This article is a part of my ‘Living with the Seasons’ series. It’s adopted from notes from a series of seminars, on-line courses and chapters of several books I’ve written.
Living with the Seasons
As we are a part of nature, also the cycles of nature are within us. Nowadays, in our so called ‘modern world’ so many people are almost unaware of the natural seasons. Most people are just so busy, pounding away on the treadmill at full speed, they barely slow down to take notice of the seasonal changes. It’s often said; ‘who cares?’ … and of course if all that one is concerned about is earning money and not truly nurturing their essence, then they just simply wouldn’t care. Care is synonymous with love. The quality of our relationships reflect how we care about our-self. If these individual don’t care about their relationship with nature, how could they truly have love for themselves or others?
The Magic of Winter
Winter is a very special season. It’s the mystical time for dwelling into the realms of our unconscious. Our unconsciousness is that aspect of us that is unknown. Yet here lies the potential to learn much more about our-self. Winter is the darkest season of the year. For most of humanity, throughout many cultures worldwide, winter has been recognised as the most mystical and sacred time. Traditionally, it’s been a time of coming together, as a collective, with tribal and family gatherings, community and cultural celebrations, etc.
Even today, our most significant annual event is centred around the middle of winter. Of course in the northern hemisphere this has now been hijacked by what has become known as Christmas and the now New Year which has been shifted to January. Yet, in the southern hemisphere where we live in Australia, our winter is mid-year in June.
What does Winter mean for you?
I guess, it’s fair enough to say that winter is just seen as an inconvenient time for most. It’s a natural phenomena that is just cast upon us every year. It’s when we need to get the ‘winter woollies’ out and light-up the fire place again. Yet, it really means much more than that. It’s the seasons that bring contrast, colour and aliveness to our world. Yet, in our so called ‘modern-age’ most people are generally distracted by the worldly events that consume them, most people have little or no idea what this natural event is really about. Today only a handful of conscious beings are aware of the significance of this natural phenomenon.
Once upon a time, mankind was more in tune with nature and with themselves. Winter can be seen essentially as a time of reversal. It’s a turnaround from an outer expression to an inner reflection. Along with this is also a reflective effect. This time of reflection can have a profound transformation upon our life.
Winter in essence, is akin to the night-time. This is the deepest, darkest part of our cycle. This deep, dark period is a time to connect to the deepest, darkest and mysterious part within us. This is the most ‘Yin, and ‘negative’ aspect of our psyche. It’s a time of inner exploration and reflection.
Everything and everyone has a shadow. A shadow is the opposite character of the self is embraced. Winter is the season to slow down, go within, relax, unwind and embrace our shadow. With the natural falling away of our outer-directed energy, winter is the time to retreat and journey within to the realms of the unconscious and nurture the essence of our true self.
According to the eastern philosophy of Traditional Oriental Medicine, winter is Yin in nature. Yin is known as being passive, inactive, resting and introverted. Healing happens in our Yin phase. This is the time to become more introspective and consolidate our focus within.
Traditional Oriental Medicine has a concept of Chi. Traditional Oriental Medicine also acknowledges winter as relating to our ‘Kidneys’ which stores our ‘Jing’ essence. Jing is the Traditional Oriental Medicine expression for the ‘essence of Chi’ that supports our vital life force, and is considered one of the “three treasures” that keeps our mind, body, and spirit in balance. Traditional Oriental Medicine considers the Jing in our kidneys, as like batteries, which defines our basic constitution. It’s intimately detertmines our growth and maturation. It determines the strength of our bones, our vitality and willpower. While the gradual depletion of Jing is natural, as we age, much like a battery wears down over time, ancient oriental medical texts promote a number of ways to cultivate our Jing. Winter is the time to rejuvenate our Jing.
Life-style is a most important aspect of good well-being. Winter is the time when our hibernating instinct will draw us to naturally require more sleep with the longer nights. This winter, take time to go within, rest and focus on recharging your batteries.
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