What Do Bears Know That We Don't?

Consider these bear strategies to strengthen the connection with yourself.

Posted Feb 24, 2021 | Reviewed by Gary Drevitch

Just be. 

Be here now. 

Be present. 

You’ve heard these phrases before. Perhaps you’ve even made attempts at being present. Maybe you’ve just brushed the phrases off as social media catch phrases or vinyl stickers for home décor. Either way, I am suggesting that you give it another try now. Why? Because being present is so important to finding peace and calm in your mind and actions, benefiting you and others in your world. What’s more important than that?

I was a participant in a vision mapping session and in order to discover how we would achieve our future goals, the facilitating coach passed out these Medicine Cards by Jamie Sans and David Carson. I unknowingly chose the “Bear” card. In short, the Bear withdraws from the world in winter to hibernate. The Bear dreams in quiet, and emerges in the spring, rested and ready to reach the goals that were deliberated upon in hibernation. To be like the Bear, you must find your strength by searching deep within yourself. Mindfulness and inner knowing is how to achieve your goals. 

Eric Nopanen/Unsplash
Source: Eric Nopanen/Unsplash

Winter is a season of reflection. It’s a time where we often mentally and physically reset. We look back at the previous year and find areas of our lives to improve in the future. This is such a human experience. In nature, we see animals and plants do something completely different: They hibernate in order to survive the winter months. Plants and animals don’t fight the winter. Instead, they withdraw and prepare. I cannot say that if we all just tucked ourselves in bed for a few cold months we’d all be better for it; however, it made me think about how a human hibernation might serve me, especially this year.

I recently wrote about how to “just be,” what being present could do for you, and what steps to take in order to find that place. During this time of introspection, I had a conversation with a young mom. She told me that while nursing her newborn and mindlessly scrolling through her phone, she caught the eyes of her baby staring intently at her. She realized she was missing so many beautiful and important bonding moments that they would never get back. This is her second and last child, and that realization was powerful. She ended up changing her phone settings to make it less enticing and accessible. Taking a moment to notice where she was and who she was with, pausing her distraction, and just being there in that moment with her baby ended up being so much more fulfilling than what her phone could offer her.

That conversation, combined with my new Bear strategies, really inspired me to practice the art of being present with myself. So as a Bear, I am using the winter to “hibernate” on my own personal and professional aspirations. The cold New England winter months keep me inside most of the time, and the pandemic is very limiting. Accepting what is and turning “I’m stuck at home” to “I am fortunate to have a safe place to be and reclaim my own inner knowing” has allowed personal and professional growth, as well as an inner calm. I mapped my 2021, and now I am creating the year that I want for myself.

What might happen for you if you, like Bear, hibernated this winter? What new connections and opportunities might you create if you stopped “doing” and were present with yourself? Perhaps you, too, will find your strength and emerge in the spring, ready to achieve the life that you truly desire.

Consider using this time to get really curious about who you want to be right now and what is yours to do. Remain curious about any feelings that arise during these uncertain times. And if you could use some guidance and support, let’s connect.