This Is How You Can Benefit From The Cold & Darkness Of Winter

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Anyone else bummed about it being dark at 4 p.m.?

Is the darkness making you feel tired and pulling you to go to sleep earlier? By 9 o'clock, it's been dark for five hours. Your bed is calling you earlier, and it’s harder to get up in the morning. The cold makes you want to stay under the cozy covers and cuddle. It's OK, and actually natural and in alignment with the season, to give yourself more time to rest. Fighting your natural tendency to sleep more is fighting nature, and it could contribute to you getting sick.

This time of the year, it's effective to yield, to allow yourself to relax, and to spend some more time feeding your creativity and pondering what you want. To help counteract the swift shift into greater cold and darkness, we celebrate the holidays, eat and drink heartily, socialize frequently, and try to avoid the aloneness that winter can bring without realizing that the cold, darkness, and desire to retire inside, away from the world, can give us an opportunity to recharge our bodies and to nourish our mind and our soul.

Winter is a time of stillness and quiet and turning inward. In TCM, they call it the most yin of the seasons. These are the months where all outward signs of life have disappeared, and the landscape can look bleak. Winter is cold and dark, qualities that preserve and store. But remember, it is the concentrated, energy-preserving energies of winter that enable seeds to grow in spring.

Allowing yourself to simply be still and quiet, containing your energy, is in alignment with the season. Living in a society of continual striving and exertion, you expect instant results and immediate answers. But nature has another idea: Everything has its season. Within nature are already all the answers; you just have to be quiet enough to listen and be empty enough to be filled.

'Tis the season to take the time to:

Listen.

  • To your body and take time to replenish your reserves and to recharge and to stay warm.
  • To what others have to say and to your heart. This is a time of receiving, not doing. As winter is a time to go within, your inner being comes closer to the surface in winter.
  • Keep a journal and record your feelings, thoughts, and dreams: Don't analyze them; just record them. Don't be afraid of your darker side; allow any and all images to unfold; look at them again later and see if the images convey an inner message to you.

Nourish.

  • Your body with good healthy and hearty food.
  • Your mind with insightful books, conversations, and movies.
  • Your heart by hanging with friends and family and deepening your relationships with them.
  • Your soul with inspiring theater, music, or spiritually expanding workshops.

It could be the perfect time for a retreat or to connect with other like-minded women. It could also be the time to take up a passion project like art, journaling, dance, or yoga. Now is the time to search your soul for what resonates and nourishes you best.

And remember, have fun while you're at it!

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