WINTER

rhythms and cycles Jan 01, 2019

WINTER. KIDNEY ENERGY. WATER ELEMENT

A thick blanketed hush lays on the land now. Hibernating frogs are resting still on the bottom of creek beds. The heavy breath of sleeping foxes escapes from stolen dens. Flower bulbs buried deep within the folds of the earth are pregnant with spring time imaginings.

Shhh, no talking now. It is time for a rooted rest: to dream, to reflect, to imagine, to contemplate, to meditate. Because there can be no talking when you are deeply listening.

Your own highest self leads you forward now, down a dark forested path to a black, previously undiscovered glade. And it is in this hidden place that you find a pond, dark and purple. Water in its most healing form.

Without hesitation or fear, you begin to emerge yourself in these quiet waters, feeling their cool caresses gently take you in. It is here that this connective fluid force can soothe your fraught nerves and your exhausted mind. You feel the vibration of these rich amethyst waters settle into your cells.

This is the energy of water. And despite all of our extreme holiday activities, our hopeful resolutions, our tireless doings, the healing power of water, of winter, calls to us still. Like the skeletons of trees, bare and sturdy, we are asked to draw our energy deep into our roots. This is to bring our life force into our bones, strengthening, hardening our very framework.

It is the time of year when our ancestors would have counted their blessings and counted their food stocks as they fretted over how long the winter would be. Would they have enough? They knew what it was like to take the sharp cold, the black dark, the forced rest deep within them.

In our present land of excess, finely tuned thermostats, and perpetual electricity, we have forgotten how to quiet ourselves. But just as those artificial lights burn, so do we. We are burning our reserves, eating through our inner reservoirs of energy, fiercely resistant to the naturalness of rest.

Use the healing power of water, in metaphors or in physicality, to restore the bridge between your heart and body, versus continuing to act from willpower or push.

Spend time with water, listen to it, watch how it moves, sit by it, emerge yourself in it, inside and out. Drink it into your tissues. Feel the water within you ache to coalesce with water around you. Be a sinking stone in that dark purple pond.

Find calming forms of exercise, such as restorative or yin yoga, tai ch’i or qi gong.

Let yourself walk on the earth barefeet, rest your face on some wet moss, move slower and with intention.

Put nourishing, warming foods in your body that have been lightly cooked, such as stir fries, roasted veggies and stews. Thaw your bones. Warm your digestive system.

Go to bed earlier and sleep longer, letting your own natural hibernation and restoration take place.

Limit inside and outside stimulants, such as excessive exercise, caffeine, screen time, especially violent or nerve-frazzling entertainment. Instead let yourself feel safe and in trust.

Pay particular attention to this season if you are prone to overwork, adrenal fatigue, a fragile nervous system, have hormonal imbalances, such as hypo or hyperthyroidism, anxiety, chronic fatigue or back pain. So many of us overestimate where our true energy levels are, functioning from the fumes of our stress hormones instead.

Water washes us clean, willing all of the distractions, all of the noisy static to sift away. It coaxes us into a trust that we don’t need to push so hard to receive what is naturally coming to us.

Water lets us be softer, softer still, working with a way of creating that is based in flow instead of scarcity. Water asks all of our strivings and provings to settle into the pond floor.

In order to know real self-care, beyond consumerism and polished magazines, we must contact that wild woman inside of us, the one who dreams in thunderbolts, the one who always knows your original sacredness. She knows how to orient you beyond the material world, guiding you to the landscape of your deepest soul-psyche.

Let yourself be held in the yin of the yin, to know yourself in the deepest unlit pockets of the cosmos, silent and alive. Be willing to swallow the medicine of winter inside you. Let this practice of holy receiving turn you into a filled vessel, overflowing, overflowing still with a sense of authentic nourishment.  

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