Stepping into the throes of winter, I feel my mind, body and spirit sink into the cold embrace of the winter months in the Southern Hemisphere.
I grew up in Bangalore. It used to be known as the Garden City of India, famous for its pleasant weather conditions, all year round. So the aversion to the cold was strong and intense. Moving overseas, nearly fifteen years ago, I had to learn to cope with the winter weather.
My heart would slam shut as the autumn seasons brought a looming sense of doom to my extroverted self. Panic would creep in as the long dark nights ushered in the familiarity of the unknown, nudging me to acknowledge its existence. My mind would race a million miles an hour trying to find numerous ways to combat the sense of isolation, fear of loneliness and lack of sunlight to prove to me that there was light at the end of the tunnel.
The struggle was real. The resistance was strong. Much of my energy was expended trying to resist my perception of the winter months – of doom, gloom and disaster.
A WINTER STORY
Walking along the river one cold afternoon last year, the cold air kissing my face, my teeth chattering away, the fog closing in on me, my eyes barely registering what was in front of me, I heard the birds sing a little story to me.
A long time ago, when Winter was seeking approval for its existence, the Gods asked, ‘And what do you have to offer, dear Winter?’ With a fear of rejection in her eyes, Winter mumbled, ‘I know I am the least loved in my family (of seasons).
“I bring destruction to life as you know it. I make the warm smiles on beautiful faces turn into grumpy complaints. I stir up intense fear of the unknown, bringing darkness, wherever I go. Not many look forward to my visits, and most try to get away from me. But I stand in your presence today, as I believe I have something worthy to offer.
That, of deep transformation:
– I make known, in the dark, the outdated version of self that needs to die, to bring forth the birth of a new perspective on what it means to be fully alive
– I peel away another layer of ego that no longer brings a sense of unity, love and belonging
– I transmute everything that creates a separation from the life-force
ultimately creating a sacred space for the Phoenix within to rise from the ashes.”
The Gods beamed with joy. “Dear Winter, ONLY THROUGH YOU DOES DARKNESS HAVE THE CAPACITY TO ALLOW THE POWER AND WISDOM OF CREATION TO BE BIRTHED.” Winter smiled, humbly bowed before the Gods and gracefully accepted her rightful place in the universe.
COPING WITH THE TRANSITION
Falling in love with Winter does not come easy.
When I found myself finally surrender to the wisdom of winter to show me what she was asking of me, I recognised that which I was resisting was truly embracing the feminine aspects of me. Stillness, silence, darkness, patience, grace, softness, warmth, nurture, nourishment, care, love, intimacy and vulnerability – everything that winter has to teach us of our feminine energy, irrespective of whether we find ourselves in a male or female body.
If you find yourself resisting Winter, I invite you to:
· Allow the silence to be a reminder of the stillness that is present, within you, always.
· Embrace the darkness, just like you did when you spent nine months in your mother’s womb and let that nourishing vision bathe you with safety and love.
· When you feel the cold, let it remind you to create more warmth in your life. One simple and easy way is to spend time with people who inspire, nurture and care for your heart.
· Actively engage in attending to tasks that slow your system down, to match the natural rhythm of winter i.e. rest, sleep, yoga, nature walks, journaling, painting etc. Less resistance and more surrender.
MY WISH FOR YOU
May the winter months slowly ease your beautiful heart and mind just enough to nurture your soul’s need so that when it is time, it can spring open to life inviting the warmer months to burst with the energy of creation.