SLOW DOWN, IT IS WINTER.
Winter is a perfect time to settle more deeply inside. I am hearing this message in many forms this year and I have come to understand how important this is in supporting our health and immune systems and creating deep immunity. This requires slowing down and I acknowledge that this is challenging in a culture that does not support this as valuable. I feel that it is very important for a number of reasons and I hope to encourage you to make different choices.
Let’s begin with the physical, our bodies. I mentioned to a friend recently who was “fighting off “ a cold that maybe she just needed rest. I understood from her words that her life was so busy that this would not be an easy choice for her to make. I agree that it is not an easy choice, but feel strongly that it is time we learned to make it. We have such a wonderful opportunity to hear ourselves, to pause and really listen at the first signs of not feeling well. This is how we can take responsibility for our health, for our well-being.
Beth Nickerson Wood of “Thyme Herbals” says that when we choose to honor winter as a time to nourish our beings on all levels we create “deep immunity” I love that term, do you also find it enticing? Of course diet plays an important role and I would enjoy offering some simple herbs and teas for the nervous and immune systems. Let me know if you are interested in learning more or if you want a recipe for “bone broth” which is a great immune strengthener.
I want to share more about my own experience with making choices. I am taking a year long herbal course which the course description says “is full of simple things that are doorways to deeper knowing” I am deeply enjoying slowing down and connecting to nature’s rhythms and my own, perhaps for the first time since childhood. The slowing down part challenges me daily, but the accruing benefits support me to choose this again and again.
I am experiencing my interconnection with all beings through taking time to just watch and be with the birds on my feeder and through the choice to bundle up at night and before dawn to sit for brief periods under the night sky and fill with awe. The state of Namaste, experiencing oneness arising frequently as it is meant to at this time on the planet. For me the slowing down and being in quiet is necessary to support this.
I will also share an excerpt from Maya Tiwari’s wonderful book “Ahimsa Diet, Nourishing Love and Life”.
“Rest and reprieve are essential to our well-being, and winter’s energies provide a critical opportunity for us to fortify our endurance and strength… Our ancestors wisely conserved their energy and efforts during this time. They understood that Mother Earth was resting and that her stillness generated the necessary rejuvenation of all of her living charges. From the Living Ahimsa perspective, fatigue syndrome, memory loss, and other stress-related conditions are a direct result of our disregard for winter’s rhythms and living out of sync with them.
When we align ourselves with the greater energies of the seasons-winter, in particular-we feed our inner reservoir enough to carry through for the rest of the year. Our tissues are cosseted by the winter energy in the same way that nature’s micro-organisms, seeds, and saplings are protected beneath the dried brambles and snows. This blanket of protection provides the necessary cyclical rest for the vital organism. In the northern climates, the undifferentiated aura of the snowy landscape blending into the sky brings a profound sense of harmony, joy and calm to the mind of all creatures; a perfect time to huddle in blissful comfort at the hearth of the home with loved ones. Like the bear that hibernates in its cave, we humans need to acknowledge winter’s stoic presence and its profound healing effects on our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies”.
I mentioned two of the ways I practice being in sync with the rhythm of winter, here are a few more possibilities. Slowing down to be really present as you practice yoga, just enjoying whatever your body is offering up today.
Welcoming your next breath. Choosing sensory impressions that will nourish you and remind you of who you really are. When the mind quiets and we scintillate with consciousness, we also support our immune systems.
I would enjoy hearing about your experiences and whether you found this offering to be valuable.