For obvious reasons (especially in the north), winter is often known as the ‘dark season’. This can imply that it’s dreary and heavy – and of course, at times it is – but darkness can mean many other things too.
Now, more than ever, we are being asked to find stillness. We are called to look inward, to make closer contact with ourselves, to face our fears and to remember what’s really important. And winter brings with it an energy that supports this perfectly.
Here are some alternative and nourishing ways to embrace the dark this winter:
GET CREATIVE >>
Writing is such a wonderful pastime, and a beautiful practice that can support self-discovery and expression. Journaling reflections at the end of each day works well, as does developing an early morning writing practice. Check out Julia Cameron’s work on ‘Morning Pages’ – it will change your world.
GET QUIET >>
I’ve spoken often of the benefit of sinking into quiet practice. Only when we get OK with listening to ourselves can we stand any chance of listening to others and the world around us. Meditation is one way to explore this – and because there are many different forms, there really is a practice for everyone. Check out the meditations on my Calm Down, Wake Up podcast, or try some of the brilliant free content on Insight Timer and Calm.
Reading is also a beautiful quiet practice (and a good way to escape from others at home) – so winter is a great time to hunker down and work your way through your reading pile.
GET TO NATURE >>
Yes, autumn is beautiful and we all long for spring, but winter is majestic. Walking out in nature with a soft yet curious lens is so soothing.
Seeking out tree bones, searching for signs of life defying the odds, spotting birds and other wildlife making their nests and burrows. It really is a time to connect with simplicity and gratitude.
GET TO BED EARLY >>
Sleep! Most of us don’t get enough in quantity, and more importantly in quality. Let’s face it, there’s not much to miss out on this winter, so why not catch up on years of lost sleep with early nights, lie-ins or lazy starts – and maybe even the odd nap here and there.
GO DEEP >>
Many of the practices above will invite you to step into your inner world. A world of feelings and senses and spirit. Build in some space to be with, and also nurture what shows up, and consider partnering with a coach to explore this, or sharing with a friend for support.
Stay safe and I’ll see you on the other side!
You can mediate and practice Yoga Nidra with me at my new podcast ‘Calm Down, Wake Up’. Find us on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, or come and connect with me on Instagram: @laura.beckingham