Winter is the time when all of nature takes a deep breath and goes inward. It is a time for self-reflection, deep healing, changing of perceptions and gaining clarity about who we are and what wants to be born through us in the spring. It is during this winter cycle that many people make News Year’s resolutions. I did this as a teenager, but by the time I was in my mid-twenties I found it was more beneficial for me to practice deep listening to what wanted to be born in the upcoming year.
This was not a quick process in the beginning, rather it required me to learn how to use my breath and subtle movement in my body to still my mind, and become deeply rooted in the present moment. I have talked about in recent newsletters how I accomplished this with my artwork, aerial movement, and sound and movement meditation. I have also mentioned how activities as simple as scribbling or even vacuuming your living room can be used to pull you out of discord and into alignment with yourself and your purpose.
Life is really quite simple, but we are bombarded with so many distractions and such an overwhelming amount of stimulation it is easy to lose our focus and in the process lose track of our chosen path and ourselves. At the same time, if you take the time (and it can be as little as five minutes every hour) to go inward and still yourself you will find that you are far clearer, and more productive throughout your day. You also might find that your life is filled with a deeper richness and sense of purpose.
You don’t have to set aside a special time to meditate. You can just focus on deep abdominal breathing every time your car is stopped at a red light. You can also turn washing the dishes, making the bed or vacuuming the living room into a meditation. You can scribble, doodle, draw, knit, sing, or do a million other things to still your mind. It is not what you do, it is how you do it that decides if you are going to create more stillness in your system or create more internal chaos in your system.
The reason I find stillness so important is that it is in the stillness that I am reminded of my innermost needs. I also become more aware of my tolerance or intolerance for the opposite states of chaos (unpredictability) and order (predictability). I used to resist and try to override this innate sensitivity, but now I use it as a barometer or gauge to help me stay on course. This awareness is a steady reminder to let go of my agenda, listen deeply, and make appropriate choices for me. When I don’t, my system gets out of balance, I lose my clarity and my health and vitality diminishes.
We only have about nine more weeks of winter. If possible, take the time during this inward season to go deep within yourself and get clear on what wants to be born though you in the spring. This will set a tone and direction for your whole year.
On January 31, 2015 Nancy Marie is leading an all-day I Create What I Believe! workshop for preschool teachers, parents or individuals working with young children at Shasta College in Redding, CA.
For more information and to register: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/i-create-what-i-believe-tickets-14362096417
For more information about the I Create What I Believe! Program: http://www.icreatewhatibelieve.com/