Precious Women – Frozen Behaviours

by Eva Rygg, Norway

Today the outside temperature in Oslo, Norway, is showing minus 18 degrees Celsius.

Now some of you might say that’s incredibly cold, however living in Norway we are used to these temperatures in periods over the winter.

I would like to share some reflections I have had around the possibility that the climate, as well as culture, does affect us.

Because – how is it that we can end up so totally disconnected from ourselves, that along the way we stop feeling how much we harm ourselves? One thing is that it happens gradually over the years, but yet another answer to it is we watch and see that this is how most people around us cope with life.

So where did it all start, when did we learn to cope? Scandinavia is one of the coldest parts of the world. How was it to live in this rough and often extremely cold climate? The history is very clear: our ancestors had challenges that we cannot even imagine, particularly the women, who were often left to look after the family while the man went off for days, sometimes months and even years, to find labour and a way to provide. We highly admire these women for surviving and being able to even reproduce under such circumstances. Women of those times had to toughen up, they had to go hard and numb – it was often a question of life or death.

However, those days are long gone, today we write 2013, and we have had tools and knowledge as well as time to change our behaviour. Yet most women (and men) would say they are not aware there is another way, that the hardship and toughness is natural and that this is how we’ve always done it – it works!

At what price are these behaviours still continuing? Could it be that we have compromised our own natural tenderness, and the preciousness of being a Woman, because we have learned to see it as a weakness? That being strong and independent equals being hard? And so, to survive in our existence we need to shut down what we truly feel?

Myself, I know that I’ve certainly acted according to these hardening behaviours in so many areas of my life, and never did I question why. Or consider doing it another way. To give you an example: in earlier years I was very much in disregard and very neglectful about being cold / freezing. I would sometimes be so cold my fingers and / or toes went numb, and for those of you who might have experienced that, you know that when the blood starts to circulate again (when you get back in the heat), it is extremely painful. When I was a little girl I used to cry and cry when that happened, I was strongly affected by it and it brought about a sad feeling in my whole being… when I got older I learned to accept that this is how it is! Simply bite your teeth together and get on with it.

This was until I came across the life changing teachings of Universal Medicine. One of the very first things I was presented with was how important it is to self nurture and deeply care for myself. Quite soon it became very clear to me that I needed to look after myself in a completely different way – also (and especially), when it is cold. One example from the old way of doing it would be, I would go out in the morning and scrape ice as well as shovelling snow, not only from my car, but also the driveway. Sometimes that would take me a long time (we have huge amounts pouring down at times), and by the time I was done I would be ice cold and wet. Still, I would always get straight in the car and go to work. At this point I could barely hold the steering wheel due to frozen fingers, and on top of it I would be in a state of strong anxiousness because I would be late for work. And I would now have pushed myself to a state where I would be seriously annoyed (angry) with myself and anyone who came close – look out fellow drivers! The rest of the day would continue on the same foot (as you lay your bed so you sleep), and I would easily find someone else to blame for my miserable day. Phew – exhausting!

Through the new understanding of myself, how I live and how I care for myself I have learned to take full responsibility for my own choices; I realised that my life can only be as good as the choices I make. Yes, I live in a cold climate, but does that mean I should be less precious with myself? No. Nowadays I plan my day differently (spaciously), and so if I need to deal with snow, I am shovelling in a very gentle tempo (in several goes if need be). I let the car run to get nicely de-iced, and then go inside to have a beautiful warm bath or shower – and never am I leaving home being cold. I will put on layers and layers of warm clothes, and make sure that to the best of my ability, I’ve looked after myself in a deeply caring and cherishing way. I also find that if I am able to not heavily react to the cold (“OMG it’s sooo cold…” etc.), it is less harsh and my body is able to stay in its own loveliness and not go into hardness. I’ve learned that the wisdom of my own body is limitless – if I choose to listen. The journey back to my own natural tenderness and true health is something I wouldn’t trade for anything –  because the feeling of letting go of the self-made prison of constant hardness and anxiousness, as well as judgement of self and others, is priceless.

One of the greatest lessons for me has been that even when the circumstances may be a bit rough and harsh, it is still possible to stay yummy in myself and keep my natural playfulness – and that’s what will then support and feed me (not to forget those around me) back during my day.

Does climate affect us? Clearly it does – but at the end of the day, what we are truly being affected by is our own choices.

241 thoughts on “Precious Women – Frozen Behaviours

  1. To experience life lived in a way that supports, honours and cares for oneself is a gift from heaven: “The journey back to my own natural tenderness and true health is something I wouldn’t trade for anything – because the feeling of letting go of the self-made prison of constant hardness and anxiousness, as well as judgement of self and others, is priceless.”

  2. Eva, your article has reminded me of moments in my childhood when I too felt so cold. I was born in Finland, and similar to Norway, it can get very cold there and I recall that we did not have to go outside for morning recess at school if the temperature was colder than minus 25 degrees Celsius. No matter how much I wore, I always was cold and had trouble getting warm. Coldness numbs you out, you lose your feeling and then as you have shared, when the feeling comes back it is not pleasant what you feel, so it is almost easier to just stay cold rather than feel the body return to feeling again. And yet this is saying to us to go deeper in how we look after ourselves. The message is so simple.

  3. Eva, thank you – I love your article and your sharing and the bottom line is GOLD: “Does climate affect us? Clearly it does – but at the end of the day, what we are truly being affected by is our own choices.”

  4. “the wisdom of my own body is limitless – if I choose to listen.” The messages from within are always clear, whatever the temperature on the outside.

  5. What a beautiful blog is this Eva. I can feel it in my body the effect of your lived learning.
    How important it is to embody what we know… and taking care of us is one of the main things we need to learn most. It’s clear that when we truly look after about every detail of our body’s and soul’s nurture, the experience of life we have changes dramatically and the external things don’t condition our life anymore.

  6. When we realise that we always have a choice whether to react or respond to a situation, having a deeper connection and awareness with ourselves enables us to observe and discern the situations around us rather than go into emotional reaction and harden our body.

  7. “I’ve learned that the wisdom of my body is limitless – if I choose to listen.” I agree Eva, and the more willing we are to deepen our connection and relationship with our body and our awareness the more wisdom we naturally have access to.

  8. ‘The journey back to my own natural tenderness and true health is something I wouldn’t trade for anything ‘ I’m with you there Eva – there is nothing I would trade for it either.

  9. I have found despite wearing many layers in winter that I still find it at times difficult to walk feeling as freely at ease and comfort as I would in warmer weather. I notice that my body does shiver even under many layers. I am learning to these conditions require us to take extra care and never compromise yourself or your posture or your support in the slightest. Any contraction within our body (which the cold weather tends to make us do to keep warm) does have a massive impact on how we feel and how we are.

  10. It is true that we can get used to an environment and just go with it – but when we come back to our bodies and how they truly feel – that should be our marker and not the normality of a situation. Living in the UK I can see how i have become complacent with taking out an extra layer or umbrella when I go out because i’ll just ‘deal with it’ but actually this is harming of my body.

  11. It is interesting how we often equate being strong and independent with being hard in order to cope in life and we push our body reflecting that way of being. I have since discovered that the more space I allow my body and the more present I am with myself there is a natural ease and rhythm with my movements that makes the whole day run far more smoothly and my body feels nurtured and supports me back instead of feeling like it is struggling to keep up.

  12. I live in England and I notice that when it is not freezing outside, people wear t-shirts. It could be a slightly chilly day, but because it is not terribly cold, people dress as if it is summer in the hope to clutch onto the ‘warm weather’ – its sort of what is presented here but in reverse, when we don’t actually listen to what truly support our bodies but instead become complacent or dismissive of how we truly feel.

    1. Spot on HM – I sometimes shake my head when I see people wearing the same clothes all year around no matter how hot it is or how cold it is – always in T shirts and shorts…I almost ‘admire’ them for this as it is something I could never ever do! To do this though they must numb themselves so much, and I guess this level of numbing I simply cannot do (which I now realise is actually a beautiful thing for me).

  13. Regardless of the weather outside, it is our responsibility to ensure the body is dressed in comfortable wear that does not hide it’s glorious curves. Putting on a scarf in august? That’s okay, if we feel our chest needs that extra warmth when the weather outside is not so friendly. Wearing a skirt in December? That’s okay too, if we feel that it will not make us contract, cold etc. It’s entirely up to us to look after the body In a way that ensures feel free to express ourselves.

  14. This is such a great learning and teaching, this year we had snow and I often had to remind myself not to brace against the cold and to let go and move with surrender. It was a constant reminder !

  15. What a pearl of wisdom to come across today, thank you Eva. And I love the example of the lack of self-care with the de-icing of the car, to the level of care you were now offering yourself, beauty-full to read.

  16. There comes a lot of responsibility with keeping ourselves warm because it does have an effect on how we are with the people around us and as you said, can make us be more irritated etc. So caring for ourselves is not selfish actually the opposite.

  17. So true that reacting to whatever is going on around us takes us further away from that lovely settled feeling. It’s like we love the drama of it, the excitement and stimulation of something outside of us, because we haven’t valued or appreciated how amazing it feels – in a very simple, settled way- when we take basic care of ourselves, and stay with that settlement and ease.

    1. Yes with a deepening awareness I am quite shocked at how much I have welcomed drama in order to make my life more exciting and an excuse to connect with people and find identification.

  18. The choices we make every second have a big impact on our life, ‘ I realised that my life can only be as good as the choices I make. ‘

  19. Being aware of the physical environment we are going into once we leave the house is essential for our health and well-being. Extreme temperatures require us to be prepared well before we go out the door.

  20. eek I’m cold at 24 degrees can’t even imagine minus 18 degrees. If I was in a cold climate I would also make sure to keep myself warm and supported in every way.

  21. “One of the very first things I was presented with was how important it is to self nurture and deeply care for myself. ”
    It quite funny reading this , one would think that the understanding of self nurturing deeply caring for one self would be a given, but it is not. One has only to look around and see this is not an ingrained behaviour .

  22. Recently I started to work in the post office. Even though I live in Spain and the climate is warmer the toughness and maleness is clearly felt in both men and women. The work is a bit hard, we have to be on time to deliver the packages and letters and if I’m not present I easily can fell in to the same roughness that governs this place. I’m learning to bring my feminity there, even though the uniform is quite masculine I feel feminine, light and beautiful inside. After reading this blog I understand more how important it is to bring our preciousness wherever we go and that this can be done easily if we choose love for ourselvers in the first place. Then whatever happens in the outside we have the space from within to respond lovingly and to claim more back our natural stillness as women.

  23. Amazing sharing Eva and amazing change in your life after working with Universal Medicine. The way you learned to hold yourself in the middle of such a coldness is deeply precious, as we all women are.

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