I have tried to remain positive in the cold, dark month of January because it has been a time for me in many past years of unhappiness, anxiety and inertia.
I have tried to keep active, ignoring the cold, or more particularly ignoring the perception of the cold which my mind wants to protect me from, and I have gone out early in the morning to run in the cold and dark streets before sunrise.
I have tried to sleep for longer, ignoring a perception in my mind that the cold and dark are my enemies, keeping me a prisoner within the walls of my home.
My sleep has not been due to a feeling of malaise, but rather it has been an active and positive attempt to rest, to notice the benefit of being rested, and to nurture a sense of gratitude that I am relaxed and calm enough to endure it.
I have tried to walk, particularly on sunny bright Sunday afternoons, feeling the cold on my face, but being wrapped up in winter clothes, overcoat, gloves and scarf to generate an internal furnace of warm blood to stir my sense of good health and wellbeing despite the elements.
My favourite walk, was on one evening in deep fresh fallen snow, as I circled my home on the roads which surround it, taking in with joy the solitude, the eeirness, the lights and shadows and the sound underfoot of fresh crushed snow.
I have tried to read, sat with tired eyes, after a long day at work, in front of the fire with a book and a cup of tea, trying to lose myself in the other worldliness of a novel, thinking how historic references to social and economic hardships have changed or adapted in the present day.
I have built a jigsaw and a picture emerged from the assembled pieces of a famous English city which I have never visited, its steeples and towers on the skyline and academic and scientific excellence calling on me to make a pilgrmage to it later in the year.
The imagined streets in my minds eye, unseen in the pieces of the jigsaw, where all the birds and people are fixed in inanimated suspension like the images on the Grecian Urn*.
I have immersed myself in deepening my commitment to my own development. I have taken time to understand the origins of my nervous system and I have discussed with my coach the events and circumstances in my life which trigger movement of my responses to threat and fear on the autonomic ladder.
So, January is at an end, there is hope of better weather and warmer temperatures and a growth in daylight as the days and weeks emerge into a Spring of new born lambs and daffodils.
This is mirrored by a strength and resilience nurtured with me on these January days to appreciate and to take notice of what is important to me in the life I am living.
*John Keats, Ode to a Grecian Urn