When I began to choose to live as close to the wisdom of the Ancient Elders and Ancestors as possible, one of the teachings clearly has been to love each season for the differences and unique offerings of each.
I never used to be a fan of colder weather. I griped about it, and I was often in my mind jumping ahead to be impatiently waiting for the arrival of Springtime. I now have accepted and even love winter and her gifts.
The Spirit of Winter a few years ago summoned me to create rituals that hold the potential of an antidote for my previous winter blues and a calling to embrace with love, this slower paced season with heartfelt gratitude and genuine respect.
Think about hibernating animals. They engage in a slowing down period . Their body temperature drops to match the environment’s temperature. Their heart and breathing rate slows down. The slowing way down period of time is positive…there are no ill effects in partial or even total inactivity. Perhaps we can learn from animals in this state by slowing down instead of a constant need to be on the go, constantly staying busy. We might use this time to do deeper inner reflection and retrospection, meditate more, read those books we put on hold when we were so busy in the other seasons.
Loving the cold temperatures may not be so much about staying chilled to the bone, but rather wrapping up in a snuggly blanket in front of a delicious fire. Creature comfort, I am calling it , is the time of year my mind, body, spirit craves to replenish relaxing into the moment and enjoying each second of this slower rate of existence as my energy is being restored for busier times in the future!
The days are shorter and dark comes sooner. We could take advantage of this time to light candles, turn on glowing lights of a Himalayan Salt Lamp, and feel the light entering our inner selves. I love the very dark nights in the woods where I live for the stars seem brighter and closer as I stand in the brisk, chilly air as I see my breath while connecting with the Night Sky. It feels very magical!
Finding and focusing on those things that really matter is a glorious gift of Winter. I can say no to new projects and decline new invitations to join groups and activities. Using this time in eliminating all those committees, meetings, and focusing on that which adds real peace, harmony, and joy is crucial . By doing this practice without feeling something is wrong with me if I am not constantly busy, constantly productive, and never taking time to slow down, I am rewarded with quiet inner peace and tranquility without feeling bad about my Human Hibernation of Spirit. It is in this phase of the year new ideas come into my consciousness and I am given an opportunity of restoration and potential re-birth. How can I find anything negative about the three months of precious Winter! Thank you, Winter! You are amazing!!