Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.
Winter is the season of retreat
Winter Solstice takes place on 21 December in the northern hemisphere.
It was originally a celebration of darkness when the sun is at its furthest point from the equator. It is the turning point of the year and after that, our days begin to get lighter again!
For nature, including humans, it’s a time for rest. Plants lie dormant, animals hibernate or hunker down and lie low.
It’s the season of retreat for us all, yet also a time for replenishment
Because as soon as Christmas is over, we often feel like staying cosy indoors during the winter evenings.
Or as Christina Rossetti described it,
‘In the bleak midwinter…’
For many people whose mood drops at this time of year, there is a need to trust that this experience is fruitful and a time for regeneration.
Take stock of the year
It’s OK to experience quiet times, even low moods.
It’s part of the cycle of the season. We have the opportunity to take stock of the year that has passed. To slow down and step into slippers, meaning we’re going within.
John O’Donohue describes it as
‘the art of inner harvesting, … to sift the fruits of your experience.’
Being mindful is a skill we can develop to be aware and present to our mood changes and our physical and emotional needs.
To sit in stillness and listen in to ourselves is essential. Then even through the darkest times we can access our creativity and start to make plans for the future year ahead.
Winter Solstice is also a celebration of rebirth
Every ending has a new beginning. So it’s not just hibernating with your slippers, it’s incubating, like eggs before they hatch into new life.
How do you like to relax and replenish in the darkness of winter?
Perhaps you resist the need to relax and rest by pushing on and wishing for the spring to hurry up and arrive?
Choose to accept that it’s all part of the cycle of life. And if you struggle with this, perhaps one of your intentions for the new year might be to learn more about mindful meditation.
Allow yourself to slow down and take care.
Make sure you’ve got cosy slippers on your Christmas list, plenty of kindling for your open fire and a notebook to jot down all your aspirations for the new year.
Winter replenishing follows straight on from the Christmas celebrations. Be ready to relax with your slippers and replenish!
Interesting read: The History of Slippers
Yvette Jane – Mindfulness and Meditation Guide
This updated post was first published in December 2014