Winter time is the ideal season for us to go inward; the weather keeps us at home on our days off, it gets darker quicker, and friends may be away for the holidays. And although it may logically be obvious for us to retreat and reflect, diving into our shadows is not an easy or comfortable job.
In Greek mythology Persephone was the Queen of the Underworld and Goddess of Spring, wife of Hades, sentenced to spend every Winter beneath the Earth. This myth can signify as a metaphor for our own inner dwellings of darkness. It is the symbol of retreating within ourselves, completely alone, to face whatever has been holding us back or bringing us down that year. It is the time to face the bad and the ugly; confronting our fears, healing trauma and releasing stories that keep us from being our best selves, so that we may return like Persephone, filled with love, light and immense growth.
During this season take some time to yourself to answer the questions below, making sure to truly reflect and dig deep. I have added some of my answers to get yourself thinking.
1. How are you giving your power away?
· blaming others for my “lack.”
· Letting small things that don’t matter ruin my mood; impatience, loss of control, uncontrollable circumstances or another person’s behavior
· Jumping on the complaining and negativity bandwagon in social settings just to fit in and feel accepted.
· Allowing the story and fear that my relationship will never work out just because my parents were unhappy; closing me off to living and embracing love, and appreciating all that my relationship and partner has to offer.
· The story and fear that I will never be financially free or I can only do something if the finances are there in that moment which makes me neglect the reasons why I am here in the first place and my purpose to help others heal, regardless of money.
2. How often do you say yes when you mean no?
· Mostly in work situations; taking on more than my body, mind and soul is healthily able to.
· Trying to schedule too much in when I really want to be alone.
3. In what ways are you playing small?
· My posture indicates my fear in life and closes me off to opportunities.
· Brushing off compliments about myself or my creative gifts.
· Comparing myself to others for not being where they are.
Now if you like, try to come up with at least one action step for each of your answers on how you can begin to change or let go of these ideas or behaviors. For example, an action step for my second answer in Question 3 could be that I humbly accept with gratitude and reflect that by sending love back and complimenting them in return. Not only will I be owning my uniqueness but I will also feel great as a result of spreading love to people around me.
Once you are finished with your action steps, create a beautiful poster with the mantra:
“No thing and no one have the power to take me away from who I came here to be!” - Cynthia James.
Repeat this and notice how empowering it makes you feel.
Next, reflect on the past year. You can divide it into seasons or think of it as a whole. Do what makes sense to you.
4. What are you releasing in 2018?
· Fear of love or being unloved when owning my power.
· The story that money determines the quality of my life or the amount of healing I can help others with.
5. What are you grateful for in 2018?
· The immense growth that came from separation.
· Finding hope and faith in a higher power.
· Taking leaps of faith.
6. What are your intentions for 2019?
· Take more risks.
· Open myself up fully to opportunities and life in general.
· Put myself out there to make more in person connections and friendships.
· Embrace and live in love as much as possible, especially in my relationships.
· Create more, volunteer more, heal more.
Here in MD, Winter is damp, cloudy, cold and heavy. In Ayurveda it is the season of Kapha which can really unbalance this dosha. While we are in this season it is extremely important not to become completely lazy, let yourself go and turn into a big sloth. We need to make sure that we are still allowing the flow of energy in our bodies and in our life in general so as not to fall into a rut or seasonal depression.
Some of the tips to keep yourself at optimal health and happiness include:
· Home cooking hot and healthy comfort foods like curries or sipping bone broth.
· Doing something fun, creative or productive when you are destined to be indoors.
· Making sure to move your body; dancing, yoga, running, hiking, snowboarding or any other activity that brings you joy.
· Moving the lymphatic system; daily dry brushing and oil massage, going to the sauna.
· Spending time near water; water is the element associated with winter. It brings us healing and balance when we take time to be near it and accept its sacred and healing capabilities. Visit a bath house, turn your hot shower or bath into a spa sanctuary ritual, visit the beach during the off season and bask in the stillness of the ocean. My love and I really enjoy driving a couple hours to our favorite beach in the off season or going up to the mountains to visit the Roman Bath House and take home some free mineral water.
Freedom is a choice. Our perspectives are a choice. Choose to embrace the beautiful gift of winter and allow it to be the transformational period that it is.
Thank you for reading this post, be sure to leave any of your favorite winter time activities in the comments below. Stay cozy!