I have felt pretty pleased with myself the last couple of years on how I’ve changed my attitude towards winter and the darker months. I used to dread them, I’d go as far as to say ‘hate them with a passion’, but this left me wishing away huge chunks of time (and my life) pining for Spring, daylight and warmer days. Instead of waking up and dreading the dark I started to appreciate waking up to the stars, the moon, running in the dark and feeling like the only person in the world, getting to see those dramatic winter sunrises, and the patterns the frost makes. Finding the tiny little things in each day that I enjoyed, and appreciating the time to slow down, reflect, and turn inward. Not to say that any of this happened overnight, it was a little at a time. But the decision to change my mindset, and consciously correct my thoughts as soon as I started along a negative train of thought… it made the biggest difference. My mood changed, I felt lighter and happier, and winter didn’t seem such an awful dark hole of time. Having said that I have definitely felt myself craving warmer days recently. So no-one is perfect. But this year I have noticed other changes within myself, and how I approach the seasons and that’s what I’d like to talk about here today.
Winter this year I was feeling the need to keep working, keep being productive. I had all these ideas and plans that weren’t moving forward fast enough for me, so despite it being winter and my body giving me all the signs to slow down, I kept pushing forward – I still have a stubborn streak even after all I’ve learned! (it’s my little Scorpio heart). I should point out that I wasn’t actually achieving anything even though I was pushing forward. Everything was resisting me (it has really been a huge lesson in tuning into what’s going on around you and not forcing things). As is always the way, in the end my body forced me to stop: ended up at the hospital Christmas Day with a kidney infection….. and what followed was a week of total bed rest. But then a funny thing happened. I recovered slowly. I accepted the pause, and I felt SO refreshed. It’s funny, although I felt awful while I was sick, I’m so grateful for the break it gave me. Having to switch off entirely and think about nothing but sleep and feeling better was just the thing I needed to come back to a new year feeling fully refreshed, full of ideas, optimism, and a huge drive to succeed!
“flowing will get you places
forcing never could….”
In tune with the seasonsEach season in nature teaches us something. How we should be and where we should be directing our thoughts and energy. I will talk through my take and experience for each season below, but I think the most important thing to take away is to follow your intuition and listen to your body…. don’t just mechanically keep repeating the same things you’ve always done. Tune in to you circadian rhythm and how your body in programmed to react to the changes in light and dark throughout the year…..
WinterWinter is a time for quiet. For turning inwards, for reflection, for doing the inner work. It is also a time of rest. For letting your body rest most importantly. Just like in nature when plants conserve their energy underground, when trees are bare, the days are shorter, animals grow thicker coats and many hibernate for the winter. Make your home cozy, stay warm, eat warming foods, embrace staying home more, resting, hibernating, and allow yourself to sleep longer.
SpringSpring is the season for new growth. For moving forward, for expansion. Use all that energy you built up over the slow winter months to take leaps and bounds forward. Start new projects. Get outside. Laugh, explore, clean your space and make room for new things. Create! This is the season of new beginnings! In nature the flowers are growing, putting out shoots, starting to bloom, the animals are coming out to play, pro-creating. Everything is full of life and energy. Wake up, make plans, be excited about the time spread out in front of you.
SummerThe sunshine season. Soak up all that vitamin D, drink lots of water, absorb the heat, get outside as much as you can, flourish and thrive. This is a time of bounty, to reap all the rewards of the seeds you sowed in the spring and all those plans you put into action. In nature the trees are spreading their leaves, the bees are collecting pollen, the flowers follow the sun, everything is bearing fruit and animals are tearing their young. Keep moving forward steadily and surely. Keep productive, enjoy your work. Life is a beautiful thing, enjoy it and spend time with your friends and loved ones.
AutumnAutumn is the golden season. The air starts to get crisper, the leaves start to fall. Start to release and let go of the things that no longer serve you, the patterns, routine and habits that are not for your greater good or are holding you back. In nature the trees are losing their leaves, they are creating chestnuts & acorns, the animals are collecting food for winter, preparing. The flowers are dying…. everything starts to slow down in preparation for winter. Autumn is a time of harvest. For collecting, and reaping the rewards of all the hard work you’ve put in throughout the year. For reflecting on your achievements and how far you have come. How far you have grown through the year. And there you have it. My thoughts for each season and some things to think about as you start and work through each season of the year…. I would love to hear your thoughts and any experience you have with living in rhythm with the seasons. If you would like to take this practice a little further I have created a PDF of journal prompts that you can download to work thorough in your own time. Whether you journal, or meditate on each I hope they help you to keep living the best version of yourself. Just follow the link below to have your free PDF sent straight to your inbox. Enjoy!!