Rest and reflection

I’ve wanted to write a blogpost for a long time but my thoughts and ideas weren’t quite aligned to work it out. But I think I finally have something I would love to share with you at the beginning of this winter season. Sometimes ideas need some time to ripen and grow… and that’s what the winter season is for.

‘Winter reminds us that everyone and everything needs some quiet time.’ Katrina Mayer

It’s was a misty winter day when I went out to take some pictures as they’ll perfectly match with the content of this blogpost. There’s something serene and tranquil about a misty and gloomy day. It kindly invites us to turn inward, take it slow and ponder. To embrace the calmness and silence it presents.

Nature knows best what we need and the season of winter is an invitation to rest and reflect. It’s the season when nature hibernates and wraps itself in a cosy blanket of snow. It’s time to stop rushing and going on as if it’s summer.

As we’re approaching the end of the year, I feel the need to pause, to look back and to reflect on what this year has brought me, what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown. If we embrace the reflectiveness of winter, there’s the possibility to gain valuable insights about our lives. What’s working and what isn’t. What did we enjoy, and what didn’t we.

Winter is for most people one of the harshest seasons to get through. For me too. I miss the bright daylight and the warmth of the sun, the green freshness and blooming flowers in my garden. It’s a dark and long season and we lack our usual energy. The best way to deal with this season is to accept it and to move along with it, to not go against the flow but to let it carry us. If we manage to handle winter like this, we won’t loose energy but get it!

When we’re in nature, we’ll find stillness and rest. A way to beat the winter blues for me is trying to be outside every day by walking, running, cycling to the grocery store, or doing a little chore in the garden. To notice and connect with the senses the tiny details and bigger structures in nature is really helpful and soothing. They are more visible in this winter season. Trees, for example, are naked and allow us to discover the color of their bark and the shape of their branches. And all the buds are already there, waiting for spring to come. What a hopeful promise!

When we begin the day with spending time in nature, if offers us a calmer start of the day. Focusing on the small joys found in nature slows down our always busy brains and we gain a different perspective which will help us throughout the day.

So often I start the day with my to-do list and all the things I so called ‘have to do’. It can be paralysing and it withhold me from slowing down and taking a pause during the day. It’s a daily learning process.

Every aspect of nature unwinds in winter. The days are short and the nights are long. Animals hibernate and sleep through winter. Only we, humans, resist sleep and try to minimalize this ‘waste of time’. We need our sleep to revitalise, restore and recover.

It’s an investment in our own vitality and energy level if we move with the rhythm of nature. To allow winter into our lives. To grant ourself a long night rest, to rest more than usually and to slow down.

I have this pile of books I want to read on the cold winter evenings. I will also try to have a daily break in the morning; make myself a cup of tea and just sit down. To ignore this little voice in my head that tells me there are a million things waiting to be done.

‘May this winter be gentle and kind, a season of rest from the wheel of the mind.’ John J. Geddes

I hope you will also find a way to embrace this winter season and that you may find moments of stillness and rest in your daily life!

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