Winter and the Water Element – a time for silence & stillness
If I were to sum up last year it would be “busy…busy…busy”, and for some reason I feel very ashamed saying that – I left no time to simply ‘be’, I felt a constant need to ‘do’. In hind sight there was a perverse buzz from being so busy in which my ego relished – it was as if all this rushing around and being busy made me somehow important and relevant to the world… What a trap!
After an equally un-relaxing Christmas and countless messages from obscure sources urging me to calm down, I am finally acting and consciously listening to my knowledge of Chinese Medicine and meditation in terms of honoring the tides of the seasons, which prompted me to write this post as I know I am not alone in getting caught up in the whirlwind that surrounds us.
Winter especially calls for us to turn our attention inwards, to nurture ourselves and to face the darkness rather than keeping on searching out the light, i.e distraction of being busy. I always feel its no coincidence many people suffer from melancholy at this time of year; we are running away from ourselves and from the true energy of the season – we are running against the tide, which is never easy or comfortable. Its easy and common to fear turning inwards to face our deepest selves and our potential darkness, so we continue to accept invitations to socialize and are attracted towards the light of distraction in all its seductive forms to take us from listening to what is going on inside.
True peace and happiness is found when we dare to switch off, create silence and listen to the voices within and create stillness that reflects the inertia and hibernation of winter.
In January we are given the most wonderful opportunity to slow down, to rest, and to listen to our inner intuition, however, this in itself takes discipline. Just as nature has frozen in time and has stopped we should do the same – surrendering to the seasons is the most powerful way to keep healthy and in touch with the tides that makes most sense to our being.
Take heed and look within, don’t be afraid – nurture yourself with meditation, self-acceptance and silence.
“SILENCE IS THE SOURCE OF GREAT STRENGTH” LAO TZE
My keys to creating peace and happiness in the winter:
Sleep. The power of rest should never be underestimated but least of all now – we need to recuperate from the previous year and create fertile ground, i.e. stillness of mind for the germination of new ideas that will grow in the spring.
Eat warm nurturing foods: Gone are the crisp salads and cold juices of the summer, keep warm with nourishing soups and stews so that the digestive system has to do as little work as possible.
Meditate: sit for 10-20 minutes in the morning and in the evening to give your whole system, body, mind and spirit an intended break, creating space and stillness from where true power comes.
Evenings in with candles and books: My all time favorite thing has to be lighting a candle and settling down to read a good book! Treat your evenings this January as mini retreats – turn off all electrical devices and the TV, create a clean and tidy space, light a candle and settle down with a book, relishing in the silence and peace. This can’t help but to restore, inspire and calm…