I’m a big fan of podcasts !
I’ve mentioned one of my favorite podcasts, “On Being” with Krista Tippet, in this newsletter before. Recently she had the author Katherine May who wrote the beautiful book Wintering, as a guest on her show. After listening to Katherine speak and read so beautifully from her book, I immediately ordered it.
I’m waiting for the book to arrive and while I wait, the concept of Wintering has not left my consciousness.
While Ms. May speaks of the physical aspects related to weather as we winter, her ideas on the concept of Wintering move far beyond the aspect of weather.
Going to quiet, taking time off, pulling inward, and reflecting, are all qualities of Wintering that Katherine writes about and while the book speaks of Wintering as an act to choose during difficult times, I suggest that the concept of coming out of the physical world and projecting inward, while opening to the mystery within, is a beautiful practice that needn’t be precipitated by difficulty.
I’ve been living in New England for the better part of the last 50 years and in the beginning I used to get so depressed when winter was arriving. As soon as the Charles River (our iconic river that separates Boston from Cambridge) froze over, I would go into a deep depression. I had very little connection to my higher consciousness in those days and the cold and dark was a deep, deep landing pad for me.
As years progressed and my consciousness increased, I began to notice the patterns and shifts in my life and how they coordinated with the seasons of the year. One of the best parts of living in New England is having four seasons and living in accordance with what they bring.
Now at the tender age of 66, I welcome winter with open arms.
My older bones may feel the cold more quickly, but I know that I’m about to step into yet another holy few months. The darkened days no longer speak of sadness and despair, they remind me that my life does not just exist in the physical world. There is a world of inner mystery to explore. I check on my Nagchampa supply, I pull out my soup pot and I whistle as I change over my closet, leaving behind summer clothes and making way for coats and boots.
As I chop the vegetables to pour into the pot of soup continually on my stove, as I look out onto the pond covered with snow that sparkles outside my living room window, I now experience a deep sense of peace and gratitude.
As the sun sets over the pond each night I reflect upon the day releasing all energy that I’ve created and picked up that does not serve. I ask the divine within to guide me, to help me lead a life of integrity, of kindness, of love.
These are a few of my acts of wintering: reflecting on how I can be a more conscious and kind person, observing my behavior and actions and shifting them into higher modalities when they are in low frequency, and giving myself grace and generously bestowing it upon others.
Perhaps what I love most about the concept of winter is the idea that we can take something that some people see as difficult and use it as an opportunity to experience beauty transformation and grace.
How do you Winter? What does the concept mean to you? Are you able to turn difficulty into peace? Are you still using all irritation and tragedy as a landing pad, and are still not able to see the possibilities for kindness grace and peace?
If you feel stuck inside of the chaos that is continually in our world or the pain that lands in your life, yet you desire peace and ease, excitement and joy – but are not sure how to shift out of your judgment and worry – reach out to me now.
We’ll set up a (no fee) time to speak.
I’d love to hear where you are on your journey, and I’ll be happy to share a bit about the practices and tools that Practical Spirituality offers students who chose to learn how to turn any difficulty or tragedy into an opportunity to increase their consciousness and build a life of equanimity and joy!