Feeling stuck? Need a bit of fresh air to get some clarity? Let’s go for a walk and let’s see what Winter can teach you!
1) Life is a grey area
We are surrounded by a grey ambient as the Sun struggles to make its way through the cloudy sky, the heavy rain and the thick fog. Being neither black or white, sitting on the fence and not taking any side, grey is the colour of the compromise and neutrality. It’s a good reminder that nothing is absolute in this world. Nothing is completely Black or White. That idea is also present in the Chinese philosophy of Taoism with the Yin-Yang where yin forms the black portion with a white dot and yang is the white with a black dot. There is always some Yin (black) within Yang (white) and vice versa, this is in fact a variation of the colour grey. Everything contains the opposite force. You can find good things in bad situations and because every human being has masculine and feminine energies so men have feminine energy and vice versa. Moreover, Yin cannot exist without Yang, they are interdependent. In the same way, you need silence to distinguish noise, light to spot the darkness, death to value life.
2) Defrost to cut the opportunity cost
As we remove the frost from the windows of our cars in the morning, let's take that opportunity to think about the layers of frost which have settled on our mind. Clearing the frost allows us to gain more visibility, clarity and confidence to begin our trip safely. But what about the layers of set ideas that have settled in our mind during our lifetime which don’t allow us to growth and move on with confidence in the world? Our assumptions, obsessions, stereotypes, generalisations and fears about ourselves and others don’t allow us to see and fully appreciate the range of opportunities displayed in front of us. We need to overcome our self-limiting beliefs to enjoy the ride of our life journey!
How do you feel about taking back responsibility? How does it feel to know that you have the power to trigger the change that you wanna see not from expecting anything from other people but from letting go your own self-limiting beliefs?
3) Once upon a dream
Outside the flora and fauna seem to have fallen asleep. The trees go dormant and animals are hibernating. It’s a reminder that every living entity needs rest. Our body is a vehicle carrying us and allowing us to experience life at its fullest. But that body needs sleep in order to best serve us. Furthermore, rest is also a gateway to the world of dreams. Even with our body dormant, our mind can be still rampant. The world in our mind is infinite and dreams have been the trigger for radical changes in countless individuals lives, and responsible for some major creative discoveries in the course of human history. Winter invites us to reconnect with our dreams, to notice, observe and interpret them. Take that quiet time to know yourself even more and unlock the mysteries of your subconscious mind. Do you remember your dreams? When was the last time you had a strange feeling after a dream? Have you ever experienced a feeling of déjà-vu?
4) Mind your words
When it’s cold outside, we can see our breath when breathing or chatting. Our voice and the words that we pronounce materialise and vanish as if they were magic! Words are indeed magic. They are powerful and they have an impact. They have strong vibrations that can heal but also hurt. Everyone can cast a spell with their words. The world has experienced global changes with declarations of War but also with declarations of Love. There is a very famous saying from the Sufi poet Rumi which says “Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?”
Are you mindful of your thoughts and of the words that you pronounce? Do you remember situations where you wished you could take back some words that you had pronounced but it was too late? How do you feel about the idea that you can build and destroy your reality with your own words?
5) Slow down and listen to the World talking to you
The temperatures outside have dropped and sometimes, at the coolest period, we cannot even feel some part of our body, especially the ones which are exposed to the frozen air. The daylight is scarce and the darkness affects our sight too. The odours outside are more discreet as there are fewer things to smell. While some of our senses are restricted, the others become naturally more developed such as our hearing. So let’s take the time to listen carefully when people are talking to us. We often know how to speak but we don’t really know how to listen to others and make them feel heard. Also let’s pay more attention to what is going on around us. Listen to people giggling and children playing, the lyrics of a song playing in the background while passing a shop, words popping up everywhere, the sound of the Wind whispering and howling... The Universe keeps sending us messages and communicates with us. So let’s take the time to slow down and to listen carefully. Try to catch a word, a sentence heard in the air and see if it resonates particularly with you.
6) Mind your step
The floor is becoming icy where humidity has stagnated. Some part of the road or the pathway can be very slippery. As we are aware of the risk of losing our balance and falling, we slow down and we become more mindful of where we are stepping. First of all, it’s a reminder that life is an uneven path. Some situations in life can be very “slippery” and delicate to handle. Being fully present in the moment rather than acting in autopilot mode is the first step to take to gain more clarity and confidence, and to make the right move toward the direction that we want to give to our lives. It also teaches us that in a western culture which too often values busyness and fast paces, slowing down to quiet the mind, taking the time to observe and assess a situation is actually what make us stay in control. How often do you let daily routines and habits take the lead in your life? Can you remember things that you have done or decisions that you made during the day?
7) Everything comes on time
Icicles are hanging from roof tops and trees. This pendent mass of ice formed by frozen dripping water is a great image to teach us about the time that we need to manage some aspect of our life. Water is the symbol of intuition, emotion, fluidity and flowing with the currents of life. Sometimes we need to let go of overflowing emotions and sometimes we need to spend time in stillness and deal with them. The slow dripping of water, drop by drop is like a count down. But it's not a race against time. On the contrary, let’s see it as a counter showing that we are getting closer and closer to the right time. We need "time to heal", "good things take time", "right things happens at the right time". We should embrace time as our friend rather than seeing it as an enemy. Looking forward to something doesn't mean that we have to wait in the meantime. Let’s shift our focus on something else to reduce our time in the waiting line. How would you define your relationship with time? Do you often feel that you are running out of time to do things which matter for you? How do you think you can get away from that feeling of being stuck because of circumstances beyond your control?
8) Find strength in stillness
The outside world has never been so quiet than when there is snow on the ground. No cars, no people to be heard, all the noises are getting lost into the absorbing and deafening silence of the snowy landscape. It’s as if Nature had pressed the pause button on the constant noise from our society geared to entertainment and invited us to spend time alone with ourselves. In stillness, we don’t talk, we don’t move, we look without seeing, we hear without listening. The outside world dissipates as we create space for ourselves to give peace and rest to our mind. Stillness is a powerful way of being. As we become aware of our breath, thoughts and feelings, we get a better understanding of ourselves. We can then resume our life with clearer purpose. While in stillness, can you spot the difference between your awareness, your mindfulness and your consciousness?
9) Your authenticity can be a sanctuary for others
When most of the flora has shed her leaves, the evergreens are well-known for defying the natural life cycle of plants. Those trees and plants which stayed green even during the harshest time of Winter have been used to celebrate winter festivals for thousands of years and way beyond Christianity. It’s a powerful symbol rich in meaning including strength, determination, immortality and revitalization. Standing tall against heavy winter snows and unbending in front of brutal winds, the evergreens remind us our capacity to stay strong and steady despite uncontrollable and challenging time. Ever-green throughout the year, they can also remind us the bravery and dignity of being true to oneself at any time.The evergreens are a constant and reliable shelter for birds, fragile animals particularly exposed in winter. In a fast changing world where authenticity, truth and goodness are challenged values in every way, it’s important to stay true to your values and to provide a green canopy of stability, safety and hope to others.
10) The light is coming back
All the world celebrate, time zone by time zone, hour after hour the arrival of the New Year. Whatever happened that year, positive or negative, we all welcome this new year to leave behind the bad memories or to embrace even better positive events. We all get ready for this new blank sheet in the book of our life. Winter time is the period to draft, sketch and prepare in darkness the new projects for the coming year. New Year celebrations happen after the Winter solstice, when the darkest hours have passed and light starts increasing, as if it was announcing the dawn of a new beginning full of hope, love and light in our lives.
What do you want to manifest in your life the coming year? If you just had one wish, what would it be?
Nature is an infinite source of Inspiration. How else do you think that Winter is also currently teaching you?