Winter is the season for rest, decay and preparation for ultimate resolution.
We’re offered a chance to relinquish old energy, so it may be cleansed in the spirit and slumber of winter’s embrace.
Some things I’ve learned, especially over these past couple years of enduring personal hardship, are quite simple to integrate into one’s lifestyle. It’s important to recognize that throughout the fall and into winter, nature is arriving at more of a restful state.
We are inseparable from the natural world, despite our insistency to behave like it’s mid-summer and it’s light out until 9 or 10 p.m. (go-go-go!) That being said, I’m learning to advocate for more rest periods, less productivity and more time for the body, mind and spirit to process yet another year gone by.
What I’m learning from ample time outdoors each day and evening is that stillness largely pervades the material plane, especially this time of year. The sap has receded into the roots, limbs droop as though trees are asleep, and the leaves they once bore now blanket the frozen soil.
The architecture of cold, creates new icy land mass over the creek that the hardy mallards and wigeons can rest upon during the bright and warm feeling, yet often deceptively cold days. It feels as though we’re in the midst of some alien frontier when the snowfall accumulates in heavy proportions.
Get outside and breathe in that fresh air. Let this cold nature consume you—feel it to your very core. Learn to accept it.
Many of our natural temptations are to remain isolated indoors for longer periods throughout the winter months, but I’ve learned to embrace the simple art of walking often to battle the mind’s depressive episodes that inevitably creep in, especially after the often-stressful holidays have subsided.
It’s a simple activity that usually births new insights for me to focus on as a means of steering away from neurosis or cabin fever.
Writing is another pastime I enjoy, to gather my thoughts on paper as a means of deciphering the source of whatever ails me this time of year.
It also serves as a great conduit or outlet to release whatever travails I might be suddenly stricken by—emotionally, mentally or physically (known or unknown).
We’re simply bringing to light, what the mind wishes for us to reconcile with or do differently. A great way to discover what’s limiting us is to get into a practice of automatic writing, where we simply write whatever the f*ck wants to flow out from our being. The intention is to let it all flow, absent any judgement or attempts to modify, edit or revise.
There’s a saying: Let it flow, then let it go. Burn it if you must, as a sign to the ethers that this energy is slated for cleansing and ultimate transmutation at its source.
No one else will read it, which can spell out an incredibly liberating method of release that frees us from the burden of carrying these thoughts or emotions within our body, mind or spirit.
Give it back to nature.
Let whatever stagnating energy that’s no longer serving you shed naturally from yourself. These cold, blistery months are meant for this process of decay, dormancy and eventual rejuvenation to unfold naturally. Being overly busy too often this time of year seems to induce unnatural stress levels that we were never designed to cope with.
Our connection to nature is never severed, and all that’s required of us is surrender.
Surrendering to the grander nature of our being and elements—allowing these sometimes incredibly uncomfortable moments to assimilate more naturally via rest, contemplation, writing or simply walking does wonders for a person’s spirits.
Now is the time to remain poised for what’s to come. These months are great planning periods for those apt to strike out toward a new career path or move. Getting back to the basics, like self-care and additional rest, will help the body restore its functions normally.
Sit with whatever comes up through you.
Provide a serene space for energy transmutation. Witness it with the intent of letting it go—giving it back to source. We’re learning to accept what just is. We are vessels through which this vital, life-force energy flows, and our primary function is to ensure there’s no impedance to this vast reservoir or potential energy which abounds us.
I used to bathe in my depression, and sometimes can still get overwhelmed by it, but I’ve learned that it’s much more complicated than I can truly comprehend. Many of us are sensitive to the world around us, or more empathetic to our surroundings. We feel greatly, which can be a simultaneous blessing and curse oftentimes.
My personal conviction is that some of us (empaths) are here to transmute energy that never belonged to our own, personal experience, yet nonetheless, we are the instruments through which this energy is meant to be observed, relinquished and eventually transmuted.
Over this past year too, I finally began to recognize my own, inner critic telling me that I’m an idiot for feeling so deeply, when I’ve fallen into such despair. This voice is only one from my past—born outside of myself—and I’m learning to stop judging these intense feelings that inevitably overcome me, these mid-winter blues.
Creating a sanctuary for one’s self to shed unwanted energy or alleviate past energetic distortions is paramount to the discovery of our deeper origins.
This space is reserved for quiet contemplation, creativity, rest and to shed those lonesome tears, absent any outside worldly influences, misconceptions or judgements. Animals often den up or hibernate in the winter, and this place can be viewed in much the same light.
Our denning period, where we grant ourselves permission to work out our karma and seek new pathways for the burgeoning seasons to come.
Lastly, I recommend intensive energy work or massage, coaching or some form of therapy like yoga or an art class to learn something new as a means of engaging our intuitive nature as well.
Addressing our creative tendencies is beneficial to overall health, and I’m glad I spent this period of time last year learning Reiki and attending monthly Reiki circles to mingle, and receive and give energy healing work amongst my spirited peers. Connection like this is crucial to a healthy existence. There are many ways we can meet connection out in the world, or within the safe confines of our denning sanctuary that promote health.
It largely falls down to body wisdom. Learning to turn inward more during these slow, colder months so that when spring finally arrives, we’re ready to literally spring forward into this next, new wondrous season of rebirth.
One final note—I also advocate a whole food diet, over the devastating vastness of processed foods, which largely condemn good health and are nothing more than a marginalized, subsidized and inappropriate method of madness, intended to create dis-ease, while promoting further demands for external health-care (big business).
Author: Thayne Ulschmid
Image: Noah Silliman/Unsplash
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina