Dreaming in the Depths of Winter

by Danielle Charles

Hello friends! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season…

As for myself, I am finally finding some much needed time for quiet and reflection after a hectic but wonderful week spent with friends and family. I have traveled from Vermont to Michigan and back again with some lovely memories created in between. But its good to be home. I’ve been enjoying the constant snowfall over the past week here in Vermont, draping the entire world in a heavy blanket of sparkling white snow. Driving home at night, the lights twinkle warmly  in the windows of the houses and a curl of gray smoke travels up and out of every chimney. Everything seems enchantingly ideal.

What I love most about this time of year is the sense of quiet and peacefulness that permeates through my being. Laying back in the snow in the shelter of the woods with the snowflakes dancing gently around, the world seems so deeply content and at peace – so profoundly quiet. All thoughts and cares seem to drift from my mind and being present in the moment seems suddenly so effortless.

Yet, life interrupts. It can be hard to maintain the deep restfulness of the earth in our day to day scramble as human beings. I wonder at times if that plays into the heaviness of spirit that can manifest in winter – our desire for reflection and slumber  is so at odds with the busyness of our lives. Of course, there is also the lack of sunlight to contend with…

But whether you are willing or not, winter cannot help but beckon you  inwards to the place of dreams and visions. All life around us has retreated, the warmth and light of the sun greatly diminished. All things seem lifeless. But look again. While the world might appear to us barren and desolate, the earth is actually impregnated with life, winding roots protected deep within her warmth and shelter just waiting for the the thaw of Spring to burst forth new life and be reborn.

Copyright Catherine Hyde

We might follow their example. While we wait for the light and warmth of the sun to return, we too can seek the warmth and shelter deep within ourselves. We can beckon to the call of winter to rest and replenish ourselves, let the light and warmth of your spirit hold you  so that come spring, you have the resources and strength to flourish and grow.

Winter, then, is a time for meditation. A time to rest with your feet up by the fire and feel held and protected by your interiority. Many people use the word “cozy” this time of year – which is just perfect. We all desire the simplicity of warmth and shelter – a space for us to be safely held while we slumber and gather our strength for the year to come.

It is so easy to avoid yourself, and to become caught up with the constant need to move your energy out into the world. But we all need a chance to move our energy back in – to recharge our batteries and let our spirit hold us for awhile in that place of slumber, vision and dreams. So while the snow is falling and the fire is warm, I invite you to dream, to envision what sort of things you would love for the world to provide you over the coming year, to plant the seeds in your mind of what you might like to someday harvest.

And, most importantly, beckon to the call of winter for self reflection. Now you can rest and reflect on the past year. Take the time to truly ask yourself if your presence in the world is akin with who you are, how you would like to be?  Are you letting the constant output of energy and busyness of life separate you from your core, from the gifts of your spirit and the creative force of your life? One day, I stumbled across a question in a magazine article that asked,

” How would you like to be present in the world today?”

It was as if someone had awoken me from a dream. To realize that my experiences didn’t have to define me as much as I defined my experience  – to reclaim the responsibility for my presence in the world – felt exhilarating and empowering. I have made it a new habit to ask myself this question each day. And what I have often realized is that the way I have existed in the world has been in sharp contrast to the way I would consciously choose to exist – so often my mind is clouded by negativity, worry and self doubt that I forget to be the kind, motivated and loving person I would like to be.

So take the time to reflect – who you have been, who you are, who you would like to be. What you would like to manifest in your world. What experience of life you would like to possess. We are not the onlookers of our existence, but the purveyors! We must simply step forward and create the intentions we would like, see possibility and life where before we saw none.  Look for the light within yourself, and you will find it.

I wish you all the very happiest of years, and I hope you will find yourselves full of inspiration and excitement for the unknown twists and turns of the year to come. May you find the time to let your dreams and creativity find you, and may the light of your spirit warm your existence and thaw the cold of winter so that spring might come to you again.