For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere Winter is here!
Respecting the seasonal changes is an important part of our holistic wellbeing practice and an important part of self care and compassion. We are all energy and our energy tunes in to the rhythm of our natural environment. Generally, in summer we feel energised and outward, and in winter there is an internal call to withdraw & retreat. It is important to honour that call, and here’s why.
Learning from Chinese medicine we can gain an understanding of what the season of Winter means for our emotional and physical wellbeing.
Often Winter is seen as a vast bleakness, a time of dying and decay, but it is actually an important time in nature for reintegration, repair and preparation for the coming season of new beginnings and regrowth. We know that Winter is time of hibernation, a time of rest and rejuvenation but how does this impact us and our energy? It is naturally a time for slowing down and many of you will have already felt this. More subtle, yet just as important, is the call to place greater attention on internal reflection and solitude. If you are feeling like withdrawing a little, being less social, sleeping more, or being less active, honour it. Give your body what it needs. Rest. Slow down and nurture. Take time to be on your own and reflect on the seasons that have already passed in this cycle of Spring, Summer and Autumn and allow yourself to release anything in your life that may need to be put to bed, or laid to rest to allow for new seedlings to sprout. Perhaps upon reflection you will find old habits, patterns, beliefs or even relationships that no longer serve you. This is the time let them go, making way for new healthier beginnings.
In Chinese medicine the energy of Winter is housed in the Water element. Water represents the unconscious, it is a symbol of our dreamlife, of our emotions, of that which we do not understand and that which we fear. Emotionally you may be feeling increased fear or anxiety, as your body energetically moves into this element and prepares itself for letting go of the old and moving forward into the new and the unknown. It is important to acknowledge these emotions; take time to reflect on how you feel, honour your emotions as they come up, feel them, even the uncomfortable ones, process them and allow them to be released. When we are able to accept more of the vast mystery of our being, and allow our emotions to flow, we find our tolerance and flexibility are increased. This of course doesn’t mean that any fear or anxiety we feel will disappear completely from our lives but it will allow us to shift energy and prevent it from becoming blocked or stagnant which in turn can lead to us feeling physically unwell. Energy is always moving from us and through us, and emotion is simply that energy in motion, this is why tears are often a good thing just as laughter, and deep breathing both are too. The body will naturally expel unwanted energy through these processes if we allow it.
During the winter season energy is in our Bladder and Kidney meridians so it is important to stay well hydrated even though you may feel like drinking less. Drinking herbal tea or hot water can be a good alternative if you find it hard to take in cold water during winter. The Bladder is our store house of emotion and the Kidney the store house of our life force or ‘Chi’ so Winter is good time for flushing out our system of toxins and blocked energy or emotion. Eating and drinking alkalising foods and liquids is a good place to start, for example plant based green foods (along side your hearty home cooked winter warmer) and lemon in hot water have an alkalising effect on the body and will reduce the level of toxic acidity flowing through your system. Implementing a Yin Yoga practice at this time of year, if you don’t already have one, is a great idea. Classes that focus on the bladder and kidney meridians will be particularly beneficial during winter and it is not uncommon to feel fear and anxiety rising in these classes as your body releases. With this in mind stretching into the hips and hip flexors is a great way to get shift energy through these meridians at home or in your own space and time.
In Chinese medicine every being, every situation, every relationship, every experience, every thing must complete the seasonal cycle. Winter to Spring, Spring to Summer, Summer to Autumn, Autumn back to Winter and so on. The Cycle continues, and so to enjoy balance in our emotional and physical being we must honour the seasons and their impact on our energy and emotions. We must use this time of winter to let ourselves retreat, to look inward, acknowledge where our fears and anxieties reside, release those things that no longer serve us and rest in preparation for the coming of new beginnings in Springtime!
Kinesiology and Reiki are both great ways to help shift energy and emotion that no longer serve us and winter is a great time to invest in your personal wellbeing. If you are struggling to release the old and make way for the new I’m here to help you with that.
Enjoy the down time and the solitude of winter. Enjoy lazy mornings, big slippers, warm soups, cosy blankets, wrapping up warm for long walks in nature, hot teas and red wine by the fire.
Love, Anna x