by ‘She’ (aka Suzanne Toro)
Winter offers us an invitation to be still and explore the depths of our inner being. The shorter days and ultimately the darkness offer us an opportunity to harness all of our energy and observe and examine the depths of our inner landscape. During winter, we can replenish self by simply mirroring nature’s way. Winter encourages us to remember, it is very important not to disperse the fire energy (yang) so that you can replenish the water energy (yin) and create reserves within you. It is within the act of stillness that fear can rise up. Collectively and individually, we might grasp at and explore the outer world to avoid the darkness and delay liberating our fears. Subconsciously, we refuse the invitation of winter to look in by over indulging in the external world. Often, we are placating ourself with lofty goals and premature forward motion. Winter encourages all of nature to regenerate and replenish. The water reserves are delivered with snow, ice and rain. In addition, the environmental conditions encourage, the plants, animals, and humans (all of nature) to find a warm sanctuary. An opportunity to be still, reserve our energy and look in. This warm oasis ideally harnesses the energy of the womb that we were all created in.
Fear is an emotion associated with the Water Element. A balanced way to engage with fear is to embrace the emotion that directs us to remain alert and attentive to our surroundings and a naturally arising situation. When faced with danger, constructive fear will guide us with an alert and restraint (aka repose); until, we have fully accessed the situation. Then, nature transforms the fear into a sense of readiness and courage to liberate the situation by moving further into repose (stillness) or immediate action.
The Physical Impact
When the element of water is out of balance internally, fear is the obstacle. The obstacle can appear in the mind, physical, heart and/or soul bodies. Anxiety or intense phobias can manifest. No matter where the imbalance rises up, there is a deficiency in the water energy. Which can impact the Kidneys and the Bladder, which in accordance with Traditional Chinese Medicine these two organs are associated with the element of water. The Kidneys (store our Vital Essence). The Vital Essence is the light that will spark energy in the mind, body, heart and spirit. The Kidney Fire revitalizes the systems and then separates the pure aspects of water from the impure. The impure parts of water are transported to the bladder for storage and elimination. The pure parts are transformed into the vital essence, a mist, which is circulated freely throughout the entire body. The Kidney Fire provides the energy to employ the will power needed to overcome obstacles and press forward in life. In addition, the vital essence produced by the kidneys is cooling and lubricating. The mist keeps the body and the mind flexible. Which translates to freedom and fluidity in life. The result of replenishing your waters is the kidney energy assists in regenerating your vital essence and maintaining healthy teeth, bones, bone marrow, spinal cord and brain. While, improving your intelligence, ability to be objective, and retain a strong memory.
The bladder is your reservoir where the waters of the body collect and after being catalyzed by chi, it is released. When the bladder is out of balance, the entire system can fill with toxic waste. Depression, fatigue, difficulty adapting to new circumstances are symptoms of an imbalance. Additional imbalances are associated with lower back pain, knee pain, lack of urinary retention, fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, sexual imbalance (premature ejaculation, vaginal dryness, lack of excitement), anxiety, excessive fear, high blood pressure, inflexible and resistance to change. Ultimately, to revitalize the bladders function attention to exercise, meditation and food can assist in restoring balance to the bladder and the entire system.
The Practice for Well Being in Winter
+Keep Warm. Prepare for the weather and dress accordingly.
+Nourish Yourself with Food and Water. Drink Water (8 to 10 Glasses, room temperature or warm). Eat warm food, focus on orange, green and black foods. Locally grown. Favor root vegetables, whole grains and small amounts of animal/fish protein or beans, nuts and tempeh.
+Meditate. Sit daily (1-2 times) and commune with your inner landscape.
+Allow Creative Seeds to Germinate. Plant the seeds by actively engaging the imagination with the ideas you want to plant and the ones that are germinating within you. These seeds will grow during winter with your focus, attention to engaging the vision and giving them space to germinate. The ideas (goals) will naturally sprout in the spring, after they have developed within you.
+Listen more, Receive and Recharge. Internally and externally create the space to listen to self and others, receive by doing less, practice patience and rest more.
+Face your Fears. Self acceptance is the first step to facing a fear. Embracing what it is. Self awareness provides you with objective understanding of how the fear is impacting your life. Let go of judgement. The liberation will arise in repose (meditation) and/or clear understanding of where you want to redirect your attention. Nature provides you with the courage to take action to resolve the internal and/or external situation. The fear will naturally liberate itself.
Winter is sending you an invitation to be with the feminine energy (yin) within you. As inspired, dive into the depths of your internal waters. Explore gently with a courageous and imaginative heart, body, mind and sprit. The outcome is unknown; however, you will restore your vital essence by retaining balance during winter. Life will become more fluid as the snow melts and the river rushes through you.
Reception. Let Go. Flow with Change. (Click Here to Learn More)
Sound and Silence. Guided Meditation (Click Here to Listen In)