Top 10 Ways to Illuminate Through Winter
“It’s winter, the time of year when nature whispers.”
I hope you enjoyed a happy solstice yesterday – winter solstice for you northerners and summer solstice for you southerners! Did you acknowledge it in any special way?
I love learning about and trying others’ rituals and celebrations to be more present in my life, while also honouring the past and future.
My family and I had fun welcoming the winter with our ski community at a Solstice party. I also took some solo time outside in the snowy darkness to come back to myself after a busy day, reflect on my action packed autumn and imagine the winter to come.
“From the dark, to the light” is the message I heard as I listened to the snow fall, the squeaks and crunches of the Lake Superior ice, and to my inner self.
As a Canadian, I tend to think of winter as the dark season, because it can feel so dark, cold and long. But this little reminder message highlights that in fact, day by day, the light is returning. And this is exactly how I view “symbolic” winter.
If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I’m an outdoor lover who often looks to nature for guidance. To everything, there is a (symbolic) season. If spring is the season for new beginnings, summer for abundance, autumn for change – then winter is the season for going within to illuminate the way forward.
For me, winter is the second phase of the symbolic cycle of seasons (with autumn as the entry point). The inner work amps up during this phase of “dreaming and planning” before the “leaping into action” of spring.
Even if you are in the Southern Hemisphere and celebrating the start of summer, you can infuse the lessons and energy of winter into every day of your life!
Try these Top 10 Ways to Illuminate through Winter:
- LISTEN– In the silence of winter, the inner work continues. Notice what is calling to you and also hear what your heart has to say. Follow your intuition.
- ILLUMINATE – Shine light on your fears and desires, your obstacles and solutions, your limits and strengths. The more you find, the more you’ll flow.
- WONDER – Be curious and creative about all of the possibilities available to you. Wonder about the options for your life and experience moments of everyday wonder.
- DREAM – Open up to all of your hopes, wishes, ideas, goals, wants and desires. Dream deeply, widely, wildly and freely. Record your ideas.
- LEARN – What can you learn about your favourite desires? Read, watch, study, talk with others or try them out to discover as much as you can.
- INTEND – Turn your “I wish” into your “I will” by claiming your deepest desires and moving forward with the intention of pursuing them.
- BELIEVE – Trust that you have everything you need (or the ability to figure it out) to follow and fulfill your heart’s desires.
- RECEIVE – Embrace support from others, especially those who believe in you and your vision or have expertise to guide you – and especially in this vulnerable season of contemplating new adventures.
- PLAN – This is officially the planning phase, to strategize about how you’ll move from dreaming to doing. In doing so, you’re also planning for the inevitable change of seasons.
- ALIGN – Move through this season grounded in knowing who you truly are. Align your plans and actions according to True You, and you’ll be on your way to enjoy more of what matters most to you!
And what if you’re not feeling this winter energy? Remember that this is a metaphor, so you may not be in this season of life (even if it is actually winter). The number one rule is to . . . honour the season that your body tells you that you are in. Remember, it’s likely that you’re in different seasons in your life overall and in each of the different areas of your life such as family, finances, work, health, etc.
And how do you adjust this symbolism to your own time frame? Perhaps you can relate to having experienced “winter” for a year or more of your life, for a week of your month, for a portion of your day or for a singular moment. Practice applying the 10 suggestions to any time of your life.
For great references on how to do this, learn from other powerful cyclical symbols in nature. So, to learn how to incorporate “winter” into every month, look to moon and menstrual wisdom (the new moon and the menstrual phase would be the phases symbolic of winter). Or to learn about adding “winter” to each day, consider sun wisdom and divide your day into 4 phases to discover which part of your day is best for you to practice “winter” activities (it’s likely midnight to 6:00am, for example, but when else would you benefit from some introspective time in your day?). The First Nations’ Medicine Wheel has countless other applications to learn about and leverage the powerful ways that all things are connected in the circle of life.
So, which season are you in with respect to taking care of yourself and enjoying what matters most? When and how can you dream, decide and design? Pick your favourite idea from the list and try it today!
To your winter wonder and wisdom!
P.S. Are you stuck in a season of your life? Reach out to me and I’d love to help you!
P.P.S. I celebrate Christmas, so want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for you and to wish you a very happy Christmas. May you “let your heart be light . . . ” 🙂