Winter Renews and Restores
By Stephanie Rehor
As winter arrives and the year comes to an end, we have received a beautiful invitation from nature to come back home to ourselves. Each season offers a gift. The gift of winter, if we choose to accept it, is to turn inward and reconnect to our center. The shorter days of winter offer us time to go within, to create space to see what we are holding onto that doesn’t serve our best interests. What is ready to go? What are we called to detach from and what expectations do we need to drop? What is redundant and what is the old story? These are important questions to ask and all the answers lie within us. Winter is about the journey back to the darkness, the place to reevaluate and restore. Nature is giving us permission to put it down, to rest, and to reconnect. This shows us not only what it is that we need to let go of but also the ways in which we let go. Can we stop for a moment and find the places that allow this to happen? For me, I let go when I do yoga. I let go when I dance, I let go when I laugh, I let go when I am surrounded by love, and I let go when I feel safe. Most of all, I let go when I become present in my own body. Winter is an opportunity to come back home. This is a chance to connect to the nature inside of us. We are woven into nature so there is actually no division but we tend to lose sight of this amidst the busyness of life. When we reconnect, we soften our edges and allow. Letting go is not a forceful act but a beautiful surrendering. For this surrendering to happen we must move into our bodies and develop compassion from the inside out. As this happens, we connect with our hearts a little more. Yogic teachings point to the heart center as our center of being. When we open our hearts we nourish the body with love. The body deserves this, not only because it inhabits the soul, but because it has taken on everything and has housed all of our struggles and all of our wounding. Compassion, which comes straight from the heart center, heals these wounds. So even though we may be receiving wonderful, material presents this time of year, we need to remember the earth is also bestowing many gifts including restoration, introspection, and connection. When we are connected we let go with love and healing pours in. This frees up a lot of heaviness so we can go into the new year with a little more space to create fulfilling lives and align with our truth. Retreating to our inner world essentially moves us towards our highest purpose.