As we begin to move into the winter months heralded by the darker mornings and the spectacle of rusts, reds, yellows and tones of green adorning the trees, dancing like flames in the winter sun before they flutter gently to the earth. It is a time to reflect on what we have in our lives, our friendships, loves, family, the challenges and struggles we have or are currently facing.
As we move deeper into the winter it is time to enter our metaphorical caves, to reflect on what no longer serves us well, what is holding us back or causing us pain or distress. A time to be kind to ourselves, to evaluate how we self-care and to foster self-compassion. Do not judge yourself, do not listen to the critical voice on your shoulder, instead be gentle, kind and loving as you would be to others. This is a time for healing and a time for emotional rest.
During the winter months the trees shed their leaves, they fall to the earth where they decay providing a rich fertile ground for the birth of new saplings in the spring. This time is an opportunity to think about our plans, our new ventures and challenges, a time to go within to celebrate our achievements no matter how small we think they are...they are still achievements. For the dark months will pass and the sun will once again be powerful in the sky heating the land and giving birth to new life.
Take a few moments out of your busy day to sit quietly; become aware of your body, the natural rhythm of your breath, how your ribs move in and out and your breath flows like the tide rolling back and forth onto the shore. No judgement, just observe your breath, feel the cold air as it enters your nose and notice the warmer air as it leaves. Notice your shoulders becoming more relaxed and allow thoughts to float by like clouds, acknowledge them but do not focus on them. If your thoughts intrude do not be unkind to yourself, just accept that is how it is. This is a time to focus on self-compassion and if you find this exercise helpful, to build it into your daily routine.