Greetings Dear Readers,
Welcome to the beautiful, mystical winter season. In Asian medicine, all living things – humans, animals, plants – are connected to the seasonal cycle of nature. Although the modern scientific view puts more focus on the microcosm – the tiny cells and microbes – to understand disease, Asian medicine takes into account the macrocosm, which includes the energies in and around us such as the emotional environment in our mind, our social milieu, the food we eat and the way we go about our lives. There are a multitude of influences on the state of balance our body systems are always trying to achieve. We can learn so much from the natural world.
Winter is associated with this dormancy stage of the seed. It is a period of waiting; a time when it appears not much is happening, at least externally. It is a time of cocooning and inner transformation. We reap the benefit of the winter season by following this example in nature and taking time to rest. Long, deep sleeps in winter let the body rest and rejuvenate. We restore balance by cultivating the Yin energy after the very active spring and summer seasons. We conserve our energy so that it can re-emerge again strongly during the spring season when the Yang energy pushes forth again.
Seed wisdom is about holding the vital life force within its’ shell. In winter, our body also pulls its’ energy deep inside. Like the seed, we benefit from protecting ourselves from with cold with an added layer of warm clothing. We also benefit from eating winter vegetables such as kale, cabbage, squash, turnip and collard greens. These plants have a special ability to withstand cold climates. By eating plants that winterize well, we also gain their same inner resilience to cold.
Still waters run deep. Our consciousness runs at a much deeper level in this most Yin season. As winter is when our qi is submerged to its’ deepest level within our bodies, so too do our thoughts turn to the deep, the spiritual and existential.
Winter has a beautifully mysterious quality. Everything is hidden under a blanket of snow. No longer are the blooming flowers inviting us to dance in the garden. Now the cold wind sends us indoors where we nestle by a fire. In the quiet spaces of our mind, deep thoughts emerge from the subconscious bringing forth insights (insight=in+sight=inner sight). It is a time to look within ourselves for answers. It’s a time to listen more to those little callings in our mind we hear in the quieter moments of the day. Some call these little nudges the higher self, the Buddha within your heart, intuition, or God who is speaking to you. However we frame it, it’s a time for resting, listening to the inside, and being deep.
Wishing you a Happy Winter Season!
Yours in health,