It’s that time of year. For some of us, it’s getting colder, days are getting shorter, and leaves are changing colors. For others, there is less of a change in temperatures and a more consistently warm climate.
Regardess of where we live, there are cycles in nature that we as humans follow, whether we realize it or not. The cycle of one day into night. Sunrise to sunset. The cycle of the moon’s orbit around the earth. The cycle of the earth’s orbit around the sun.
Some of the sensations we feel around the cycles of nature are more subtle than others. And even if we don’t visibly see much change in seasons due to our environment, we still can allow ourselves to feel them and honor them.
No matter where you are, it’s important to sloooow down as the days get shorter, and invite more moments of hygge … the Danish word for “getting cozy”.
Warm baths. Wooly socks. A blanket and a good book. A crackling fire. A mug of something steaming and nourishing. A chat with a friend. Petting the dog or cat. Snuggling up with a loved one.
One challenge we can encounter in feeling and honoring the rhythms is the exact opposite, energetically: the “ramping up” we tend to do toward the end of the year at winter holiday time. On the one hand, we should be slowing down, but on the other hand, we gear up and get ready to celebrate with rich foods and late nights, and there’s a disconnect.
I’m not saying don’t party … have fun this holiday season, and always! But find balance. Find those pockets of time to get quiet.
I recently participated in a “forest bathing” experience with a small group, and it was a beautiful exercise in being present with a blade of grass, the sound of a songbird, the cold breeze on your skin. There was nothing but time and the sensory offerings of nature: the smells, the sounds, the sights, the sensations.
Just being with what is around you. Letting thoughts float in and out like clouds in the sky changing shape.
This is mindfulness. This is meditation in motion. This is healing.
Create containers of time, even small ones,when you can quiet down. Be still. Be in this moment, even if just for a few consecutive moments, here and there. Get present throughout your day in whatever small way.
Enjoy your hygge, whatever that looks like for you!