow, and darkness, despite growing up in New England. What I can tell you is February is also filled with lots of “light” that keeps my mind from focusing on the cold and darkness.
Many think of February 14th as Valentine’s Day, a day filled with candy, flowers, and gifts exchanged between friends and loved ones.
That is how I traditionally celebrated the holiday growing up, as well as when my boys were young. It was just what we did; purchase their favorite Valentine candy and cards to deliver to friends at school. As I have grown older, I have come to see February 14th as a day that I spend letting those around me know how much I care for and love them.
I have so many more things to celebrate on February 14th, one being the birthday of my son’s puppy, Piper. She is an energetic Aussiedoodle who is so cute and loving.
Piper was a wedding gift to my son from his new wife, which makes her even more special.
Did you know that February 14th is also International Book Giving Day? It is a day meant for giving books to friends and family, while also getting books in the hands of as many children as possible, especially those who are in need. This special day even has its own hashtag, #BookGivingDay.
You can also gift used books, which achieves the same purpose but is a double giving opportunity. I frequently buy used books from Better World Books, because for every book I buy, they donate a book to various organizations. This is also a much more sustainable option since the books have already been produced and the giving is community-driven.
This also reminds me that February is a good time to fall in love with your own space by creating a space that is special to you, a gift to yourself, you might say. This space will be different for everyone. You get to decide whether your space will be minimal, functional, very personal, or fun. This year I want to create a meditation space in my home that I can use without having to move and find items that I use regularly. I want a space that is dedicated to just meditation and what I need. I am working on creating that space with as many items as possible that I already own.
I am also reviewing places in my home that could accommodate my needs and vision for this space. If you start with a vision of how you really want to feel in your new space, you are more likely to get it done. In my meditation space, I want to feel a sense of peace, welcoming, nature, and it must be minimal. By envisioning the space, I can feel the space and know what it takes to make that space personal.
The space you want to fall in love with can be any room or just a part of a room in your home. I love helping clients create these special places that meet their unique goals. Sometimes it unlocks other areas in their home where their vision may have been blocked. I consider it as a win/win as we come away with new ideas that may be repurposed. Just maybe a vision for a fitness room or a meditation space is something that someone else may be struggling to achieve and the solution is just a discussion away.
Last year I reimagined my workout room.
This was something that I kept thinking about, but it was not until I could envision how I wanted the room to feel and work for me did it change. I equate this experience to moving the furniture around in a room 15 times before you know it feels right and you love it.
To continue on with more love in February, another great day for all to celebrate is February 17th which is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. This is a day to celebrate by completing random acts of kindness to anyone you choose. Your act of kindness can be as simple as a thank you text, a written note of appreciation, holding the door for someone, or even a simple nod.
This is a holiday that you can give big at very little personal expense. It is also a time when your community outreach can fill up your community sustainability cup. We are all much better when we open our hearts and minds to the support of others. As an organizer, I would be remiss if I didn’t include acts such as: donating books, like I mentioned earlier, donating clothing (especially winter coats,) food donations for food pantries, or maybe even rides for the elderly. Your donation of a pair of shoes or a warm coat is a great act of kindness to those in need.
The last holiday that I am including in my sustainable holiday listing is World Day of Social Justice, which is celebrated on February 20th. I have added this day to my list as it is a growth opportunity for me to educate myself more about social justice issues.
I want to familiarize myself with social justice issues that I can take action on and support. A couple of small actions that can be taken are: support minority-owned businesses, donate or volunteer for your charity of choice, show your support on social media, and educate, educate action!
Remember, that it is the small steps that we take every day that fill up our hearts and let it shine to those around us. What steps are you taking in the dark days of winter to radiate your shine to those around you, thus growing your sustainability shadow?