Harmonizing with Winter

Winter can be challenging for many of us.  Not only is it colder, but there’s also less sunlight which effects the production of “happy” chemicals in the body such as seratonin.  

I want to share with you what has been working for me as far as honoring the natural rhythms of nature.  Pre-industrial revolution people often lived and worked with the seasons.  Now with much of our work indoors in offices at fixed times, our food grown anywhere in the world…we are naturally less connected to what’s going on outside.

During wintertime nature is quiet.  Still. There is empty space.  Bears are hibernating.  The trees are bare.

I find enriching and interesting to explore these qualities of winter within my own life.  I ask myself, what in my life needs reflecting?  How can I express myself through art/writing or (fill in the blank with your creative outlet)?  There isn’t really a right or wrong way to do it.  Tune in, reflect on the qualities of the season/nature that you feel and then ask yourself how can I work with this energy/qualities?

Here are some ideas to get you started:

-Reflect on the past year/month.  How did it feel?  What did you learn?  What were the most joyful parts? What were the difficult parts?

-Nourish the body.  This might include sauna-ing, getting a massage, yoga, acupuncture, going for a walk, herbal teas, etc.

-Visualize what you’d like to create in the next moon or sun cycle.  Make a vision board or create some representation of what you’re aiming for.

-Create an alter or sacred space that means something to you.  If you experienced loss of any kind it can be beautiful to create an alter for that person/job/thing.  I also find it beautiful to create alters for who I am becoming or what I want to cultivate in my life.  I create a new one at the solstices and equinoxes or whenever I feel inspired.

-Create a daily ritual that brings you to the sacred.  This could be meditation, yoga, journalling, bathing etc.

The list goes on and on.  Whatever you decide to do, the idea is to go within, nourish the body/heart/mind, create space for processing feelings/emotions, and leave room for quiet time and creativity to flow.

I will say this: You may not necessarily feel these wintry qualities all the time during winter—no one does.  The idea is to honor that these qualities exist in us—as a part of us—at least some of the time.  We practice tuning in to these qualities during wintertime, but know that you can cultivate a “winter” in July if the body/mind/spirit calls for it.