Seasons of Being: Winter
What We Learn From Going Inward
Everything in nature exists in cycles.
The tides flow forth and recede, in accordance to the moon that waxes and wanes in the velvet night, rising up as the sun falls into the horizon and following suit as the sun emerges once again. As the earth itself shifts in its yearly course, warming in the face of the sun then slowly turning into a quelled repose, we have our seasons.
A seed germinates in the darkness, in stillness, in solitude. It’s roots spiral out in delicate tendrils as it pushes it’s way up out of the ground and into the light, where it will bloom and blossom until, in its time, it begins to wither, to decay, to decompose back into the soil where the cycle will begin once more.
We too are conceived in darkness, we are pushed into light, we too blossom and bloom until, in our time, we slow down, our skin wrinkles, our bones become frail, and we return to the infinite that will birth new life in our place. Just as our lungs swell and compress as we inhale and exhale, as our hearts expand and contract to pump blood through our veins, life has a pulse. A rhythm. A cadence.
Likewise, as we journey from birth to death, we undergo a great many smaller, more subtle transitions along the way — our seasons of being — where we bloom, we thrive, we shift, we reflect, and begin to grow again in new ways. Our interests change, our wants, needs, even our values and the directions we choose to take.
These changes can be exciting and joyful, and at times they can be frightening and painful, too. It is important to remember, though, especially in times of fear or sorrow, that nothing in life is permanent — only change — so then, to change is to be alive and growing. It is evidence that we are moving forward and evolving. Change is the pulse of the soul.
We can experience a soul season at any point during the year — we can be in bloom during the Fall and release in the Spring, for example — but as we come into December and the end of this year, I wanted to explore Winter, and what we can learn from going inward in our process of becoming.
WINTER SOUL STATE
Winter days are shorter so we spend more time in darkness. Winter also carries the energy of water, which governs our emotions, our relationships, our relationships with ourselves, our creativity, our subconscious, and how we express ourselves in the world around us. Water is reflective and the cold slows us down, draws us inward, quiets us, so that we may reflect upon what has brought us into the present and where we would like to go moving forward.
Like fresh snow that covers the ground in pure white, Winter is our blank slate.
We enter this phase after moving through a period of release or loss; Perhaps we have decided to end a friendship or relationship, quit a job, or change careers altogether. Perhaps we have lost a loved one, or our home. It could be leaving a city — or a country even — and moving somewhere new. Whatever the case, we have let go of something familiar and find ourselves in a realm of unfamiliar, and in this new space we are faced with the task of redefining and redesigning who we are and how we want to express ourselves.
We may feel lost, empty, naked, vulnerable — fearful of the unknown ahead. We wonder who we are now, what we are to do, how we are to be. But it is in this darkness, this void, this stillness, where we begin to hear the whispers of our spirit, where new perspectives, new interests, new desires, begin to reveal themselves; New passion, new meaning, begins to emerge in our hearts. We are like the seed silently germinating in the black soil.
This is a time to meditate, to go inward and explore, examine, assess, take stock. To fantasize, imagine, dream, visualize, to nourish, rest, restore, repair, heal. To take a walk in the woods or a long bath. To journal. This is your white canvass, your new chapter. How will your paint it? What will your next story be?
- What have I let go of? What have I walked away from, said goodbye to, ended, released or outgrown? How does this new space feel? How do I feel in my heart? My mind? My body?
- Who or what has made a significant impact on my life?
- What new experiences have I had and what have they taught me?
- What are five things that I have learned about myself?
- What patterns or themes have I noticed in my life? How do I feel about them? How do they serve me? How do they get in my way? What would I like to change?
- What are five words to describe how I would like to begin to feel?
- How do I think others see me? How would I like them to see me?
- What does my ideal day look like? My ideal environment? My ideal relationship? My ideal body?
- What new habits would I like to create?
- What would I like more of in my life? Why? How will these things positively impact me?
- What do I know to be true?