“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”
There is a big push to create New Year’s resolutions in the collective consciousness, but winter tells of a different story. A story of barren trees, dry grasses and possibly, snow covered hills. This is in direct response to the downward energy of the winter season. A stark contrast from the cultural energies of the holidays where over committing, over indulgence and over spending dominate our existence. Then we feel the need out of all this hustle and bustle to make grand declarations to change our behavior, often driven from outward pressures rather than inward desires. Maybe winter can offer us a new perspective that flows with nature rather than enculturation?
The Winter Cycle
Come January 1st, there is a palpable push to make changes. People join the gym, or start a diet in attempt to turn over a new leaf. But if you take a look at nature there are no leaves to be found. In the natural timing of the earth (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), she has just begun the downward shift in energy that goes along with this time of year. Her thoughts are on rest and conservation as she draws energy back into the center of her being. Winter is the season of pure essence. Rather than expending energy to furnish her extremities with leaves and blossoms, nature draws all of her energy inward to the zero point of her being. The place of pure potential and creativity. As Dr. Joseph Cardillo explains in his book The Five Seasons, “ Winter is the time and energy to begin to creatively assemble this wisdom and potential into little bundles of energy that will act like the DNA of your dreams come springtime.”
As humans, we linger on the periphery of this knowing. We sense a need to spend more time indoors, going to bed early with the waning in daylight hours, and satisfying our appetites for home made stews and soups. In a way this is all about tending to our core. The advice of winter is to go much deeper than that. It asks you to draw all of your attention inward and not to diffuse your energy with beginning new projects and commitments, instead to let this be a time of teeming creativity. In this light, does it make sense for you to force yourself to awaken in the darkness and cold chill of the morning air to head to the gym to begin a new exercise program? Most people don’t make it 3 weeks before giving up their resolution. Just maybe there is a better way?
There is some preparation that needs to be done as we head into winter. Just as nature does its own self-pruning, we must do the same in order to keep our energy centered. Ask yourself, are there incompletes in your life that can be taken care of to avoid scattering your energy. There will always be on going projects, jobs and relationships in our lives, but there are also many things we can let go of. Sometimes they no longer serve who we are or can be done with little effort. Often we let the little incompletes pile up and on their own they don’t take up too much psychic space, but in groups they can be a huge drain on our energy. So make a list of your incompletes, and finish as many as you can as we head in the winter season. This frees up your mental, physical and psychic energy for creativity and new potential.
Symptoms of the Season
There are several common symptoms of imbalance that arise from living in contrast to winter’s energy. Our society expects us to keep producing. We are asked to continually increase our productivity. This can create a disconnect between how we feel at our core and what is asked of us in the outside world. It is not uncommon to feel drained during this season because of this. Also, this disconnect can cause some to be anxious. Subconsciously we can sense this incongruence and all of the expectation and frantic energy of the holiday season can increase anxiety. When we don’t honor the seasons, we tend to think our actions and behaviors should be constant. For example, we might expect ourselves to maintain the high activity levels of the summer in the winter which doesn’t honor the shift in energy. Instead of knowing that is part of the cycle, we use this information as further reason to distrust ourselves.
A New Perspective
So you might be asking yourself, does this mean I shouldn’t try to make healthier changes? The answer is no. If I were going to dispense a little tough love, I would remind everyone that any moment can be a moment of change. There are ways to make those changes more aligned with the natural world. If you are truly ready to make the changes, then you won’t wait until a certain calendar date to begin, and chances are you have already begun. When something is part of you the energy expenditure is different than starting fresh from a place of lack and distrust. Many people making New Year’s resolutions are wanting to make changes because they should, not because they really want to. So, if this is you, make this time your planning stage, let the potential build within you. You will know when you have acquired enough energy and desire to make enduring changes. Put your focus on the inner work that needs to be done through mindfulness, education and self-awareness. Let your creative juices flow, write ideas down and let them linger in your field of pure potential. So that when you are fully restored, and your energy is on an upward swing, you can truly blossom.
We need to learn to trust ourselves again; to know that being in the flow of the natural cycles doesn’t mean we are lazy, a failure or in a slump. Nothing about us is constant, so instead of berating ourselves for not being as productive in the winter as we are in the summer, instead just be a gentle observer and listen to your body without comparison. Rather than feeling that things are falling apart, can we recognize the changes in energy around us and see how that manifests in our lives.
There is a time for everything and everything has its season. It is part of the richness of life to embrace the gifts and fruits that every cycle has to offer. No living plant or animal continually produces, there is always a time for rest and rebuilding. So before you hastily declare your New Year’s resolution, take winter’s advice and let the potential linger a little while longer.
Angela Levesque is writer, healer and radio host. She works with clients doing intuitive lifestyle coaching, energy healing, awareness development and mind/body weight loss. Angela also teaches several classes on self-care and is the author of Healing Environment: The Conscious Creation of Health Visit www.hestiahealth.com for more information. Find her on https://twitter.com/HestiaHealth and http://www.facebook.com/hestiahealth.