During the winter the nature around us takes on a new look. The trees are bare, the air is cold, and the sky is all too often gray. While a lot of us probably prefer the sights, sounds, and soirees of summer, this year, try to become an observer throughout these cold months to discover the beauty and wonder that is Winter.
Every season holds a special significance in our lives. The seasons are a huge part of how nature guides our internal temperament. One of the most obvious examples of this is the difference in our energy going from the long summer evenings to the early dusk of winter. When we deny our connection to nature, we deny our connection to ourselves. Start tuning into the seasons and the natural world. Check in with yourself about how you feel at certain times of the year.
While many of us might find it easier to be in tune with nature when it is pleasant outside and we are comfortable, Mother Nature offers an entirely different set of lessons in the bitter cold of winter, if we are willing to take the time to observe them.
1. The fresh snowfall inspires us to ‘make our mark‘
Fresh blankets of snow invite new experiences and risk-taking in our daily lives. Approach new opportunities in life as you would run through an untouched path of snow — with excitement, balance, and trust. Being the first to make a footprint can be scary; you might even sink into the deep cold at first, but each step will become a little easier as you begin to know what to expect.
2. The winter sunsets remind us to be the warmth
Even when the world is cold, the sun shows up each day to breathe it’s fiery colors into the sky. Even on your darkest, coldest days when you are searching for light, allow your breath to fill you with warmth and release color and hope out to your world. You have that fire inside of you — breathe it out and fill the air with your light!
3. The winter trees encourage us to look inward
During the winter month, trees shed their beautiful, external leaves and slow down their growth to make it through the season. All their energy is now focused on internal preservation. Looking inwards, winter is an ideal time to check in and see how well you have done in terms of staying aligned to your own personal values and generative goals. What ideas or projects are ready for incubation? How on track have you been this year and how off track have you found yourself? By asking and answering these questions you give yourself permission to bring yourself back in alignment with what is true and right for you.
4. The snowflakes remind us to be gentle and resilient
Snowflake formation is a dynamic process. A snowflake may encounter many different environmental conditions, sometimes melting it, sometimes causing growth, always changing its structure. Float gracefully through your days. Because like the snowflake, we all experience things that make us melt, things that make us grow, things that change us… All these things make us unique and give us each our own beauty to add to the world around us. Be soft and kind while also holding onto your strength and confidence. You are one-of-a-kind floating through life surrounded by others who are also trying to stay true to their own blueprint. Respect the journey of those around you as you drift with purpose on your own!
5. The short days urge us to work hard and rest harder
As daylight becomes shorter it almost seems as if there is less time in the day to be productive. The winter seems to encourage us to slow down earlier in the day and make time for rest. Keep productivity high during the daylight hours but take the time to rejuvenate your body and soul when the sun goes down. This could be in the form of exercise, reading that book you’ve had on your nightstand, journaling, or just being with the people who are important to you. Winter lends itself to being a season of reflection and self-care. Give yourself permission to do these things when your body and mind are telling you that they are needed.
6. The hibernating animals teach us to be prepared
As the months become colder, preparation begins for the long winter ahead as animals gather food and prepare their bodies for the long season of dormancy ahead. While we don’t have to prepare for these months quite like animals do, we do have other changes in our lives that we must prepare to embrace. Understand that change is constant and prepare your heart and your mind to roll with any changes that enter your life.
7. The icicles reassure us to trust in our process
Icicles form through a natural scientific process that requires very specific weather conditions. These natural wonders prove that a combination of circumstance and a series of action goes into their beautiful creation. Trust in your own process in life, whatever that may be. Trust that everything that you’re doing is leading to something extraordinary in the end, and that one day everything you’re doing will align and your perfect icicle will form.
8. The winter quiet invites us to be still and listen
Winter’s silence mimics the inner quiet that exists underneath our daily life. Find peace and stillness in your surroundings throughout your day. Unplug, simplify, and receive the simple peace Winter has to offer. Take moments to be mindful and simply listen, whether you are in conversation or in nature. When we mindfully listen to our surroundings we are able to realign ourselves with our environment and absorb more of the world around us.