We are half way through winter. How are you feeling? Do you get the winter blues, or is it your favourite time of year? Consciously connecting with the seasons of where you live is a wonderful, intimate way to experience Nature. As Earth Warriors this feeling of Nature within us is a massive part of our fuel and something that will help to keep us grounded – the more we get the better!
The seasons affect us. What our bodies need in summer will be different to what we need in winter, and each person will have a slightly different experience of what that need is. Some might pull on that winter coat and power on, others go into hibernation. Flower when you want to. There is no right or wrong. So how do we know what we need?
I do winter much like the forest behind my house. It’s my quiet time to rest and restore and generally get my hermit on, but not too much. I sleep more, and I plan stuff for spring, just like the flowering shrubs are getting ready to bud. I recently had a week at home and found myself tuning in to my intuition and listening to my body. Gentle, nurturing activity was the order of the day. I had planned to get heaps done, but I found that being rather than doing was what happened. I’d go to write but forgot all my words, so instead I’d follow the call to garden, or to read a particular book. At the end of the day I’m behind on my ‘planning’, but I’m way ahead on all measures of wellbeing. The garden – ready for spring planting (woohoo!). That book – couldn’t have been a more perfect way to spend my time, it lit a fire in my belly and got my mind back on track. Often the knowing of what is best for us at a given time is found in quite a different place from where the thinking what is best for us is.
Here is an exercise from my free ebook Beginners Guide to Soulstainability (enter your email below to get your copy) so that you too can access your intuition. It helps you get out of your thinking mind to access your body’s wisdom:
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, until you feel calm and relaxed.
- Next, bring the focus of your intention to that place in the centre of your abdomen that you feel when you ‘just know’ something, when you have a ‘gut feeling’. For me it’s just above my belly button (at the third chakra).
- Breathe into this place. You can even visualise pure light flowing in with the breath and lighting up that space. Continue doing this for as long as you want, until you feel it has a good glow.
- Next, ask yourself the question ‘what three things, from any area of my life, could I do to make a huge improvement in my health?’ Take the question from your brain right down into the stomach area you just activated and allow the answer to rise up from there.
- Now in the same way ask yourself, ‘of those three, what is the top priority right now?’ – This is where you start, go do it!!
Some other questions you can ask which are great for winter might be:
Am I getting enough sleep?
More darkness = more sleep time for most people, it’s the human animal (unless you’re a night owl!). If you feel like you get enough sleep but you’re still exhausted, ask what is draining your energy.
What food would most nourish me?
This should come as no surprise, but your body will want different food in different seasons, just as nature provides us with different food in different seasons. Especially ask this question if you’re finding yourself making food choices that you know aren’t great, because there is something that they’re satiating for you which you might be able to get in a healthier way.
How does my body want to move?
Exercise needs might be different with the seasons. Restorative yoga may be in order, or on the other hand maybe its time to start crossfit! Or, you might just find that a stroll through the forest is exactly what you need. It may also be a change in time, for example at lunch rather than 6am.
If you get sick that is often your body yelling at you to slow down or change direction. You can listen to its whispers before you get to that point.
As a sun-lover I personally find winter the most challenging month, so it’s all the nicer to find the things about it that are special to winter time and be grateful for them. I love this way of connecting to the seasons through the rhythms of my own life, and taking the bit of time to slow down. Is there any way you have of connecting with winter? Let me know in the comments!
PS. Don’t worry if winter is getting the best of you. This September I will once again be running my program ‘Spring Bloom’ to reset and restart your wellbeing. Details announced early August!