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Honoring Your Wintering

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about the concept of wintering. So I first heard this term wintering from a really wonderful book by Katherine May, where she speaks about how we can learn to honor and move through the times in our lives when things are dark, dormant, or difficult. So the winters that we endure in our lives can be brought about in lots of different ways. Maybe a sudden loss, a health challenge, a heartbreak, or some kind of big setback.

And when the winter comes, it often really takes us by surprise. And I, myself am actually just coming out of a two year period like this, and gosh, hey, the winters can be harsh. It can be lonely. It can be testing. It can be a really tiring period of life.

So sometimes in these periods of life, we have this sense that something's gone terribly wrong, that we shouldn't be feeling this way, we shouldn't be experiencing these things. But the reality is it's as natural for us to go through these times as it is for the seasons to change or the planet to spin or the stars to shine. Now, this is easy to say, right? But when you're on your knees hurting with no resilience left, what can you actually do? I mean, we don't get it much education on how to honor these winters of our lives. I'm going to suggest that there are three things that you can do. One, rest as much as you need to.

You know, the winters are a more internal season. It's a time when much of the living world becomes dormant and still. In the harshness of winter, nature retreats to save energy. But we humans, we have a tendency to fight against the winter, to push ourselves through it. But this is something that only makes things worse.

I can personally attest to this. I embarrassingly made myself very, very sick with adrenal fatigue from exactly this behavior, from pushing through the winters. But now I've really learned to honor the winters of my life and take rest, flow with the current of life rather than against it. It's really just a soft act of surrender where we say, okay, this is how it is right now and we just don't have the energy that we had before. So rest might mean sleeping, more saying no to certain things, reducing your workload or going on retreat.

Two, nourish yourself so that you can flourish again. There are things in life that nourish us, and there are things that drain us. There are things that heal us, things that weaken us. Start to become attuned to what nourishes you and carve out more time to do those things. So for me, that meant taking time to be in nature.

I also found yoga and dance to be great medicine for me. At the same time, I had to limit my screen time, my late nights and my long workdays. So whatever it is that nourishes you,make sure that you make time for it and let it be a healing balm to your body, mind, and heart. And three get connection and support. We do not have to go through our winters alone.

So reach out, allow yourself to have a shoulder to cry on, a hand, to hold, a friend to hug. So we may never choose the winters, but we can choose how we go through them. And if we can honor this season of our life, it can heal us, open our hearts and deepen our awareness. So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

Honoring Your Wintering

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about the concept of wintering. So I first heard this term wintering from a really wonderful book by Katherine May, where she speaks about how we can learn to honor and move through the times in our lives when things are dark, dormant, or difficult. So the winters that we endure in our lives can be brought about in lots of different ways. Maybe a sudden loss, a health challenge, a heartbreak, or some kind of big setback.

And when the winter comes, it often really takes us by surprise. And I, myself am actually just coming out of a two year period like this, and gosh, hey, the winters can be harsh. It can be lonely. It can be testing. It can be a really tiring period of life.

So sometimes in these periods of life, we have this sense that something's gone terribly wrong, that we shouldn't be feeling this way, we shouldn't be experiencing these things. But the reality is it's as natural for us to go through these times as it is for the seasons to change or the planet to spin or the stars to shine. Now, this is easy to say, right? But when you're on your knees hurting with no resilience left, what can you actually do? I mean, we don't get it much education on how to honor these winters of our lives. I'm going to suggest that there are three things that you can do. One, rest as much as you need to.

You know, the winters are a more internal season. It's a time when much of the living world becomes dormant and still. In the harshness of winter, nature retreats to save energy. But we humans, we have a tendency to fight against the winter, to push ourselves through it. But this is something that only makes things worse.

I can personally attest to this. I embarrassingly made myself very, very sick with adrenal fatigue from exactly this behavior, from pushing through the winters. But now I've really learned to honor the winters of my life and take rest, flow with the current of life rather than against it. It's really just a soft act of surrender where we say, okay, this is how it is right now and we just don't have the energy that we had before. So rest might mean sleeping, more saying no to certain things, reducing your workload or going on retreat.

Two, nourish yourself so that you can flourish again. There are things in life that nourish us, and there are things that drain us. There are things that heal us, things that weaken us. Start to become attuned to what nourishes you and carve out more time to do those things. So for me, that meant taking time to be in nature.

I also found yoga and dance to be great medicine for me. At the same time, I had to limit my screen time, my late nights and my long workdays. So whatever it is that nourishes you,make sure that you make time for it and let it be a healing balm to your body, mind, and heart. And three get connection and support. We do not have to go through our winters alone.

So reach out, allow yourself to have a shoulder to cry on, a hand, to hold, a friend to hug. So we may never choose the winters, but we can choose how we go through them. And if we can honor this season of our life, it can heal us, open our hearts and deepen our awareness. So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

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