Harmonizing with Winter: The Gifts You’re Avoiding

Hello, and welcome to the Naturally Resilient: Thriving With Nature’s Wisdom podcast, I’m your host, Devon, and today, we’re going to journey into the heart of winter and the holy days or the holidays. 

We’ll talk about how modern traditions are completely opposed to the invitations of this time and how we may shift our perspective and cultivate new traditions. We’ll also talk about the specific energies of this time so we may orient ourselves towards aligning with them.

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As we approach the solstice, it’s a perfect time to reflect on how nature’s rhythms profoundly influence our lives. This episode is all about finding balance and renewal by embracing the lessons and gifts of winter with fresh perspectives so we may receive its wisdom fully.

Winter, with its shorter days and longer nights, invites us to slow down, yet the holiday season often brings a flurry of activity. 

In our 24/7 artificially lit, over caffeinated, can’t-sit-still world, we tend to want to bypass the darkness and stillness that is winter’s medicine. Rather than treating this time as the truly magical time it is, we celebrate over doing basically everything – over-eating, over-drinking, overspending, over committing… there’s an immense amount of pressure to be “on,” do the things, make appearances, find the “perfect” gift, make the “perfect” holiday experience, “perfect” meal, etc. 

Not only is overdoing anything incredibly detrimental to our health, so is an arbitrary pursuit of an ill-defined illusion of “perfection.” 

It seems as though we use this time to attempt to fill some void within us… we use an external approach, that is, looking outside of ourselves. Yet, the invitation is to look within and it is there that we will see that there’s no “void,” there’s nothing we lack, there’s nothing to fill.

We see that we are emptiness and form simultaneously and that in this dark and quiet time, we have an opportunity to see ourselves for who and what we truly are: limitless, miraculous, sacred, holy, beautiful, and pure love itself. 

Yet, for many, that’s scary, makes us uncomfortable, and we simply lack the resilience in our systems to get that quiet and that still to see that clearly… and furthermore, we lack the resilience in our systems to accept what we’d see if we were able to actually see it. 

Many of us cling to an illusion of ourselves and our lives that we’d rather not unravel because compliance and adherence to the existing status quo in our lives feels easier than facing the truth.

So, the holidays were invented and have evolved to distract us from the dark and the perfect vision we’d have if we let ourselves sink into it. 

The kicker, though? It’s not a healthy choice, bypassing the dark. We pay for it. How many get sick during this time? How many spend January in a sort of multilayered hangover – spending hangover, food and alcohol hangover, emotional hangover… feelings of anxiousness and the blues skyrocket in the winter.

And while yes, there’s truth in the fact that sunshine is healing and necessary and longer periods of darkness and dreariness will begin to take their toll on the human, it is my firm belief that it’s deeper than that. 

It’s this deep primordial longing for succumbing to the wisdom and healing embrace of winter’s darkness that is being overridden that leads us to the anxiousness and depressive state. The inner conflict and going against the wisdom of our bodies, of nature. 

Our modern day holiday season teaches us the dance of opposites.

In Ayurveda, the principle of ‘like increases like and opposites bring balance’ holds the key to understanding this dance. Everything we interact with – our food, activities, even our thoughts – carries qualities that affect our internal balance. If we’re pleased with the result, continue in the same manner. If we need a change, seek the opposite qualities to bring to balance.

Consider how the quiet, introspective nature of winter contrasts with the over-stimulation often experienced during the holiday season. Lean into what you need and take actions that align with that quality. This push and pull, if understood and respected, can lead us to deeper harmony within ourselves and greater self-awareness. 

Attempting to be “on” all the time or be the same all the time or perform at the same level of energetic output all the time is simply impossible, unsustainable, and will set you up for failure and sickness every single time. 

Not giving into winter’s invitations of darkness and stillness is so last generation… let’s reconnect with our older ancestors, the ones who were in tune before all of this modernization, industrialization, and capitalistic, patriarchal nonsense took over. 

The solstice is a time of deep rest and rejuvenation. It’s in the darkness that new life begins. It’s all about the energetic and literal womb – regardless of if your body has ever had one or not, we all came from one! 

This season, I invite you to be a bit of a revolutionary! 

  • Tune into your own rhythms and needs and the primal stirrings with you. Do you really want to attend all the things, or do you wish to be quiet and still and in the dark? It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, but what ration feels good to you in this time – genuinely and without external pressures or opinions from others. 
  • Spend some time with the energies of the womb, the great womb of the mother, the place of no-thing and the source of all things, the deep primordial void and beginning and ending. Just be still. 
  • Lean into your daily rhythms practices like mindful breathing, energy healing exercises, and setting daily routines can help us navigate this period with greater ease and presence.
  • Additionally, when it comes to gift giving, do things differently. This time of year prompts us to think about giving. Let’s expand our view beyond material gifts. The most profound gifts we can offer are experiences and our full presence. I encourage you to think creatively about how you can share these intangible yet invaluable gifts with your loved ones. 

As we wrap up today’s episode, I invite you to consider how you can integrate these lessons from winter into your daily life. How can you honor your need for rest and introspection? How can you maintain your energy amidst seasonal demands? And how can you find joy and meaning in giving experiences and presence?

Thank you for joining me on this winter journey. As we move forward, let’s remember the balance and renewal that this season offers. I look forward to continuing this conversation and exploring more ways we can align with nature’s rhythms.

Until next time, embrace the gifts of winter, and remember, your journey is unique and yours. Keep nurturing your InnerSpark, and let it guide you through the season.

The InnerSpark Method

Timeless Wisdom to become Naturally Resilient

Transform life's storms and cultivate peace, resilience, and vitality with Nature's wisdom.

Dive deep into nature’s rhythms, unraveling from the complexities and strains of modern life, and align yourself with the ebb and flow that has sustained life for millennia.

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Greetings! I’m Devon Ray Battaglia, MS, AHA, ACC. As an Integrative Health Expert, Ayurvedic Health Advisor, and Holistic Life Coach, I’ve devoted myself to living and sharing the timeless wisdom of Nature’s rhythms to unlock our natural resilience and joy!

I mentor individuals like you on a heartfelt journey toward the life-changing simplicity and nourishment of living in sync with Nature.

Ready to transform life’s storms, amplify resilience, boost health and vitality, reconnect with your InnerSpark, and discover a life overflowing with peace, confidence, and clarity?

Click here to learn more about me and The InnerSpark Method.

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