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Throughout our winter season, the Earth has turned away from the sun reducing our access to that strong warming light, dropping temperatures, and beckoning us to retreat within where it is quiet and dry. We set up the hearth fires, and bundle up in sweaters and socks. Nature herself pulls back her energy: animals slow down and enter hibernation, rivers and lakes freeze over, plants and trees draw back their saps from the now long gone leaves and branches, and return it back to their roots where they can grow and expand a stronger foundation for the coming year.
The photo above by Leila Knapp perfectly depicts the sentiments of the winter season for me: although the sun may come out to shine on occasion, the branches are still barren and bare, the ground is hidden and covered with the white blanket of snow, and the branches also cast a shadow reminding us of the roots still alive and thriving underground. The tree has withdrawn is vital energies from the surface, and during these freezing temperatures – held long and hard for months – hunkers down below to focus its resources on the strongest and most vibrant of roots. New growth actually continues to happen for most plants, but only underneath where its foundation – the root systems - lie.
Have you been taking advantage of the energies of this season? It’s that time of year to withdraw from the outside and focus within to explore the health of your own root system to analyze “what-is”. Soon enough, we’ll all be preparing for spring: when we burst forward again with renewed vitality, anticipating actions for the summer, and maintaining a vision for harvesting the fruits of our labor in the fall.
Although personally I may moan and groan about the cold, I do find myself instinctively following nature’s flow. I get out large pots for cooking beans and root vegetables, and spend vast amount of time digging deep, connecting with Spirit, and dissecting what is and what is not working in the continued growth of my life purpose.
This instinctive practice in the winter may be adhered to throughout our natural environment, but we humans can also make the most of it ourselves. By projecting forward the right intentions for the coming year, we avoid just maintaining “what-is” by default and set out a clearer more directive path for the coming seasons. The tree itself chooses to abandon those root systems that are decrepit, old or plagued with parasites, and re-directs its energy flow toward what is strong and vital, ensuring that those key components to its foundation are given plenty of nutrients to continue to grow and expand.
If we can begin to look at the general picture of our lives in this way during the winter season, it can be a key investment in our time to do these full assessments, and set out our plans for a productive and efficient coming year.
My own practice is to listen to Spirit’s guidance by quieting down, taking time for deep meditative periods, and journaling to flesh out what I am receiving as new, intuitive ideas. I feel a tremendous amount of encouragement toward the next bolder vision for the entire year forward, and these new ideas spring forward from a place unknown. One thing is clear: they are creative, full of vitality, and hold a promise of a bright, colorful spring.
Although these views of the coming year may be sweeping, I know from experience that it is best not to set any plans in stone too early. We are all still in hibernation. Letting these new ideas simmer for a bit longer allow the flavors to blend and mingle, creating the perfect, flavorful pot.
The evolution of us all is fluid and mobile these days, shifting swiftly in direction and speed. So when we start taking action steps – preparing ourselves for spring – we will feel and be guided as to where the right plans shall move forward, and when to take action and when to wait.
This in-depth analysis and re-configuring of our foundation is truly the fruits of an abundant winter season. One where we come out of it refreshed and renewed, clear on direction, free from past, outdated systems that no longer serve us, and preparing our minds and activities for spring.
How have you been using the energies of the winter season yourself in ‘digging deep’?
Leave me your comments below, we’d all like to hear!