Keeping it Real This Bleak Mid-Winter
We’ve entered the deep freeze phase of winter. It’s a very surreal kind of time; everything is covered in snow, sounds are muffled and quiet, even the colours are muted. The earth – at least in our hemisphere – is deeply frozen in sleep.
In times long gone by, the people, mindful of working in harmony with nature, would rest during this time, but alas, in our modern world we tend not to afford ourselves this luxury. If possible we try to escape the cold and head somewhere warm and sunny for a few days to get our vitamin D fix for the remaining winter weeks ahead but if not possible, we continue to slough it out at the same pace and rhythm of the rest of the year.
The energies of mid-winter support our need to hunker down, stay low, and rest. But as life tends to carry on and we can’t just slip into hibernation as some species do, we need to try to stay balanced by doing the things that will cause us the least resistance and difficulty. When we work in resistance we create unrest and imbalance in our body systems which will inevitably lead to colds, flus, broken limbs, accidents, and over exertion which in turn can develop into full blown disease. When we work in harmony with the seasonal opportunities however, we will find that we can move through winter easily and peacefully. Winter is peaceful, in fact it is almost monochromatic, showing us the beauty of simplicity and the joy in rest not just the need for it.
In Touch with Sacred Me
Winter is the ideal time to get in touch with our sacred self. Consciously moving our attention inwards to our core will help us get and stay grounded. The earth still beats out her heart rhythm and we are still engaged with her though the signals may seem quietly muted. There are things we can do to remind ourselves of our deep connection to the Earth and universe.
i) practice non-attachment: Since winter is already a hard time to keep things flowing, in order to prevent life from freezing up on us it is important to lighten our loads. By this I mean that it is time to start letting go of ideas, attachments and clutter that no longer serve our highest good. For many aboriginal tribes this is the time of purification. By releasing our attachments to things we encourage subtle energies to keep flowing allowing new possibility to trickle in. Clean out, dust off and smudge stagnant energy.
ii) breathe, ground and meditate: This is a time of restructuring and coming into a new harmony for possible growth ahead. This is quiet and invisible work, it can only be realized in quiet contemplation. Just as the roots of a great tree reach deeply into the soil, through the frozen layer into the still warm earth beneath, so is it time to reach into our core to allow the warmth of our soul to maintain our vitality. Our soul, always connected to our divine blueprint will keep us moving through these months with guided purpose. Deep breathing exercises and longer meditations will keep providing us with focus and clarity.
iii) get outside: It’s cold, so bundle up and go for a walk anyway. Walking in nature in the winter can be a deeply spiritual exercise. It’ll clear your head, clear your lungs, and open your eyes. Winter walking is slower and more mindful than in the summer. Watch every step, breathe deeply and keep your eyes peeled for animals. They appear vibrantly in winter and have much to teach us. Cardinal for example teaches us of our sacred selves, the value of being grounded through the root chakra and in the same breath inspired to the loftiest goals. It’s clear song teaches us of speaking truthfully and sweetly, its colour teaches us of our vibrancy and passion and reminds us that while all may seem dormant today will revive in full power in Spring.
Spring is only a couple months away. In a few short weeks you will be feeling compelled to be moving at a much faster pace and chomping at the bit to get going, but for now rest…plan…meditate…and spend some time truly getting to know yourself and your relationships to all people and all things. Your ability to manifest yourself this spring will depend entirely on how real you can be with yourself now.