Here in the western hemisphere, we’re moving into longer nights….colder temperatures and, for me, the plants and animals, a season of quiet.
While most of our western culture wants to bring in light, movement and busy-ness to push away the feelings of darkness and solitude that brings along with it, my body’s natural rhythm is to get quiet.
As much as I want to join the holiday festivities, I just find, with each passing year, that it’s getting harder to pull myself up and push against nature’s natural rhythms.
When you look around, outside your window, as you walk, or on your way to work, what do you see? My guess, if you’re living outside of Florida, you see bare trees and shrubs, yellowed grasses. There’s a reason for that, and the animals know it, the plants know it. They go into a state of dormancy. This time of quiet helps them rest, repair and heal from several months of work and growth. This time of quiet allows them to prepare for what’s coming next. We humans seem to forget, because of our modern-day technologies, and to try to defy nature with lights, screens, music, continuing at a crushing work pace, and get to every single party and gathering because we have cars, planes, and trains to zoom us around.
This year, I’d like to invite you to join the rest of the natural world and, rather than running from the darkness, embrace it. Remembering that there’s a reason for the darkness. It’s a time to settle into the quiet. It’s a time to take for reflection, for healing, for slowing down, to listen to your inner voice and your heart’s needs and wisdom.
One of my dear friends recently gifted me with the book ‘Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Spirit and Nature’ . As soon as I opened it, I knew I’d found one of my new favorite books. I’ve been looking for ways to more deeply connect with nature, plants, the animals and the water, even though I live in an urban center. One of the chapters actually talks about the importance of darkness….how we’re always referencing ‘the light’ and searching for ‘the light’ and wanting to rid ourselves of ‘the darkness’. She writes that there’s also beauty in that darkness that we’re so urgently trying to run from and replace with the much-sought-after light.
I felt so validated when I read that. And then I felt like I had scientific permission to say ‘no’ to the invitations and parties and events and just Be. To be with myself. To sit quietly. To feel the plants and trees in my garden in their quiet, still, dormancy for these months and to connect with them while they’re resting and preparing for what lies ahead when the sun brings the warmth again.
And I’m choosing to snuggle down deeply with my books and puzzles and my loved ones and drink tea with my daughter on lazy Sunday mornings rather than rushing out to grab the latest deal at the store. I’m choosing to embrace the early evenings sitting by the fire with my family laughing, talking and watching holiday movies.
This last week, the power in only MY bedroom and the living room went out for a few days and instead of freaking out, I decided to embrace that dark in reading my books by candlelight, meditating, writing and letting my brain settle down from the day quietly. I guess the powers that be got my note about wanting to embrace the dark, too.
My hope, in writing to you this week is to offer up some inspiration and to possibly redefine what the cold season might look like to you and to carve out some place of quiet.
Whether it’s a few moments to sip your tea in silence or with a good friend over a video call….to wander in your open space to smell the fallen leaves and snow or rain. I invite you to find a good book and slow down with reading the words, touching the pages, smelling the scent of the paper, enjoying the drawings and pictures…..or maybe you’ll find an old hobby or craft project that maybe you’re too busy for other times of the year. Maybe there’s an old cookbook that’s been hidden on your shelf with one of your favorite recipes that needs revitalizing and ready for your family sit-down dinner. Maybe you want to find one of those adult coloring books and some colored pencils and let your mind wander while doing something child-like? We love ‘Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Coloring Book’
Whatever it is, I’d love to hear if and how you might create some slowness in your season. Let me know….but if that feels like just ONE more thing to do, just shoot me a thought about what you’re doing (or not doing) for yourself to give yourself that sense of silence, calm, reflection, rest.
My challenge to you this season:
If there’s one thing that you can do for yourself to slow down, what would it be?
1. Starting your day just an hour later?
2. Instead of buying physical gifts for others, what about gifting an experience? I’m asking my family for someone to get my ears pierced with me, breakfast together, someone to make me a coffee. And if you’d love the gift of health from ME, here’s a link to send to add to your wishlist.. I’m now offering gift card purchase options for yourself and others to start your year off in health and vitality! (more information below).
3. Do you love puzzles but have forgotten all about them? Borrow from a friend or find a good local store to find a fun and uplifting one to do with your family. My kids ACTUALLY sat down with me this weekend and we’re almost done with it, and they’re loving it!
4. Take a slow walk (without your fitbit to count steps and heartrate) around your open space.
5. Instead of watching TV at night, invite your family to read together on the couch. Either share a book together or enjoy your own. Right now, I’ve pulled out ‘The Mists of Avalon’ again, I’ve found a cool book called ‘The Green Witch’, and I love ‘Love Poems from God’ along with another one ‘A Fierce Heart‘. All of these books help me connect with my inner goddess and the natural world. My family is revisiting ‘The Alchemist‘ which I’ve mentioned in earlier writings. (and while I always go to local book sellers, I’m posting links here for these books, just in case you’re interested in more info AND you’re already doing some Amazon shopping….I’ll get a small commission from any purchases made through you clicking on links, which I appreciate and it helps support my little emails here)
6. Sit quietly in your own personal space and enjoy looking out the window and day dreaming.
Of course, these are only suggestions….
In the spirit of creating more time and space for yourself, and if you still love to gift-give, like I do, it’s ok to shop online, offer up experiences and to shop locally. I promise that local shop-owners and business owners really really appreciate you and your support.
Remember to support locally owned and operated businesses this season.
Always, in healing, quiet and listening to your heart,