Winter is time for…
Hibernation, internal processing, incubation, sleep, dreams, appreciating the darkness, staying warm, recognizing the force of the seasons.
I spent the last four years in Los Angeles and I didn’t experience much of the “seasons”, so I’m thankful to be in Northern California where it rains for weeks on end, and a wood-burning fire serves a true purpose.
Today is the first day of winter and I rose before the sunrise to welcome back the light. After the darkest night of the year, the days slowly start to elongate for the next six months. Even as we enter the coldness of winter, the days become longer. I love recognizing the force of the seasons- even if we don’t live somewhere that snow falls, our bodies recognize a change in pace, a feeling, a rhythm of winter. Before spring comes, we have time to snuggle up, take a deep look inside, and see what seeds we want to plant and nurture.
If you’re wondering what to nourish this season, I encourage you to create a space for yourself to reflect and explore. As the year ends and the business of the holidays have many of us bustling between work, parties, and family obligations, it’s essential to take time for ourselves to cultivate a place of personal intentions. This is not about creating a grand list of overwhelming “resolutions”, but rather feeling into what it is that actually supports you in your life, what it is that allows you to feel creative, alive, sustained.
In a quiet place, light a candle and make yourself some tea, coffee, or a favorite warm drink. I recommend writing on paper, but if you prefer a computer (or typewriter, like my sister), go ahead and use the tools you prefer. Ruminate on the following questions:
· How am I feeling right now? (free write, as much as you’d like, without judgment, just let it out onto paper. This is not to share or publish, it’s a catharsis and safe place for you to just let go)
· What can I do to take care of myself in the coming winter months? Without using “shoulds”, take note of what it is that you feel good doing, what it is that nourishes you. It could be long walks in the forest, on the beach, a long bath, a bike ride, a silent meditation, writing in your journal, connecting with loved ones, making home cooked meals, etc. Allow yourself to be fully immersed in the feel-good aspect of this exercise.
· From a place of possibility, imagine what you could nourish and create, beyond your Self, this winter. Maybe it’s cultivating a writing practice, finishing a business plan, cleaning out the garage, continuing with an art project or something left in the dust. Whatever it is, you feel some sort of call or inspiration toward this, not just a “should”. It may not feel easy, but you know that it’s something you truly want to do.
· If you need support with this project, write down what that is. Maybe it’s making time once a week, or asking a neighbor to borrow their tractor, or getting a group of friends together for a craft night. Whatever support you need, acknowledge it, write it down, and know that it’s possible.
· Last but not least, acknowledge yourself and the real commitment you have made to nourish yourself this season. You are capable, creative, and responsible for your influence on your own life.
Enjoy the coming months. It’s ok to stay inside, turn down dinner invitations, go to bed early. Get plenty of rest. Let me know how the ritual goes for you, and adapt as you feel inspired.
Winter Blessings and Self Care Sanctifications!