Do you feel tired and pulled down by the decreasing hours of sunlight in each day?
I know that I’m feeling a little more tired and sleeping longer. I’m also spending more time in meditation. My body is responding to the changes that are happening with the changing season.
Here in the northern hemisphere, we are inching our way towards the Winter Solstice on December 21. The winter solstice in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the most Yin day of the year. This means the shortest day of year and the longest night which comes with the longest period of darkness.
Yin energy represents darkness, winter, inner connection, transformation, and the divine feminine energy. Although Yin represents darkness, it’s soft, fluid and gentle. Rather than forcing and fighting she softens resistance and goes with the flow.
For many people, darkness carries a negative connotation. However, darkness also carries mystery, the unknown, the energy of creation, and the source of pure potential. When you close your eyes to rest, sleep or in meditation you return to the darkness. With your eyes closed you shut out the light with all the external distractions and connect with your innermost self.
With the coming of the winter solstice, we are encouraged to make time to look within, to reconnect with our heart and spirit, and to revisit our purpose, that which brings us peace, fulfillment, and joy.
Coming so close to the holiday season we are often tempted to ignore this time of slowing down and going within in favor of more Yang activities. We feel like there are a million things to do, places to go, and people to see. This often means that we are ignoring the internal tugs of our finely tuned bodies.
Artificial lighting and heating also mean that we often ignore the body’s natural inclination to rest and recover during winter. This doesn’t mean that you need to stop doing things, rather you need to listen to your body and if you were feeling tired and worn out give yourself permission to decompress, take a warm bath, go for a walk, take some time to meditate, do some deep breathing and Qigong.
As we move into the winter months following the solstice, it is also a time to nourish and you restore your body. This is the time for the nourishing benefits of bone broth soups with black beans, and dark vegetables. As well as slow cooked stews and other warming foods.
We want our bodies to be rested, fortified and strong so that it’s ready for the burst of energy that is needed with the coming of spring and summer.
Be kind to your body this holiday season and through the winter months. Listen to the inner intelligence you have within you that is urging you to slow down, go within and give it nourishment.
You are given only one body, how will you care for it this season?
From my heart to yours, may this holiday season and year be filled with love, joy, peace, and gratitude.