The WONDER of WINTER
What does the wonder of WINTER mean to YOU?
I love to draw inspiration and metaphors for life from nature because it simply follows patterns and unfolds majestically with flow and order within the chaos. We can take much needed advice from it to assist us with the “busy-ness” and stress that we deal with constantly. All too often nowadays we are so manically trying to do everything for everybody every day that we burn ourselves out trying so hard. I am suggesting that we learn to go with the flow of the seasons, harnessing the cycle of life. Not always that easy and I have personally been fighting the quieter time for a few weeks – until I remembered to EMBRACE IT! Perhaps this will remind YOU to do the same.
So, what insights and inspiration can we draw from the season of winter and what do we need to pay attention to over these few months whilst the earth is slumbering in the Southern Hemisphere?
Winter falls over a solstice, just this week it occurred – which literally translated means “standing in the sun’. For us in the southern hemisphere, the sun is furtherest north from us, thus creating very short daylight hours and longer nights. This deliciously cold season of winter can gift us several opportunities beyond curling up alone next to a hearty fire with a great book.
How do we translate this into our lives?
The underlying energy that we can tap into is one of completely and utterly pausing: there is a kind of gentle stillness around us. The wheel of life naturally completes over the solstice on 21st June, before it can start up again for the year ahead…it is a natural end and beginning of the cycle of the year. This makes it somewhat harder for us living in the southern hemisphere because we usually hold this intention of endings and beginnings over our New Year celebrations in December. We Southern dwellers need to be extra mindful of this mid-year break to re-charge annually.
Alongside this “pause” in life, we also greatly benefit from integrating into a more social way of life during winter, where we stop to re-charge our internal batteries by spending time with loved ones. This is a time to pull together and gather socially to get through the cold winter nights, creating an inner fire of warmth through friendships and sharing. Whilst the energy of winter creates a slowing down and a conserving of energy, it is also an important time to reflect inwardly even more deeply, and find the point of intense focus for the next stage ahead.
I recommend the following practical pointers to take advantage of this wonderful winter energy, particularly around this next couple of weeks following the solstice:
Start spending about ten minutes quiet time alone every day…. Yes you CAN find ten minutes! Can be in meditation or simply just sitting quietly focusing on your breathing. I use guided meditations I find on the net, and have some aps on my phone. Become aware of where you are spiritually, mentally and physically at this stage in your life. Be mindful and still. The more you practice the easier it will get. I get up and light my gas fire and sit with tea and kitty (some of you know Stripes see below) and do a meditation regularly. Here’s what happens ….
Go out and buy yourself a beautiful journal and start journaling a little bit every day to completely reflect your life on paper after the quiet time above. How you are really feeling on the inside? What do you deeply wish for? Your hopes and intentions? This “ME” time every day is vital for self-awareness – remember this is the time for “pausing”. And to be fair, sometimes the journaling is a mere “vomiting” of all the stress you are experiencing in your life. Just let it out! If you need some help on what to write about, have you already done the free series on Quick Shift 1 Thing? If not, then simply sign up on my website and you’ll get some great exercises to reflect on. CLICK HERE
As you relax into the quiet time and journaling, try and allow more of your deeper hopes and wishes for the months ahead to filter through. Whilst autumn is the time look long term for the year ahead, winter is the time to become very resolute and focused on some specific plans for the months ahead. So when the time is right and the energy starts gathering again as the days get longer, what is your plan of action? Winter is the ideal time to spend on this focused plan, preparing for the activity ahead, and that makes the implementation so much easier down the line. You could call these your “resolutions” and determinations for the start of the new cycle.
As close to the solstice as possible, invite your nearest and dearest over….and rather than the bring and share suggested for autumn, this winter season is about being generous and sharing all that YOU have with others. Ideally this should be an outdoor celebration around a huge fire. If this is not possible and you don’t even have an indoor fire, then use as many candles as possible to generate the fire energy. Celebrate that you belong to these friends and family, and this is a great time to share your intentions for the next few months with each other. Also fantastic time for poetry and story telling to celebrate your friendships. Revel in the delights of generosity and togetherness.
I always recommend that this time is fantastic for home projects. Some clutter clearing of your computer files, home office desk, books, music, cd’s, magazines and making photographs albums. Get round to doing those photo albums of your summer trips to warm your heart. The shorter days make it enticing to sit indoors, so use this time ingeniously whilst it lasts.
If you need some help de-cluttering a certain aspect of your life then why not grab the winter special of 4 hours for R2000 ($166 and can be effectively done over skype anywhere in the world) CLICK HERE
Enjoy the still, inward energy of winter, and generously sharing with friends, preparing you for the upbeat, outward going movement of life as spring kicks into gear, but more about that down the line.
SUMMER FRIENDS up north…
Well just get out there and have a ball in the sun, warmth, longer days and living your life. What are YOU currently working on?