When Nature Takes a Deep Breath


Winter is the time when all of nature takes a deep breath and goes inward. It is not the time to be running around trying to find the perfect present. Instead, it is the time to remember how to be present, and what you need to be present. Receiving and giving presents can be a lot of fun, but learning to be present is transformative and healing and winter is a natural time to cultivate this awareness.

It is during the 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. In recent newsletters I have talked about 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. In the process, we may also lose track of our chosen path and even ourselves. However, 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.

The reason I find stillness so important is that it is in the stillness that I am reminded of my innermost dreams, desires, and needs. It also helps me notice 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, which helps 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 my vitality diminishes.

When I lived in a more temperate zone I really enjoyed the sunshine and the ability to wear lighter clothing in the winter, but it was easier to get caught up in doing too much and not gain the deep benefits of winter because it didn’t force me to stop, go inside, reflect, and reconnect with myself. Several years ago the snow was so heavy that my house lost power for five days. At first I was inconvenienced, but by the end of the first day I began to enjoy the quiet and the slower pace. It gave me time to ponder my thoughts and review my dreams. I wrote, drew, read, and when the sun went down I went to sleep. It was a very peaceful time; in fact I enjoyed the stillness so much that I was a bit annoyed when the power came back on again. When I didn’t lose power in a more recent storm, I still stopped because I knew that this was the time to review my life and visualize my upcoming year.

So when it is possible, remember to take the time during this inward-winter season to go deep within yourself and get clear on what wants to be born through you in the spring. This will set a tone and direction for your whole year.

May it be a lovely and transformative season for you.

If you are interested in exploring the I Create What I Believe! (ICWIB) activities are currently available on the website for free (just click the link to access an activity).

Just Scribble, ICWIB Activity One: Version One video

Just Scribble, ICWIB Activity One: Version Two video

Just Scribble, ICWIB Activity One: Version Three video

ICWIB Instructional Guide: Part One

ICWIB Instructional Guide: Part Two

Labyrinth, ICWIB Activity Four

Just Scribble, ICWIB Activity One (text):

Labyrinth, ICWIB Activity Four (text):

If you find the activities helpful and are interested in more, sign up for our FREE ICWIB newsletter: http://icreatewhatibelieve.com/newsletter/

For more information about the I Create What I Believe! Global Classroom:

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