Nature and the gentle yet simple ways it teaches us Peace is the Path.
I like to learn from nature because it shows me the patterns and rhythms I can apply to my life. I would like to explore the Winter Rhythm as it is just around the corner. During this time earth pauses and there is a quiet stillness. Typically, winter is about cold, quiet, and frozen. This allows the earth to take a time out after all the summer activity and lots of light filled days, as well as the harvest of autumn. How does winter teach us about PEACE? What is so peaceful about winter?
The days are shorter and the nights longer so we have the opportunity to get more sleep. The key is to go to bed earlier in winter and catch up on some much needed rest. Maybe that’s why you are more tired in the winter because you are still trying to keep up with the Summer Rhythm of longer days and shorter nights. Winter signals the earth to pause and go deep within to replenish for the next year. Do you have a time that you take to replenish, get quiet, sleep, and spend time with family and activities that nourish you? The earth is taking time to prepare for the seeds that will be planted in the spring.
The solstice is on December 21st, when winter begins and lasts until the Spring Equinox around the 21st of March. It is amazing how there are several festivals to mark this time of year. They center on gratitude, peace, joy, lights and spending time with loved ones, family and friends alike. Spending time playing, connecting and being with friends and family is vital to cultivating peace in our lives. Why? There is a time for expanding and getting things done and there is a time for contracting and taking a pause.
The winter time rhythm teaches us to pause. You can either get caught up in the frenzied activities of buying, doing more, working the same pace you keep in the summer and early autumn, as well as “trying” to make family time; or you can take a lesson from nature who has a few years of practice and pause, take time to do those activities that help you nourish peace in your life. Family, friends, slowing down, sleeping more, taking up your quiet activities can help you cultivate peace.
My favorite activity to celebrate this time of year is what is called the Advent Spiral. It is a simple spiral made of evergreens that has a candle at the center. When walking the spiral, one is given an apple with an unlit candle to carry to the center of the spiral. The purpose is to walk the spiral until the center is reached and then you light your candle from the one at the center. Then, as you walk out, you place your lit candle somewhere along the spiral path. At the end, the spiral is lit up with all of these little lights that have an apple as its holder. It is quite something and I always leave feeling that I have found and lit my inner light within. What do you partake in this time of year that fills that part of you striving for peace?
Three ways to cultivate peace:
~ Get more sleep this winter. Start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier than you have been. Work to get a half- an- hour more sleep a night. Remember blue led lights prevent the pineal gland from producing melatonin which helps you get sleepy. Notice how you feel.
To remember think about Blue as in sky keeps you awake. Turn off computer, phone, and any led lights at least 30 minutes prior to bed and an hour is best.
~ Spend more time with family and friends.Take time to play, eat and be merry. It does help you shift your perspective. Go outside and have a snowball fight, build a snow fort, make snow angels, go for a family walk or hike, sing songs, play a board game, make cookies, do a puzzle, build something together. Pick one and spend time with enjoying the moments.
What do you notice when you take time out to pause, play or pray?
~ Take time to reflect on what brings you peace. Keeping a journal can help you with this. You can write or color your thoughts, feelings and experiences. Also find activities that are important to you. I love to give live gifts and I like to make something. This year I am giving beeswax candles, Poinsettias and making some fun bath and body gifts.
Do you notice peace filling your day as you reflect?
Take time to jot down what you do notice. It helps heighten your awareness and fill you with peace.
I wish you all Peace and Joy this month!