I write my prayers in my journals. The Divine and I have “conversations.” A few years ago, I wrote this in my journal – it’s me talking and the Divine listening:
Me: “It’s snowing outside. I feel the invitation to be inside, wrapped in a warm blanket and be quiet. You call me inward to nourish myself with warm tea, hearty soups, quiet prayer and rest.
I’m giving myself permission to rest. I’m giving myself permission to take time out for me. I’m wearing clothing that makes me feel warm, comfortable and sensual. I’m done overriding this desire to rest. I’m done trying to meet everyone’s needs. I’m done putting my needs aside.
I’m taking my life back. I’m taking my schedule back. And I am scheduling my self-care and time being with soul-nourishing friends. And I’m keeping it simple and doable.
It’s time that things come back into balance. It’s time to honor the invitation of this winter season and deeply nourish myself. It’s time I put caring for myself into my schedule and give myself permission for what truly nourishes me.”
Stillness: The Invitation of Winter
Winter calls us to pause, to come inside, to cultivate warmth, and to rest. It’s a call to balance the “doing” with “resting” and the “hurrying” with “slowing down.”
But it can be scary to pause our hurrying and step out of the busyness of everyday life. When we slow down and get quiet, we see what we have been avoiding and makes us uncomfortable – our worries, fears, tiredness, disappointment, longings, and anger.
Yet there is a gentle, skillful way to press the pause button. Winter is a perfect time for such a pause. Winter calls us inside – inside our homes and inside our own self.
This winter can be an opportunity to pause and turn inward to deeply nourish yourself and connect with the Divine Within. This season offers an invitation to treat yourself as a temple, a sacred place for the indwelling of the Divine. The invitation is to listen to your body and honor what it needs – like rest, laughter, and healthy food. The invitation is to sit by candlelight and give your heart the space to speak to you. The invitation to sense what needs healing, tending to, and nourishment.
It’s countercultural to pause. It’s countercultural for a mom (or any human being!) to say, “WAIT a second! No more! I am not going to run myself ragged. I’m done operating on empty. No more.”
It takes courage to say, “I’m going to focus on nourishing ME and loving myself with such regard that such fullness and abundance flows to my family, too.”
It takes courage to say, “I will tend to myself and put into place the resources I need to feel supported and live my life based on what is most sacred to me.”
The truth is, you have a precious life to embrace and live. And there comes a time when you will not live it exhausted, holding up the world, stuffing down what needs to be healed within you, and ignoring the wisdom of your heart and body. The truth is each of us has an inner vibrancy that has been dulled by the pace at which we go about our days. The truth is we need to pause in order for this inner vibrancy to shine once again, and our spirits need spaciousness to breathe. And it begins with a radical, counter-cultural commitment to deeply nourish yourself.
Can you sense how it would be to live, parent, work, and love from a place of deep nourishment? Can you imagine how it would be to treat yourself as a temple? Can you sense how it would be to feel aligned with the Divine Within and living from a sacred space?
And Say “yes” to the invitation of winter to rest, “go within,” and explore the sacred landscape of the temple inside of you. Say “yes” to the invitation of the Divine to learn how to bring presence and compassion to the “visitors” within you of grief, loneliness, longing, and joy…and welcome them all as beloveds. Say “yes” to living with a deeper sense of equanimity, clarity, and ease.
Resources for Winter Stillness:
Write your own Haiku. My poem, The Way Home, is a Haiku. Typically the first line is 5 syllables, the second line is 7, and the third line is 5. But play with it!
Read poetry. Here you can read through my poems. I love any poetry by Mary Oliver, Hafiz, and John O’Donohue.
Try one of my guided meditations.
Choose a Word for the Year and keep it close to you. Let it remind you of what matters most to you. I have an eight-day mini course, Your Word for the Year, for you to jump start your new year!
By honoring the invitation of Winter, we are then in a great place to embrace the invitation of Spring with vitality and aliveness.Blessings,