Last week I completed my last workshop of the year as well as enjoyed my oldest son, Ryan play his final state playoff football game for 2014. Now that I'm settling into my weekly teaching and Mommy schedule plus experiencing the sudden loss of my husband's grandmother this past weekend, I'm having a little more space in my consciousness to fully acknowledge the emotions that come with the cold and darkest days of the year. All kinds of feelings are showing up for me and they are deep.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, water is the predominant element associated with winter. During winter the earth falls asleep. The cold and early sunsets draws us indoors earlier to become still like Mother Earth and look into our depths. While nature appears to be frozen and dead, it is not. Rain and snow frequently comes through to further encourage what fall's winds accomplished in shedding what needed to go. Rain and snow's purifying quality also dampens the earth and us so that the fire element, the sun, our yang masculine go get them energy can rest and replenish itself for the next spin of the year's wheel.
We can avoid the shadow season by overbooking our holiday calender with parties that celebrate the upcoming birth of light. However, making ourselves extremely busy will throw our well needed winter rest out of balance. This winter I'm planning on not avoiding the alone time this season calls for by carving out the time in my schedule for my mindfulness walks, yoga practice and extra sleep. It takes discipline to wake up super early in the cold and dark to practice as well as shut off the lights earlier to sleep at night. As for the walks, bundling up and moving in the cold takes plenty of inner motivation. What has been encouraging my walks is making photo art with my Iphone. Lately I'm noticing my nature walk pics are filled with the water element in it's many forms. I'm observing that winter's water reflects, cleanses and freezes into stillness from time to time as well as flows on other days into what's next with grace and trust in what's to come. I'm hoping this awareness of winter's water qualities will rub off on me and guide me into feeling light and well.
Here are some recent winter water snapshots: