Staying warm, both inside and out, can be quite the challenge here on the east coast. Last week we discussed a few ways to embrace winter by eating warming foods, staying hydrated and performing exercises that focus on fluidity and breathing. This week, we will go deeper, as we learn to accept the natural gifts that the season of rest brings to all of us.
The lesson that Mother Nature is trying to teach us during the winter months is all about surrendering. Many of us shutter just reading the word, as we have been taught all our lives to never surrender, no matter what. And while the “just keep swimming” mantra has helped the world become the modern marvel it is, our individualism and overall self-acceptance are waning.
How, exactly, do you learn to surrender to the season of stillness? Follow the steps below with an honest effort and the small but simple changes will manifest.
Tune In and Take Note
Winter is a time of resting and recharging for all living things. As with nature, if we fail to surrender to the season of stillness, we will be unable to reach our full potential in the moving and doing seasons of spring and summer. Think of winter as the giving season, but instead of doing all of the giving, you are on the receiving end. Give yourself the gift of listening to your physical, mental and spiritual needs. What do you need more of? What
holds you back?
Once you have learned to listen, you can begin to take note. Journaling is a critical tool in the winter as it helps us reveal our true needs and desires. Dr. James Pennebaker, known as the pioneer of journal therapy, claims that expressing your feelings through journaling for approximately 15 minutes per day causes a significant improvement in your physical health. Dr. Pennebaker states that you will be able to see noticeable improvements in as little as four days! For more information on how to begin journaling your way towards better health, click here.
Accept your Authentic Self
Self-acceptance is a difficult concept to master. After all, we are taking about “come as you are”, unconditional acceptance, which is the complete opposite of the modern day stipulations that we normally use as a rating tool. Most of us spend our time thinking about improving ourselves, and although self-improvement is vital in this journey we call life, we often seek improvement for all the wrong reasons. The reason why it is so hard to accept ourselves is because we are often unsatisfied with who we are. The reason we are so unsatisfied is because we are comparing ourselves to others or to society’s idea of who we should be.
There is no better way to reduce stress and gain happiness than to learn to accept who you are. Eliminating the need to compare, cover up or suppress your fears can bring great relief. Self-criticism, anxiety and stress are all symptoms of fear, therefore the ability to acknowledge them bring great relief. Self-acceptance is a habit, so begin practicing it today. Remind yourself that, like a pearl, you are unique.
Now that you are actively journaling and beginning to accept your authentic self, it is time to take a deep look inward. Winter is just as much about self-reflection as it is rest. This is the time to begin to take a look at what is working in your life and what needs to change or be eliminated. This is not the time to act, however, that will come later. Think of this season as the time of development, similar to a seed in a garden or fetus in the womb. Spend this time nurturing your hopes, dreams and ideas, and allow them to grow and develop.
Join us Thursday, March 26th for our powerful shift: your spirit workshop.