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.
Mandala for 2020
At the onset of 2020 , we are in a time of ramped up change and deconstruction. Old structures are fracturing, but new energies are rushing into the crevices, allowing for new growth and and evolution. Fear is escalating, but so is love .
It is helpful to have tools to navigate through chaos and negativity while imagining, intending and engaging in new ways of being. Here is a mandala to view in a meditative way, to accelerate clarity through inner sensing.
Suggestions for interpretations of some of the symbols: They are meant to have individual as well as collective significance.
* The central triangle/pyramid represents focus and access of higher consciousness, for seeing and being with greater perspective, coming from the heart. The cornerstones of the pyramid represent compassion, forgiveness and love.
*Emerging from the center are green tendrils of new growth, reminding that we are responsible for our thoughts and actions. Do we proceed in trust, optimism and openness or remain ensnared in old, outworn thoughts and beliefs? Do we take responsibility for our thoughts or continue to judge and blame?
*The number 2020 can be reduced to the number 4, which is a number of stability, structure and foundation, symbolized by the four spheres . In addition, 2020 can be reduced to 22, a master number for the manifestation of higher good. Notice twenty two of the dots in the mandala.
*The geometric shapes surrounding the mandala represent ideas in the thoughtstream and higher dimensions that may be down - loaded or received through meditation or any form of stillness or quieting of the mind.
Feel free to share your insights and interpretations!