The winter solstice time is no longer celebrated as it once was, with the understanding that this is a period of descent and rest, of going within our homes, within ourselves and taking in all that we have been through, all that has passed in this full year which is coming to a close… like nature around us, this time of hibernation is so necessary for our tired limbs, our burdened minds.
Our modern culture teaches avoidance at a max at this time; alcohol, lights, shopping, overworking, overspending, comfort food and consumerism.
And yet the natural tug to go inwards as nearly all creatures are doing is strong and the weather so bitter that people are left feeling that winter is hard, because, for those of us without burning fires and big festive families, it can be lonely and isolating. Whereas in actual fact winter is kind, she points us in her quiet soft way towards our inner self, towards this annual time of peace and reflection, embracing the darkness and forgiving, accepting and loving embracing goodbye the past year.
“Winter takes away the distractions, the buzz, and presents us with the perfect time to rest and withdraw into a womb like love, bringing fire & light to our hearth”.
According to the meteorological calendar (and mine), winter is in full swing. I am hunkering down and enjoying this season of slow. Winter is for turning inward. For focusing on the roots we put down rather than the flowers that we bloom. Winter is not a season of abundance. It is a season of barrenness. In nature, and usually in business too. It’s a season that doesn’t really look like much from the outside, but yet, somehow it sustains us. Through the dark. Through the cold. Through the mundane.
Soon it will be time for us to grow again, to bloom again, but not now. Not now, my friend. May we listen to the yearning of our souls this season – the pull to slow down, to reflect, to contemplate. I’m choosing to mimic nature this season, adopting a quieter rhythm that allows for a full embrace of winter, rather than frantically wishing it away as I used to do.
In the winter I find myself giving greater devotion to the smaller things. The comfort of woollen socks and cashmere sweaters. Cups of tea. The squirrels and the birds that come to visit. And the nights that come early and pair well with a warm and hearty bowl of soup.
May we not rush this season by.
I spent the last few weeks reflecting and envisioning the direction I want to go with my life and business. My work is going to continue to be rooted in the desire that many, many of us desperately have, for a different way to carry life. I will say, many are happy with their modern “luxuries” (read: distractions), but I think most are starting to crave value and nourishment in a way that is so lost on this world. We see this reflected in the rise again of homemaking and slow lifestyle.
A life balanced by work and rest. A life of modesty and health. We must not forget that we are still very much so the guinea pigs of this new modern lifestyle that has brought us immense debt, fake food, more exposure to artificial light than real sunlight, technology addiction, and with those things, the rise of depression, anxiety, and self-obsession.
As a culture, we spend all of our days scrolling with our thumbs that we don’t even know how to work with our hands anymore. We don’t know how to cook our own meals or grow our own food or make our own clothes. We don’t know how to live without a microwave or TV. Our seemingly small everyday choices; buying a t-shirt, eating a meal, the way we interact (or lack thereof) with the people around us – it’s taking a toll on our well-being. We just don’t realise it because it’s the new normal to live distracted, addicted, frazzled, and stressed-out lives. A lot of times, that kind of life is even idolised and seen as a badge of honour. How many times do we feel a subtle swell of pride when we tell someone we’ve been “busy” lately?
Is that really worth it when we’re left without a soul?