Growing up in Michigan, I have spent my fair share of time complaining about the cold and the snow. Routinely I would walk outside, experience a sense of grumbling in my spirit, and carry this with me wherever I went… in the bitter cold… fighting the snow and ice and slush… Until, I decided that this crotchety attitude really wasn’t working for me. In fact, it was keeping me from fully living life 6 months out of the year! I made a clean break with ‘the winter blues’ and haven’t looked back. Instead, I decided to embrace winter for all she offers. Along the way I have learned that many ancient healing traditions also encourage me to attune myself to the rhythms of each season and to embrace the gifts that winter has to offer.
Now… I can honestly say that I love winter. After I have played and created all summer and fall I look forward to the slowed, stilled nature of winter. I long for nights to darken early so I, too, can turn in early and sleep longer, resting deeply. Winter invites us to slow down… to refrain from the ‘go go go’… to say ‘no’ to over-commitment. The energy of winter is an inward turning energy. Plant life force and vitality go under ground. Animals burrow in and sleep deeply. And so, we, too, are invited to turn inward…. To take time for self-reflection and self-exploration. We are invited to sit still with ourselves and feel into our very being. Winter gives us permission to slow down, to get very still and quiet, and to care for and nurture Self. Winter affords us the opportunity to rest deeply and replenish our energy reservoirs so that when spring comes we are ready for the upward and outward nature of the spring season.
This slowed, stilled, quiet-spirited, going inward nature of winter… I love it! I embrace it. I drink up every last drop of it. I fully use it so that when spring comes I am rested and ready for the new potential that awaits.
Here are some of the rhythms that I look forward to in winter to not only ‘beat the winter blues’, but settle into a time of deep nourishment:
I love to follow the rhythm of the seasons. I like the variety each season offers and looking forward to fresh opportunity and intention with the change of each season. I work to align my own internal and life rhythms with those of nature and enjoy looking to the energy of the season around me for guidance as to how to live.
Author: Erica McLaughlin is a Therapeutic Bodywork Practitioner specializing in Embodiment. She strongly believes in the healing power that comes when we provide ourselves a quiet space to connect the body and mind. In this space our true essence has a chance to emerge, offering the greatest gift of healing: self-acceptance.