In the grand scheme of all things natural, winter is the time to relax and restore your self. Plants wilt, trees lose their leaves, birds migrate, and bears slumber for months on end only to come back in spring energised and ready to take on the world again. Why should we behave any differently?
As humans we seem to think that we are above the rest of nature, forgetting that we are but a small part in a much larger system. The ego is a powerful thing and because of it we’ve created a society that doesn’t allow space for the natural flow of the seasons that we should be a part of, and this is a seed of much of our suffering as humans. Work doesn’t slow down, business hours don’t shorten, and life just keeps buzzing along in the cold darkness. You’ll get a holiday break for a week, if you’re lucky, but is that really enough?
Winter should be a time of reflection over the past year as this cycle comes to an end. Take note of yourself, where you’re at in the world but most importantly how does your body feel? What does IT need? It most likely needs to recover from the past year. Slow down, stop, hibernate, rest.
We have this desire to continue producing, creating, working, and for what really? Will the world come to an end if you step back for a bit? If your whole life is spent chasing things that exist outside of you, keeping up the facade, what kind of life will you have actually led when it does come to an end, when your winter comes knocking at your door?
I’d love to hibernate the winter away, cozy in a cave someplace, but I generally migrate to the sun for about a month each winter. This year the universe has something different in store for me it seems. I’m always watching the signs and signals it’s putting out and never really planning as much as just going with the flow of all things life. I’ve been watching for the right trip, location, opportunity to show itself to me but I’ve had no such sign. Then out of nowhere I had a bad fall while running through the autumn leaf lined trails in the park near my house. I messed my ankle up quite a bit and now I have had to literally ‘slow down.’ I laughed when it happened, I had gotten the sign I was looking for I guess, I knew then that I would be staying here this winter. That I would properly hibernate, reflect and care for myself in the cold and darkness that is Amsterdam this time of year.
I will do less, see fewer people, work less and enjoy the rest and recovery of being in my own home. I will nest and I will love it. Besides, it’s only human. I highly recommend you do the same. But what do I know, maybe you need to piss off to Mexico. Just do what feels right, don’t try to fight nature, and don’t feel bad for wanting to slow down and hide away. Get out of your head and listen to what your body needs. Enjoy wintering in whatever way you can.
Since the sun has left us for a while turn your focus to the light within. Make it shine brighter.