Love Lessons in Winter

Baby, it’s cold outside.

The days feel like they only last a moment, and then the sun starts to go down. “Nooo! I haven’t gotten through all the things I wanted to do today!”

It’s not summer anymore, friends. When the seasons shift so thoroughly and we have to look up from our laptops and grudgingly change our routines, we realize that there must be more to the picture. If Mother Nature is gathering a cloak of darkness around us and inviting her plants and creatures into a quiet, cozy hibernation for months on end, what is that supposed to mean for us humans?

These cycles of spring awakening, summer busyness, autumn releasing and winter naps are not just affecting animals and plants. Most facets of our lives and thoughts are affected; what we do in an average day, what we wear, which outdoor activity we do the most, whether we want to do a road trip or stay home by the fire, what we choose to eat, how we feel, and more. We are different. We are responding to nature’s shifts. Rather than pushing against it and trying to maintain that high-energy routine made possible by longer and warmer days, please pause.

What are you supposed to focus on right now? What does winter have to teach you this year? How is this season different than the fall, and how is this winter different than last winter?

It is a sacred time of slowing down. Just slow down. Take a calming breath. Pare down your wild list of things you have to accomplish and experience and become. Consider the themes of resting, of recovery, of reflection.

Do what calms you. Take slow walks through the ever-changing outdoors, allowing your senses to take in what is different than it was yesterday, than last week, than last month. What do you hear? What do you see? How does your body respond to nature? Can you take your time, sweetly interacting with our incredible earthly home?

Turn inwards, getting more in synch with your own mind, your intuition, your needs. Move your body in a conversational way, listening to the prompting of your heart, your blood flow, and your energy. Dance, or stretch, or flow. Relax with a book, enjoying the crackling of the fire and the snow falling silently. Bake cookies, drink something warm, chat with your family or roomies. Play an instrument, write a sentence in your journal, draw a picture. Take a nap! Do nothing, and feel great about it. Now is not the time to sprint or take on a bunch of heavy challenges. Take a raincheck on that, and snuggle deeper into your blanket.

Outside our windows, the garden is napping. These trees, flowers and shrubs spent all year happily turning toward the sun, drinking in all the minerals, vitamins, and hydration that they needed, knowing that the quiet of winter was part of their schedule. This season of rest is an essential part of their structure; their foundation. They prepared to rest, and now they are resting. Each plant is taking a break from that active growing stage, waiting until spring urges them to explore, stretch and expand.

How can we be more in-synch with Mother Nature?

Slow down, be quiet and listen. She’ll tell you all you need to hear.

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