Many years ago when I was in college, I studied botany. The science of plants.
One of the many reasons that I chose botany was that I was fascinated by trees. Looking at a tree on a cellular level was eye-poppingly amazing to me.
What struck me the most was that in the depths of the winter the tree was not dead, far from it, but was carrying out activities essential for its life and survival.
Stripped of leaves, seemingly dormant and “blowing in the wind”, there was critical recovery activity occurring that allowed the tree to thrive later in the warmth of summer.
You can get the same message when you shift your focus to the animal world.
Many of our favorite little creatures hibernate in the cold months. They tuck themselves away for rest and recovery.
It’s a natural pattern that you might do well to consider…
I have a friend who has done a form of hibernation for several years. Come winter, Kate steps back from her life – stops socializing and spends her extra time at home in contemplation and rest.
By the time spring appears she has insights and plans that spur her on through the rest of the year.
Although I am not suggesting that you hibernate like Kate, I do think this is the time of the year that you could turn your attention to slowing down in some way.
In many parts of the world, nature is giving you a clear message about what works right now in life. (Sorry southern hemisphere friends, please save this thought for July!)
Just as all of nature calms down and sleeps after the dance of autumn, you may need to rest and relax to have a fully productive year.
Just as our earth cannot thrive with only sunshine, you can’t thrive without rest and relaxation.
You must have time for “being” instead of “doing”. Winter is the perfect time for this.
It can be time for contemplation as well.
Some deep consideration of who you are and what you desire.
By slowing down and retreating deep within, you can also raise your awareness of your own dreams and hopes. Everyone has them, and perhaps it’s time to dust yours off.
It is very easy to put those dreams on the back burner for “someday”, but what about really examining them, feeling into them, and incorporating baby steps towards them this winter?
Take time to explore your deep hopes and dreams. If you don’t know what they are, how can you work towards accomplishing them?
This is important “me” time, and you deserve to have that time.
All dreams become real in phases: creation, incubation and birthing.
Deeply consider how each of these phases will affect you. Emotions are powerful motivators, and tuning in to how you will feel as you grow into this new way of being can help you stay the course.
And let’s face it, we all need more rest and relaxation!
Even if you don’t include the aspect of deep consideration of your dreams, intentionally slowing down and resting (with a jigsaw puzzle, a good book, or a nap) offers its own medicine.
So, take some time for yourself soon.
Give up on the frenzy for a while. Remember the turtle who won the race by going at its own pace, slow and steady.
What can you do to shift yourself into a slower mode over the next month? How would you like to use your “rest and recovery” times? Let us know by leaving your thoughts about a slower pace in the comments below.