It's Time To Hibernate Like The Bear, Will You? December 2021 Newsletter:


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Starting next week, like I do every year, I will be taking my annual rest, or hibernation, that I started doing back in 2014. If you’ve been following these newsletters or me closely, you’ll know I’ve been consistent in my message for rest. Our country’s culture is one that devalues rest breaks to the point where we are acculturated to feel guilty for taking time off. But rest isn’t something that we have to earn or feel guilty for doing. And we shouldn’t only do it after we have been worn down and burned out. We should do it because it’s an act of preservation and conservation. An act of self love and community care. Especially in the times of a pandemic.


My colleague Monika Varma shared this story about a bear the other day, and I was so moved by this story told by Dr. Brenda Restoule (Dokis First Nation (Ojibwa) and Eagle Clan, that I knew I had to include it in this December newsletter as part of our ongoing series of rest.



 


A Bear Teaching as told by Dr. Brenda Restoule from the Dokis First Nation (Ojibwa) people and Eagle Clan to the First People’s Wellness Circle.


“When a bear goes into hibernation, they do it for the health of their community and themselves.

In the winter, food is scarce. Hibernating allows other animals to have access to the limited resources. It slows the spread of disease and virus among other animals during a season when immune systems are lowered and energy is limited. It is also a time of conserving health for the bear.


It’s a time for reflection. It is a time that allows you to renew and undergo change, to honor your place in life and food cycles. It is not a time for anxiety or fear. It is a time for hibernation. A bear can finally relax. All of the stress of finding food, territory and a mate disappear.

The bear believes that they have done enough and trusts in themselves. They know this process is necessary, and they will come out the other side, renewed.


So, be the bear. Stay home. Rest. Know you are doing this for something much bigger than yourself.


And have hope that we will all come out on the other side with renewed life and energy and faith in each other.”



 




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