Do you feel out of sync, during January and February? Does downing that extra shot of caffeine or sugary snack for more energy only leave you more depleted, with an unnamed sense of malaise?
You may be at odds with the slow, deep, unhurried rhythms of winter.
It can be easy to forget that the natural world is our primary community. During mid winter, nature invites us to rest, reflect, recharge and be receptive, to explore the quiet below the surface of increasing busyness, distractions and the demands of everyday life. If ignored, dissonance and distress can creep in. Here's a practice for balancing your internal and external worlds.
Begin, by finding a quiet space, even if it means putting in ear buds, to tune out external noise. if you can, go outside and follow this practice physically. If inside, visualize.
With soft eyes, gaze upon the tree in the picture above, or at a tree, outdoors.
Breathe slowly, exhaling and inhaling deeply. Focus upon your feet and notice that they are connected to the floor or earth. You are grounded.
Walk towards the tree, noticing that in your approach, all noise decreases, until you are in deep silence, that the snow has muffled all sound. Notice that there is complete stillness, not even a breeze. Sink into the quiet.
Place your hands upon the tree and close your eyes. Feel your breathing in alignment with the slow energy of the tree. Sense its aliveness. Notice its roots as they spread into the frozen, dark ground. Notice its branches, as they reach toward the light of the sky.
Focus upon your hands, as you feel your heart rate and breathing slow. Allow yourself to absorb relaxation and to experience timelessness , being completely present and out of the constraints of time.
Continue to focus upon your breath and enjoy the stillness and peace, becoming recharged and rejuvenated, to the core of your being.
Know that the natural world will continue to inform and support you.
Intend to bring newfound calm and balance back into the outer world, knowing that you can revisit this place in the future, in times of stress and overload, by imagining that you are there.
Open your eyes. Give thanks for this experience. Turn and walk slowly back into the place where you began.