Snow covered berries in winter

How to Embrace Winter and be Restored

My first winter living on the coast of California I couldn’t believe that red, purple and yellow flowers were in bloom. Many of the trees still had their leaves. I was enchanted with the succulents which I had never seen before. This is when I fell in love with the sky and the pacific ocean.

I was living in Mendocino Village. From every direction I had a view of the crashing waves and high cliffs above the Ocean Mother. The brilliant sunrises and sunsets drew me in with their reds and purples streaked by the winter clouds.

I don’t miss the bitter cold, winter months of the northeast where I grew up and have fully embraced the mild winters of coastal California. Although I do miss the snow. Having said that, in Santa Cruz winter is still a colder, darker time of year that takes some getting use to.

How does this cold, dark time of year affect you? Do you find adjusting to Winter takes some getting use to? When I remind myself of the very essence of winter, it helps me embrace the natural rhythm of it. Here are a few things that help me find my way into winters wise embrace.

Slow down in winter

Instead of the energized, outward energy of summer, in winter we go to the other side of the spectrum. The colder days and longer nights of Winter are a quiet, inward time of reflection.

Our go go go, do do do society loves summertime energy. Wintertime energy asks us to slow down. Slow is a natural and healthy way to feel in winter, even on the coast where the climate is mild. All that busy energy is in the womb of Mother Earth restoring our life-force.

Our fast paced, consumer based society doesn’t like slowing down.

But if you don’t take time out to follow the natural, slower rhythm of the season, you may get sick, forcing you to slow down anyway. I’d much rather slow down without being forced, although I’ve been forced to slow down many times.

Give yourself permission to sleep

If there was ever a season to sleep more it’s winter. Go to bed early, sleep late and take a nap. Let yourself off the hook and sleep when you feel tired. You’ll be rewarded in spring for conserving your energy in winter.

Take time out for quiet time and inner reflection

Wintertime energy lends itself well to inner reflection. This is the time of year to go inward. You can make the most of this potent time of reflection by taking time out in particular on the winter solstice. The winter solstice provides a special doorway of opportunity to tap into the energies of winter. It’s a chance to reflect on your life in a way that can provide learning and transformation. Sitting by a fire or by the light of a candle will add extra juice and connection to your inner reflection.

When you take time out to rest and reflect in winter you’ll burst forth with new life-energy in spring!

May the holidays fill you with warmth and joy. May you be renewed by the dream of winter and burst forth with new life in the coming year.

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