It’s deep winter…
The shortest day of the year represents the renewing of the cycle of life. It’s the darkest, most Yin and the most still and quiet time of the whole year. All of the energy for growth has retreated back into the Earth. Like the tree in Winter, we are pulled to hibernate, reflect, rejuvenate, in anticipation of the glorious burst of life that occurs in Spring.
Why is this important?
It’s a time for us to renew our energy: Sleep longer, exercise a little less, honour our desire for solitude and comfort.
It’s a time to go within so we can hear the whisperings of our heart. Reflect on our life’s course and how fulfilled we are from the choices we are making.
It’s a time for stillness: A quiet moment like the pause at the top of the breath, just before we exhale. This pause is far from empty but full with potential and possibility. It’s the Yin moment in our mostly Yang lives. It’s the chance to centre and ground ourselves before we react. It’s incredibly potent.
Why this is important is because when we allow ourselves to quieten and take pause from our busy lives, we have the opportunity to listen to what we really want.
Away from the cantankerous chatter of our “should haves” and “should have nots”, we hear or sense if we are happy, if we are on track with our lives, if we are honouring ourselves and if we are treating ourselves kindly.
And here’s the deal – the secret key to an extraordinary life – when we listen to our inner guidance we give ourselves the space to make deliberate choices based on authentic desires instead of the insatiable wanting of the ego mind.
Only then do we find the courage to live our true, authentic and fulfilled life.
What can we do to align with nature, quieten ourselves and hear the soul speak?
Here are 5 suggestions that will help you reconnect with the essence of Winter and with the guidance and wisdom of its rhythms and cycles.
1. Have a date with yourself in bed
Organise your life so you can sleep in for a few hours (or go to bed a few hours early). Have plenty of cushions and covers to keep you cosy. Grab a good book and make sure you have beverages – tea, hot chocolate, champagne, spicy mulled wine!
2. Do something Yin
Cancel F45, Pump or a hard slog on the treadmill for just one day (a week would be good ;)) and do a Yin yoga class instead. Or rug up and take a walk at lunch time in the sun to chat with the maggies. Or find the sunny spot in the house and, like a cat, lie in it stretch out on something soft. Just let your skin soak up the warmth of the sun for a while.
3. Eat comfort food
I’m not talking about the food we stuff in when we’re in avoidance but the food that is designed to feed our soul as well as our mouths – slow cooked lamb shanks with mashed potato, homemade pumpkin and ginger soup with thick slices of homemade bread dripping with butter, pot pie with a rich gravy centre covered with a butter- or lard-based pastry. YUM to the toes!
4. Go somewhere sacred
Sit in a quiet church and absorb the reverence. Go to the top of a look out and reflect on the view. Walk along the beach and quietly be with the waves. Walk into your yoga class as if you were walking into a sacred space – be still and be silent.
5. Practice being present
Stop thinking and talking for a while and bring your attention into the present moment. Open up the Insight Timer app on your phone and listen to something – it does’ matter what it is or whether its for 1 minute or 1 hour. Learn to meditate by joining a meditation class. Do yoga so you can experience the joy of yoga nidra (relaxation) at the end. Learn the Art of Feminine Presence from me in an upcoming class (shameless plug there!).
Having what you want!
Growing old is inevitable but growing up is optional! So it is said.
When we grow up we develop a maturity that we admire, take responsibility in a healthy way and do what needs to be done to have what we truly desire.
And that’s when life becomes truly delight-full!
These 5 simple suggestions may seem trite but practiced regularly will reward you greatly.
And isn’t your life worth it?