Often times when we think of winter we think of the colder months. Where you live it may snow or simply get chillier, certain animals prepare to go into hibernation, trees and plant life start to go bare and seemingly rest.
That is what we may see and experience of winter externally.
When we may be entering winter phase of our lives, we are often times invited to slow down, to relax, and to rest more. Our bodies tend to slow down with the outer world because we’re not separate from the Earth. But the truth is, you can experience your personal winter season at any moment in your life. For instance, it’s normally when the body falls sick or ill that we’re invited against our will into a personal winter season. In other words, a time where the body has the opportunity to recalibrate to health.
I know for myself personally that when I fall sick, I’m often amazed by the insights that I walk away with if I allow myself to sink into the rest and nurturing that I need during that time.
And then there's our conditioning, which plays a huge role in whether we experience resistance around our inner seasons. Particularly in Western culture, we are pushed to max out our productivity levels and to generally do more so we can earn more.
Many of us were also probably modeled by our parents that we need to work hard in order to make a life for ourselves, but even this is a belief. Many people and their 9 - 5 jobs or very structured ones at that don't offer space for people to honor the needs of their bodies, which also normalizes prioritizing work and ideals of success over the needs of the individual and in turn leads to people experiencing symptoms or expressions of burnout, depression, and even anxiety due to neglect of self and of the body.
Excessive doing as a result of a hyper-masculine culture carries a very specific frequency that, when we get habituated to constantly being in a "summer" phase, we can actually start resisting the winter phase in our lives when it starts to settle in.
In actuality, what if we were able to “earn” or receive more without as much overt doing? Allowing ourselves to be in the winter season of our lives allows for just this. When we rest, the cells in our bodies can start to open up, our brain and our organs get an opportunity to heal.
Not to mention, it’s no coincidence that the winter season causes so many people to experience a sense of nostalgia. When we slow down, we’re given an opportunity to reflect on our lives — what may have happened in the past year, what we’re truly feeling, and the potential trajectory of our lives. Grief around what we no longer have may surface. Just as the remnant of leaves of the trees die away, so does winter ask that certain parts of ourselves do that same.
And so we get to be our own death doula. We get to lead ourselves through our own transformation. We CAN do it consciously. And while it might feel painful as hell to ease ourselves into that, especially if we’ve been conditioned to generate all the time, it’s a practice that pays dividends.
There’s a reason why an artist needs space to be an effective channel for art. In giving ourselves space, we get a better understanding of our lives, our thoughts, and our way of being. We also get the opportunity to connect with that death and dying energy, which is a deeply spiritual one. In allowing for space, we can start to invite in inspiration as well.
So in what ways are you giving yourself space either during your actual winter months or during your inner winter season where you just intuitively feel the pull inward?
Some of the practices that we can use to ride through the figurative winter season include the following:
Journaling -- building a practice of journaling helps us slow down and get in touch with what we're truly feeling, thinking, and observing in our life experience; in doing so, we see that what we're thinking is important and key to our transformation
Meditation -- incorporating meditation into your life can offer tremendous benefits when you cultivate a practice that feels good for you, and taking a little extra time to gift yourself this when you feel more inward will often times lead to profound insight and clarity.
Sacred Rest -- the act of intentionally bringing yourself to lay down and be with your body, be it in silence or with soothing music in the background. It also helps to build the practice of checking in with our bodies and asking if they need rest -- more often than not, they do!
Personal Rituals -- when you're sensing that things are slowing down in your world, establishing small rituals to honor that can make a world of a difference. This can look like lighting a candle or incense, anointing yourself in your favorite essential oil, self-massage, or whatever inspires you.
Prayer -- undoubtedly one of my favorite things as I start or end my day, but consciously taking the time for prayer is powerful in that we can consciously acknowledge the season we're moving through and ask for the resources and strength to navigate the changes and shifts with ease and grace from either our Inner Source or from God/Goddess. I find prayer to be such an incredible anchor, especially if we are moving through heavier experiences of doubt, hopelessness, grief, and fear.
Sound Healing -- remember what I said about winter and nostaligia? Sometimes feelings or memories that we may have shut out can hit us in these moments and cause our bodies overwhelm. A simple practice of humming can go a long way in helping us regulate our nervous system and come back to equilibrium.
Notice what methods speak to you. These are just some of the many potential venues that can be worked with. And if creating a practice or working with any of these feel foreign and/or of interest to you, this is exactly what I work with people on (and so much more!) through my services, more specifically when someone invests in a package of coaching or sound healing with me. If you are also curious about booking a free consultation call, you can do this here.
Feel free to let me know what your core takeaways are from this. Or let me know in what way you'll be supporting yourself through your next inner or actual winter season.
Blessings to you wherever you are,