Do you enjoy or endure winter?
For some people, the winter season involves participating in winter sports or throwing snowballs. For others, it’s boarding a plane or boat and traveling to warmer climates.
My ideal winter’s day would be; sitting in front of a roaring indoor fire, sipping mulled wine, and either enjoying laughter with family/friends or losing myself in a book.
There’s no sense in pretending to enjoy winter but, what if we could consciously welcome it, confident that spring will always follow? Such is the cycle of life’s seasons.
The end of one season always heralds the beginning of the next season.
What can we learn from nature? Deciduous trees prepare for the winter months in late summer. As daylight hours decline they start to conserve energy to enable them to tolerate the inclement temperatures awaiting them. Yet, whilst in that dormant state, the leaves that fell during autumn are now feeding the new leaves of spring.
Autumn is the time for the falling away of what is depleting a life source. Winter is the season of replenishment. But, it is not always a pleasant time in our life. Lack of sunlight disrupts our internal body clock and can impact our wellbeing. In the same way, a season of loss and grief can constantly feel bleak as a wintry rainy day.
The phrase, ‘dark night of the soul’ is often used to describe a difficult and painful period in life: death, divorce, diagnosis, disappointment, disbanded dreams, disenfranchised grief.
Often, winter’s dimmed lighting is preferable if we are experiencing the stripping away of identities and feel naked and exposed, like the poplar tree, above. As Thomas Moore explains, “The whole point of a dark night of the soul is the promise of new life … the most difficult challenge is to let the process take place, and yet that is the only release from the pressure of the dark night.” (1)
Sometimes we will need to be creative to welcome winter. If the weather is negatively impacting your wellbeing, position yourself in the presence of something uplifting or beautiful. Connect with someone you have fun with; immerse yourself in nature; play with a baby; cuddle a pet; toast marshmallows over a fire brazier; jump in puddles; dance, sing, paint, laugh … give yourself permission to be, do, have what works for you!
If you are currently experiencing life that feels stuck in winter, be assured:
Even the harshest winter has its shortest day and from that day on the earth is turning its face towards the sun and every sunrise promises you warmer and longer days.
Please contact me if I can assist you, in passing through a life season.
Living … it’s an adventure of a lifetime!
(1) T Moore, Dark Nights of the Soul