Yesterday was the winter solstice. I had wanted to write about the importance of wintering. Yet, I spent the day rushing around checking things off my to-do list.
In embodiment, we often talk about cycles or the four seasons. The idea is that there is a season for everything. Spring is the time of planning and prepping. Summer is the time of doing. Autumn is the time when we finish doing. Winter is the time of not doing.
Sometimes the cycles in our lives align with seasons in nature. Sometimes they don’t. Often, we are stronger in some seasons, but find others more challenging. We may be in different seasons in different areas of our life all at the same time.
Since I first was introduced to the four seasons in an embodiment context I have been more deliberate in how I approach my time. I have become comfortable with accepting that to everything there is a season. I have gained clarity on what seasons are easy for me, and what seasons can be more challenging.
As the natural world enters winter in the northern hemisphere I am finding myself also ready for some wintering. I am in need of not doing. Words such as rest, nourish, nurture, cozy, and sleep keep appearing in my daily journal.
At my yoga studio, folks would sometimes apologize for missing class stating that they had been so tired. I always encouraged them that they never needed to apologize for listening to their body and taking rest. Yet, there are parts of our society that discourage rest. We’re told we should work hard and play harder. Burnout seems a badge of honour to some. People brag about how many hours they are grinding.
Working with peers in embodiment we often noticed that winter was the most challenging season for many. Folks were great at tackling big projects. Then, as soon as they were finished they hopped right to the next. I can be this way. Some people never winter.
But, I am here to share another message. There is something deeply refreshing and rejuvenating to give yourself the gift of winter. Everyone’s circumstances vary, but can you carve out some time for rest, relaxation, and doing nothing over the next month?
Over the past few years, I have learned that the more I honour my times of winter the more I am at peace and the more I can return to my spring feeling vibrant and energized.
The holidays are busy. They can be fun, but can also be challenging. Taking some time to fill your own cup this holiday season with the beautiful gift of a little wintering might be just what your soul needs.