“We can stay busy during this time and pretend winter is just another season. Or we can listen to the sound of winter…
…Nature undressed is bare, empty, naked, no bursts of growth, only a supreme quietude. Plants, trees, even animals are more still, as if taking a much deserved pause.”
-Bruce Davis, Ph.D – ‘The Quiet of Winter’
Hello friends and welcome to 2022!
Ok yes, the end of January is late to the game as far as welcoming in the new year…
But my New Year celebration and first couple weeks of the year involved having covid – perhaps you’ve heard of this illness? And watching so many mindless shows and movies that I finally decided to dig out a puzzle one day so that my brain wouldn’t atrophy away…only to slam my head with the lid of the chest where we store games and the apparently one puzzle we own. Bleeding from the head with blood droplets trickling down my forehead landing on my pants, the hubs’ pants, the dog…while subsequently recovering from covid and missing the shaman training that I was supposed to be at with my cohort…I decided that perhaps the Universe was not on my side this year.
Both the hubs and I are now recovered, my head is healed, and the Universe and I are friends again – but there were a few dark existential days towards the end of the recovery where I couldn’t remember what it felt like to…care about anything.
All of my goals, plans, and intentions for 2022 that I had started getting excited about towards the end of 2021 now seemed like the foolish dreams of someone who had energy, motivation, and some sort of mad drive to improve the world!
One day I decided that perhaps the solution to newfound motivation was to completely change careers and so started looking up dance lessons, voice lessons, learning to play the kettle drum, and investigating how to start your own clothing line. You know, just the usual.
Over the days as I recovered and energy started to return to my body, mind, heart, and soul, the excitement and drive I once knew started to return, too. So I’m sorry to report that I will not anytime soon be debuting my kettle drum skills or clothing line. I’m not saying never…but for now it’s back to Moondance.
Soo what’s your start to 2022 been like??
For some I imagine it’s been similar to mine, with so much illness floating around these days. For others, perhaps you’ve enjoyed a typical start to the year with intention setting, resolutions, and all those big plans to finally stop all your bad habits.
Earlier this month around the January 2nd new moon I felt that I MUST write down some intentions in order to capitalize on the energy of the new moon that just happened to occur right at the start of the New Year. But I was in such a feverish state that what I wrote down felt possibly incoherent.
But let us not despair!
Whether you made resolutions, didn’t make resolutions, or made some half-baked ones in a feverish state; whether you’re well on your way into your new habits, cursing yourself for already screwing up, or just now realizing that you forgot to set any intentions at all, I have good news.
It doesn’t matter.
That’s not the “I can’t remember what it feels like to care about anything” voice talking either!
Although January does have an energy of new beginnings because collectively we have decided that this is the start of a new year and we hold each other accountable to that and offer collective support at this time, if you peel back the “NEW BEGINNINGS” overlay that we’ve put onto January and pay attention to the energy of the season beneath the expectations, you’ll find that we’re smack dab in the middle of the dead of winter. And winter…is a time for deep rest, restoration, healing, quiet, solitude, stillness.
Not exactly New Year resolution energy, eh?
So don’t worry wherever you’re at with your New Year resolutions – there will be plenty of opportunities coming for new beginnings that are more aligned with the seasonal energy that surrounds us.
Remember that life has periods of waxing AND waning, times for growth AND rest. And it’s imperative to honor those periods of rest just as much as we honor the time for growth. Without the rest, we won’t have the energy with which to grow.
So what was being completely out of commission for the first two weeks of the year trying to tell me? Perhaps that was my enforced reminder about the importance of deep rest.
A radical perspective we can take of the New Year, right?? Letting go of all of the expectations to do, go, change, make, force, create. And instead resting into BEING.
Knowing that in due time energy will begin to shift and nature’s new year will be upon us with the spring equinox, giving us another chance at making those resolutions – a chance that is more aligned with the incoming yang energy of the spring.
While spring might feel like it’s light years away from where we are in the middle of the winter, there are still other opportunities to set intentions before the spring equinox arrives. One of those is the upcoming New Moon on Tuesday, February 1st.
Chinese or Lunar New Year begins that day as well, in alignment with the new moon, so know that around two billion people – about a quarter of the Earth’s population – will be celebrating the start of the New Year that day right along with you!
The energy of the new moon is one of new beginnings, starting a new cycle, so it’s always a great time for intention setting whether you’re re-committing to resolutions you set at the beginning of the year or creating new ones altogether.
While reflecting on the lessons learned from your past year and setting intentions for your upcoming year are such important practices, keep in mind that until the spring equinox in March, we are still in a season of full yin energy.
That means giving ourselves permission to let go of having to make things happen and force an outcome; letting up on our self-expectations; allowing ourselves to rest and just BE.
What can we do at this time of year instead?
1. Rest, do less, practice non-doing, allow yourself to just BE.
2. Set intentions for the year without feeling that you must make them happen right now (Use the New Moon on Feb 1 to supercharge those intentions by setting them with the energy of the moon).
3. Be like Water, the element associated with the season of winter – practice honoring the concepts of flow (letting life flow, letting your emotions flow instead of blocking or repressing them), divine timing (trusting that everything is unfolding perfectly), seeing obstacles as detours in the right direction; work on integrating the characteristics of yin and the divine feminine into the way you approach and live your life.
4. Play, laugh, love, heal, practice self-care, and listen to the whispers of your heart, soul, and intuition speaking to you about what you most need right now. Listen, and then honor those needs!