As fall surrenders to winter, if you’re a certain degree of latitude north of the equator, you may be wearing a scarf or gloves and cinching your jacket a bit tighter. You may also notice a nostalgic chill accompanying the late December air. Combine that with decreased sunlight and multiply it by the holidays and family, and chances are you’re destined for a state of introspection.

During winter’s inward gaze, as the season’s darkness breeds contemplation and reflection, we tend to harken our awareness to the past for hints of the future (that is if you believe in linear time and don’t believe that what you dream and feel you can create). The good news is the shortest days of the year are behind us and with every day grows the Light.

Despite the fact that the northern hemisphere is beginning its warming tilt toward the equator, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the holidays can be a fickle and emotionally charged time. These challenges provide us with a great opportunity to remember the simple yet profound truth of this work; we are not our bodies. What does that mean exactly? We’re not the 7-year-old who felt slighted by our mother, or the 18-year-old who felt they didn’t get enough love from their father. We’re not the victims of abuse, disease, lack, circumstance, or any other happenstance life found us in. Translated into other words—we’re not the victims of our past.

Family is a common trigger to pull us into our past and derail us from the paths of transformation we’ve been so diligently forging. Of course these types of triggers are not limited to family; they can occur in relations with friends, coworkers, or anyone else with whom we’re addicted to an emotion.

When we’re addicted to an emotion, the unconscious process of addiction makes our bodies want to react. In that reaction, and consequently the emotion with which we are met, we find the affirmation of our emotional addiction. This is living in the past and from the lower states of fight or flight. In these situations, it’s all too easy to return to being the younger brother, older sister, middle child, neglected friend, or underappreciated worker.

When we tap into this old energy, what we need to remember is that we’re simply tapping into a stored memory in the body. In the language of addiction, we call this relapsing. If we’re still living out of the energy of the former version of ourselves, how can we expect a different future or outcome?

This is a classic case of the body’s memory taking over. The memories in our bodies (especially painful ones that become imprinted upon our unconscious mind, which then cause the mind to become the body) are so strong and powerful that they can actually mask a set of painful emotions and feelings as positive ones. When this happens, lower states of being such as depression, resignation, and despair can become our default state.

Here’s the good news:
The We (consciousness) is the software that runs the computer (body), and because it is connected to the Internet (the Field), it can always be upgraded.

This is essentially what we’re doing in meditation—upgrading our operating system. Sometimes these updates happen incrementally and the changes are subtle and behind the scenes (if you’re familiar with the software updates on your phone, imagine as an example a 12.1.6 version update). At other times, in moments of epiphany, revelation, openness, or surrender, we can upgrade to an entirely new version of the operating system (Being).

Are you ready for the final piece of the puzzle?
We can’t upgrade the software (consciousness) unless we’re connected to the Internet (the Field). The Internet (the Field) is the non-local and ubiquitous tapestry that connects you to me, to the world, and to the divine intelligence—the same intelligence that lends gravity to the cause of holding billions of cells together to form you and me. So what is the mechanism we use to connect the software to the Internet? Wi-Fi (meditation).

Our work is about pulling the mind out of the body to form new, positive habits and ways of being. During this winter season, why not take the time to go within and begin sowing seeds for spring’s renewal and rebirth. Condition the body through elevated emotions to a new mind, so you can put the past that no longer serves you to rest, and awaken from your long winter’s nap refreshed to a new future of unlimited possibilities.