I used to be one to try and ignore the seasons, in a sense. I believed that if I could go for an early morning run in summer, then the cold mornings of winter shouldn't stop me! That I shouldn't go to bed earlier, just because I felt like it. It's just darker - and that's lazy!
Since abandoning this 'tough approach to life' mental state, and leaning into softness, allowing and Mother Nature - I have become more aligned with the natural, balancing, healing rhythms and cycles. And in turn, become more in-tune with myself.
Living by the Earth's Cycles is a deeper way to connect to Mother Earth and to live in harmony with nature and the environment.
So, as we embrace the next 6 days before the Winter Solstice, I want to share with you what I'll be doing - to allow Winter's wisdom to be felt and heard.
- Day 1 - MENTAL
- Day 2 - CHAKRAS
- Day 3 - FOOD
- Day 4 - SLEEP
- Day 5 - MOVEMENT
- Day 6 - BALANCE
- ON THE WINTER SOLSTICE - Join us for a Meditation and Women's Circle here.
So what is the Winter Solstice?
The Winter Solstice marks the middle day of the year. It is the shortest day and longest night of the year. It also represents the time, in the Southern Hemisphere, when the Sun begins to shine his light on us - stronger and longer every day, leading up to Spring! It is the day when the growth of warming daylight expands!
The next 6 days are the ultimate time to start utilising the tools, gifts and messages Winter has brought us. As Winter creeps into our bones, nature grants us with shorter days to retreat earlier from our busy days. She brings us the perfect opportunity to NURTURE - rest, recover, replenish and rejuvenate.
She is the season of stillness and moving inward.
Each season brings us particular tools, gifts and messages that are available to us, if we take the time to connect - and Winter wants to work with us, if we'll allow her. So, I've written a little more on how you can embrace this, by implementing one thing, each day, to strengthen your connection. And gain all the benefits of this magical time!
Day 1 - MENTAL
Repeat the affirmation below...
"Enter the mind of Winter. Be like water. Go with the flow; rather than interfering with action, become part of it, allowing things to go their natural course. Be like the mirrored surface of undisturbed water - keep your mind still and awake, softly reflecting everything, lovely or dreadful, without allowing anything to get stuck. Be soft on the outside and strong on the inside. Be fully aware. Be slow, observe, take note, be introspective, and ponder. Respond in tranquility. Respond in peace." (Joseph Cardillo, The Five Seasons.)
Start with just today. And if you can, repeat it once a day over the next 6 days.
Winter suggests we mindfully shut down distractions, as well as minimise the attention we're giving to those things draining us.
Day 2 - CHAKRA BALANCING
Balance your Sacral Chakra - 3 ways...
- Close your eyes and visualise the area just below your belly button. Imagine an orange sphere sitting there, beneath your skin. Start to imagine it glowing, and that glowing orange colour filling up your whole lower abdomen. Once you've visualised this, start trying to visualise objects that are orange in colour - mandarins, sunrise, a candle glow, a pumpkin, orange leaves - anything that comes to mind. If you can keep going, visualise yourself wearing an orange outfit, with orange shoes, orange nail polish, an orange hat and anything else you can picture.
- The Sacral Chakra's element is Water. Try and spend some time near water today - the ocean, a lake or river.
- Wear a crystal/s associated with this Chakra - Orange Carnelian, Amber, Orange Calcite, Citrine.
The Sacral Chakra is associated with Winter. It is the colour orange and is linked to the hips, lower back, sexual organs, bladder, kidneys, bodily fluids.
Being unbalanced in this chakra could manifest as aches or pains in the lower abdomen with possible bladder, urinary and kidney infections. You will lack creativity, feel sluggish and have a weak sex drive.
If your Sacral Chakra is balanced you should be self confident, know where your strengths lie and be able to handle what life throws at you.
Day 3 - FOOD
Cook a breakfast, lunch or dinner that includes easy to digest foods...
Food that creates warmth and helps regulates digestion. Potatoes, carrots, turnips, onions, beetroots, squash, grains, beans and nuts. We should be slowing down, and therefore our Digestive and Lymphatic Systems will do also.
Trying to keep a diet of mostly raw has been extremely difficult for me, since the days have gotten colder. I don't 'feel like' cold salads for dinner, and am finding it difficult to get my frozen smoothie down in the mornings. So I'm listening to my body and giving it the warm (cooked) foods it needs and wants.
Also! Always eat foods that are in season! You can check your local area here - Seasonal Food Guide
Day 4 - SLEEP
Go to bed 1/2 an hour earlier tonight...
Wind down, retire and go to bed earlier tonight - and for the next 6 days if possible. Get up with the sunrise - this is obviously a lot later in the morning. So again, if possible. Find time for naps and release the guilt around this. Finding it difficult to fall asleep? Get your hands on some Serenity in a bottle - Lavender Oil!
"In the darkest part of the year when the days are shortest, Nature asks us to slow down...Under the ground the earth silently sleeps. Seeds rest in suspended animation, and the animals hibernate. In contrast, we humans rush frantically to the malls, stressing ourselves with activity when we really need to rest, dream and gather strength in our bodies for the coming season of renewal. For many people...taking the time to dream and rest is seen as a sign of laziness. However, nature teaches us that resting, drawing inward for a time, is present in all living things. Rest is necessary for growth that comes later in the season. The Sun will return.” (www.mysticmamma.com)
Day 5 - MOVEMENT
Get 1/2 an hour of Yoga or Stretching in...
Winter is Yin energy. This is feminine, cool, dark, moist, downward and still. This season is all about conserving and storing energy. Keep excessive activity to a minimum. Replace some of your evening runs with soft moving yoga - indoors, with candles lit.
You could simply just lay in Savasana for 30 minutes. In the seasonal cycle of life, Spring represents birth and Winter reflects death (metaphorically). This yoga pose, which simply involves laying still on your back with your arms resting by your side (and doted as the most difficult Yoga pose!), is also called 'Corpse Pose'. This is nothing to fear, and is not associated with death as we think - it simply represents that after each yoga practice, we emerge anew.
Day 6 - BALANCE
Stay in tonight...
If you've been at work all day, it's time to balance this out with some rest time. Read a book, write in your journal, research or study something that interests you, learn, watch a documentary, curl up in a blankie and watch a movie.
‘During the winter months all things in nature wither, hide and return home, just as lakes and rivers freeze and snow falls. The philosophy of winter is one of conservation and storage.’