Life Your Way

Barbara Hawkins is Coaching Life Skills - A Better Life Using Meditation, The Silva Method, Silva Life System, Silva Intuition Training, Hypnosis, NLP, EFT, Spirituality and more

Celebrate Winter Replenishment

Written by Lea Houston

Winter, with its long, dark nights and short days, is the yin time of year. In our yang-biased modern world it is a bit revolutionary to truly honor Winter Yin’s gifts of reflection, listening, inner wisdom, introspection, replenishment and mystery. Honoring yin is a revolutionary act that allows us to connect with the rhythms of Nature and of Soul. 

Over thirty years ago I had a dream that transformed my relationship with winter. At the time I was teaching grade school, leaving home in the dark, returning home in the dark, feeling rather like a mole and struggling with the lack of light. 

Late that autumn my dream came to rescue me.  It was a simple dream in which I stood with a dear friend outside an old farmhouse in the dark of night. The air, cool and moist on my skin, was heavy with the rich, tangy fragrance of decomposing leaves and plants, the power of the season palpable with fertile vitality drawing earthward to rest and replenish. I was filled with the absolutely perfection of the season and my place within it. I woke up transformed, feeling grateful for the sweet healing power of the yin darkness of the season and inspired to embrace and celebrate the coming winter rather than to push it, or wish it, away. Since then each year I have celebrated the replenishing yin power of winter with my family, students and friends in as many ways as possible. 

My Favorite Ways  to Celebrate Winter

Many people tell me they struggle with winter’s darkness. If you do, perhaps a few of these ideas will help guide you toward a happier relationship with the season. If you love winter already, may these add to your pleasure. 

** Make friends with darkness.

What does the darkness of winter’s yin time want to teach you? Perhaps to turn inward, to see the invisible, to be safe with the unknown, to hang out in mystery? 

** Go for night walks.

Take advantage of the long nights for night walks and star gazing.
Last year on my December birthday the day itself had been a bit un-noteworthy until nighttime when my husband David and I walked the mile-long dirt road through the woods to my parents’ house. The night was cold and invigorating and we were gifted with the two most amazing shooting stars I have ever seen. If we had driven we would have missed the magic.

** Create an enchanted atmosphere with candlelight.

Candlelight lends a glow of romance and enchantment to any activity, including journaling, lovemaking, dining, singing, sipping tea by candlelight and transforms long nights into celebrations. 

** Revel in the coziness of winter clothes you love.

As much as I love sarongs and sundresses in the summer I adore velvets and soft scarves and bundling in sensual layers in winter. What does your winter skin crave? 

** Sleep more. The dark nights call you to get more sleep, to build up your inner reserves for the busyness of longer days ahead. Very few adults and even children get enough sleep. More sleep helps you resist illness and depression, be thinner, stronger and happier. 

** Nourish your inner body and your life force with warm moist foods.

What do you crave in the cold time that makes you feel good at the moment and later? My family and I love soups, stews, teas and fruit crisps. 

** Gather by the fire like your ancestors.

Tap into the ancient winter wisdom with fireside storytelling and singing, indoors or outside. 

** Cultivate your deep creativity by hibernating.

In winter the plants and animals turn their energy earthward to replenish and prepare for the new growth of spring. Follow this inward invitation of the season to rest, replenish and nurture your inner reserves so that your tender new seeds of ideas and inspiration emerge easily and naturally.. 

What gifts does the Winter Yin Time invite you to discover?

Lea Houston, M.A., helps heart-centered entrepreneurs, artists and healers bring their greatest gifts to the world with love, ease and delight.

Sign up to receive your free weekly Replenish Your Soul Monday audio meditations at Start each week replenished and let your life flourish! You can’t save the world if you’re running on empty! 

This blog article was published on December 26, 2010.