Winter Solstice – What is your Practice in this Season?  – Aligning with the Elements of Change


This is the 2nd post in a series. The first post was Returning to your Essence – Finding the Path and Practice back to Yourself -check it out.

The Wisdom of Winter

The Winter season is here in the Northern Hemisphere, and we are nurturing ourselves for the coming inescapable dark, cold, and truth. We are wisdom seekers at every turn, but often only when it is easy, comfortable, and convenient. Winter comes with a new opportunity to enter into a deep Stillness, and an invitation to be vs. do. A quiet time of reflection, contemplation, less light, the death of old ways, and an opportunity to move back to dormancy. It is a reminder of our survival, our mental, emotional, physical, energetic, and spiritual survival.  

This season honors the Cold, Dry, Dark, Quiet, Calm, and Light.

In the midst of Winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back. ― Albert Camus



Do you resist or surrender to the call of Winter?



Winter blankets us in resistance for our own survival, by isolation, shelter from the cold, keeping our bodies warm, and clinging to changing weather patterns like we have control. If we can let go of the rhythm of warmth and growth all the time and embrace the cold and dormant, {as a challenge for surrender} we bridge a seismic gap between doing and being. In this season, we need to take great care to cultivate the warmth within as it fosters the rebirth that abounds in the upcoming seasons. Winter forces us inside more, often around our families and friends, to reflect, contemplate, and respond. Let us settle into the wisdom of our inner Winter.

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. Henry David Thoreau



How do you listen to the Wisdom of Winter? What is your Practice?



The Winter’s Solstice, the start of the Winter Season, is the most inward point of the year and is an open invitation to not long to be anywhere else than where you are right now. We must not plan our escape, mentally, emotionally, or physically, but rather seek solace from our own rebirth from the dark. Listen to your body, listen to the messages, and what is being called forth within you to be? Sit with the energy to envelop the discomfort of the Winter. Winter takes us headlong into dark, cold nights, short days, and the ache for the return of the light. The light is our barometer for life; when we lack light, we feel disconnected, and alone, and seek the care and comfort of what is familiar.



Where is the light for you? Where is the Shadow?



Start by activating the free light within, the fire that is burning within you. Sit on the edge of your own becoming and draw in the light and warmth. It sounds like this place would be cozy, and it is, but also the place just on the edge of your comfort…too close to the fire, and you will burn, not close enough and you will freeze. What is calling you to practice and surrender? How can you stay warm while integrating what is cold? There is a dynamic dance happening between what is hard and what is in harmony. Learning to walk with your shadow while leaning into the light.

There is a personal struggle for me in the dark and cold months. When there is not enough physical light, I struggle with more *depressive moods and sadness. I invested in a SAD lamp to offset the dark, short days; it does not replace my journey with getting comfortable with the dark, the actual dark, and the metaphorical dark. Think about this, the storyline we are all told as kids, we are taught to fear the dark because we don’t know what might be lurking there. As an adult, we struggle with the actual thing we were taught to fear. The thread that is woven deep into this story is written deep into our DNA; as we unravel our disconnect to the dark, we learn to get comfortable with showing up in the dark.



Winter- So how do we find our way through this?



We learn to cultivate our own light within, we understand that the only way out is through, and we start practicing and showing up for ourselves. We build a bigger fire, integrate the pieces of ourselves that need attention in the dark, call on our inner wisdom for guidance, and get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Winter is a lesson about the fine art of loss and growth. Its lesson is clear: There is only one way out of struggle, and that is by going into the darkness, waiting for the light, and being open to new growth. -Joan Chittister.


Aligning with the Elements of Change and the Wisdom of Winter-Questions for your journal as you balance your setback with surrender:



  1. What is my practice in the Winter?
  2. Do I resist or surrender?
  3. How can I embody my resistance and step into the flow?
  4. How do I cultivate my inner light?


Revel in the small things to find a new appreciation for Winter and the Wisdom it holds



  1. Watch the snow falling, geese flying, and ice crystals forming around anything in nature. 
  2. Put birdseed out near a window you look out regularly- marvel at the winged ones that show up and are thankful for your gifts to them during this season.
  3. Make a batch of your favorite soup. As you eat it, slowly pause, close your eyes and give thanks for how it tastes and feels as it is warming you up.
  4. Curl up on the couch with a book to get lost in and a warm blanket
  5. Winter is a chance to return home physically and within yourself and find comfort in ways that allow you to be with the Winter’s inner reality within you.
  6. Get outside into nature and take a walk, grab your camera, and capture the essence of this season.

Instead of feeling the bitter cold struggle and willing yourself to a time in the future, embrace the calm, resonant energy of the coming New Year. Reflect on the year that has passed and step into the magic of the New Year.



Up Next…


 Harnessing New Year Energy for Lasting Change


Into the Future…

 “The Practice” posts will resume each season on Equinoxes and Solstices. Look for the next one in March around the Spring Equinox.