I have a simple winter challenge for us this week to transform the winter blues. Life's pain and struggle is caused by resistance so it is time to open, surrender and embrace the darkness!
This friday is the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere and the shortest day of the year. It is nature's way of guiding us to face our chilly dark side. We all like to resist the dark times because let's face it, it can be downright uncomfortable, but it is a natural part of being alive and wildly transformative, so let's dive in together!
I am a self confessed sun chaser and I spent a good 15 years avoiding Melbourne winters by galavanting around the globe. Even since I've moved to sub tropical Byron Bay, I've had a tropical holiday in the sun each winter. So this year I feel called to embrace winter fully. Arms, legs, heart and soul wrapped lovingly around the qualities of cold and darkness at a whole new level!
So I invite you to join me to celebrate this weeks winter solstice and the whole winter period with open arms and an open heart, ready to face ALL that arises within it!
When I was in the Himalayas in India I met some Buddhist monks who were telling me about their intense winter training. They would sit meditating in the snow wearing nothing but their robes! Brrrr! They were learning to master an energy technique that would ignite fire and heat within their bodies and they would melt the snow around them. Sweet flaming snowflakes!!! Just the thought of it made me shiver but I was blown away by their ability to focus the mind!
So you will be relieved to know that your challenge is NOT to sit naked on the concrete footpath chanting OM balls of fire OM! Phew! Your challenge is merely to face any emotional darkness that ripples or tidal waves up to the surface and wrap your loving arms around it!
Sounds simple but beware of the cheeky avoidance strategies that distract, numb, ice over, keep you busy and shove it back down to your socks!
So here we go!
5 Step Winter Challenge!
Step 1 - Nurture - Let's fill our winter day's with nurturing, warming, relaxing, nourishing foods and activities. I'm new to this radical embracing of winter so I would love to hear some of your favourite soul warming winter things to do in the comments below. Here's just a few... hot water bottle on the lap, cup of tea, hot bath.
Step 2. Meditation - Let's make a commitment together to face whatever comes up this winter by checking in daily. Yep no more avoiding or running away. No more edginess or amour! Use this winter time of hibernation and going within to face the darkness. We all have dark, sad, heavy, unworthy, scared, lonely feelings that are often masked. Be free to feel.
Step 3 Embrace - Invite these feelings that have been left out in the cold, to sit down beside the raging fire of love in your heart. Breathe a warm loving breath into each rising emotion. Move attention away from the story and simply feel the emotion triggered. Resisting and rejecting emotion gives it more power over us. Embracing emotion with love sets it free.
Step 4 Enjoy – Emotions can be fun. They don't have to be heavy. Dance, write, paint, sing, play, move and express all that arises with playfulness!
Step 5 Enlighten – Allow the bright light of who you are to shine through any waves of emotions that wish to rise on the surface of your vast ocean self. Your reward for facing the darkness is... the bliss of your true nature! Joy, love, peace, freedom.
Use this winter to cleanse, transform and awaken by simply embracing the darkness!
I'd love to hear your winter tips in the comments below and please share the love with your tribe.