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The Power of Winter

December 2, 2021, Author: Toni

A lesson that I learned while rafting down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon has stuck with me since our group attempted to pull another expedition’s boat off of a boulder in level 10 rapids. It was not wasted on me that our guides looked like Dads. They wore blue jeans and plaid short sleeve cotton shirts in contrast to the guides for the stranded boater. Their guides resembled Columbia outdoor gear models. Their solution to the problem of a stuck boat was for thirty people to jointly pull on ropes tied to the boat in attempt to free it from the boulder. Some members of the their expedition suffered rope burn on the palm of their hands. Our guides followed their strategy until the rescue effort shifted to bring the passengers off of the boat and into the rapids on a pulley of sorts. Ultimately, a three hour effort resulted in all passengers safely pulled to the beach so the guide of the stranded boat was left alone on the boat and was lifted off the rocks. The lead guide in our group whispered what he would have done if he was in their position. His solution required two of our boats with their passengers to go down stream while the guide in the stuck boat dropped cargo into the water but kept passengers on board. The cargo would have flowed downstream and the other guides would pick up the cargo. The simplicity of our guide’s plan was genius!

Since my experience witnessing the other expedition struggle against nature, I learned to go with the flow of the water. This meant that I had to learn to recognize when I was “struggling against the power of the water’s current” and then had to recognize which direction the “water” was flowing. Of course, water was a metaphor for life’s energy of circumstances. When I was single, it meant that I recognized when I was struggling to create a relationship with someone who was not co-creating with me. It meant that I recognized which direction my prospective partner was moving towards and the direction was away from emotional connection and intimacy with me. Then, I had to learn to stop fighting the current. Once I learned to put my efforts into the relationship in which my prospective partner’s energy was moving towards me 100% then I found my life partner.

What does these seemingly disparate experiences mean? Going with the flow of the water is as following the flow of change that each season brings. Winter Solstice is coming Tuesday, December 21st, and with it come the season’s characteristics of colder temperatures [Winter is the coldest season], shorter days and longer nights, great for increased sleep, plants stop growing, and some animals hibernate. Going with the flow of the season is understanding the new environment and aligning yourself with the needs that the change brought. A colder, darker environment calls on us to hydrate, sleep, and eat more calories, via nutritious food, to keep us warm. Align with nature’s season.

Why align yourself to the season? It’s within your best interest to use the the energy of Winter to prepare you for Spring. Spring is the season when seeds take hold, burst forth through the frozen ground, and sprout. In order to prepare the ground, the foundation for the what your plans are, you will need to till the soil of your spirit and mind. Your purpose within Winter is to be still, go inward, and create optimal conditions for the coming season.  This winter, you have permission to:

Get cozy

Cuddle

Keep warm by:

  • Sit in front of a fireplace
  • Update your throw or blanket
  • Drink warm beverages like cider with a cinnamon stick, cocoa, and tea
  • Enjoy a bowl of soup or stew
  • Choose warmer fabrics like thermal, flannel, suede, leather, fleece, etc
  • Wear fluffy slippers
  • Withdraw from the hustle and bustle by:

Cut back on activity and extroverted energy expenditure by:

  • Walk in nature
  • Spend time alone.
  • Practice solitary activities like reading, painting, sewing, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, or yoga
  • Reflect
  • Be still
  • Meditate
  • Deep Breathe
  • Journal
  • Take a bath.
  • Rely on the light of candles at night
  • With the winding down, solitary activities; you can sleep more.

Increase your rest and sleep by:

  • Go to bed earlier
  • Sleep
  • dream.
  • Wake up later

By acknowledging the change that comes with a new season, welcoming the differences, and supporting the body’s needs; you can maintain health during Winter’s harsh conditions. Honor the energy needed to stay warm and your health will provide the fertile ground needed for new seeds, ideas, dreams, and plans, to plant. Provide the conditions that allow new ideas and passions to take root, sprout, and gather strength to break through frozen ground. What does going with the flow of the characteristics of Winter look like for you?

If you’re looking to live in greater alignment with the seasons and phases of the moon, consider purchasing The Intentional Planner. https://www.tonibyoga.com/products/

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