I am not a snow bunny. I am not a winter lover. I do not enjoy the cold or the snow. Throughout the winter I find myself hiding from the cold and the wind. I would prefer to stay indoors when the weather is more than 5 below 0. I find comfort in blankets, oversized sweaters, and mugs of hot tea or cocoa. My hands are always cold and my feet can never have enough pairs of socks. So, when the winter months roll in I like to go inside. Physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Winter is a time of hibernation for so many creatures in the natural world. Bears, frogs, squirrels, and many others hide away and hibernate for the winter. They conserve energy waiting for the warmth of spring to bring them back to their busy lives. I often feel like the bear in winter. I find myself wanting to hibernate, be alone, and conserve energy. There is nothing wrong with these feelings, some would believe that following the natural rhythm of the seasons can be beneficial to ourselves and our growth.
There is a saying “nothing blooms all year long” and I feel this very deeply. In today’s society we are always on the go. We are always busy and rushing with a sense of urgency. We are on high alert, pushing our systems to a point of exhaustion. It is no wonder that so many of us complain about fatigue. We are not often encouraged to take a break, to slow down, to listen to our bodies and what they are telling us. Of course, we still have obligations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t slow down. You don’t have to say yes to everything. You don’t have to do everything. When the winter season comes around, if we were listening to our bodies and Mother Nature, we might find that we want to hibernate.
Hibernation does not mean we stop. It does not mean we stop growing, learning, and changing. It means we go into ourselves more. We go into our hearts and souls and learn within instead of without. There has been a lot of change in my life over the past few months. Small changes, big changes, new ideas, new discoveries. For me, it seems as if changes often occur in these winter months. They occur during the times when I am folding in on myself, looking into my heart, and finding what has been hiding there. Winter encourages looking in on ourselves. It encourages slowing down, after the many seasons of being busy, and taking a look at what has changed over the rest of the year. What has grown and shifted and died within us.
My winter hibernation allowed me to find myself again. To find the seeds that had been hibernating within my soul. After so many years of being in a constant busy state, being in a flow of sameness, this slowing down brought up big and scary changes! They were missed in the seasons past because I was still in that sameness. There is nothing wrong with sameness, but I strongly believe that the only constant in life is change and changing is how we grown and learn and shine. I love the hibernation of winter, though I don’t love the cold, because I get to grow and rediscover and learn and find my glow within myself. As the winter hibernation comes to close and the spring of rebirth and growth begins, look back on your own hibernation and lift up whatever seeds you want to grow. The sun and warmth and rain of the spring will grow all the seeds that you’ve found within your soul over the hibernation of this winter. Plant them gently and nurture them fully and the spring will lead to more growth than you could imagine.