Hello Courageous Souls,

As we enter the Winter season, we are invited to turn our attention inward to a deeper, slower, more subtle realm.

From the outside, this may appear to be a “waste of time” and yet, the generativity of spring is dependent upon the stillness of winter.

Our instincts do not need to be convinced of the power of hibernating, but our cultural critic may. Science can serve as a bridge.

Neuropsychological research tells us that “productivity may be enhanced by allowing the mind to wander.” Elizabeth Beam, asserts that when the brain enters the “default mode network” creativity is supported.

I would add that creativity is supported when we allow, not just our minds, but also our bodies to wander, especially in nature.

Sometimes I hike from point A to point B, other times I wander. One day, after a long run of productivity, I needed to regenerate. Instead of hiking, I decided to wander.

I was feeling particularly empty and burnt out, when I came upon a burnt hollow tree trunk. Nature mirrored my inner state and invited me in.

Accepting the invitation, I found myself curled up within the curvature of the trunk, breathing the scent of the cool earth. As my muscles softened into the ground, I slowly released the compulsion to create. I hibernated.

When we force ourselves to constantly produce, we loose touch with our creative source, which is the root of our calling.

When we trust the wisdom of our bodies, we align with the intelligence that informs our calling.

What is required for you to align with the innate pace of your calling? What does the wisdom of your body need in this moment?

If your soul is asking you to push this season, may you be fueled by the mystery to do so.

If your soul is inviting you to hibernate, may you  have the courage to follow that impulse.

Spring will come soon enough, and I will invite you once again to my bi-annual Women’s Courage Circle as we harness the creative force of that season.

For now however, we enter winter. How will you honor the wisdom of this season?

As always, I offer you a seasonal
Ritual Recommendation:

1.   Find a time which you can spend uninterrupted.

2.   If you are indoors, create an environment that feels nurturing. Consider turning out the lights to enter the fertile darkness. You might want to gather blankets and a pillow.

3. Create a ritual container by marking a transition into the non-ordinary. For this ritual, I recommend calling on the Earth in particular, as she is the source of deep renewal.

4. Find a place to which your body says yes. Let your instincts lead you like a bear to a cave.

For those of you who prefer to do this in nature, allow your senses and intuition to guide you to the perfect spot.

5. Once you are situated, listen deeply to your body. Does it want to collapse in exhaustion? Does it seek a more of a tender catnap? Perhaps you fall asleep, or find yourself in a liminal space, dreaming at the edge of awareness. What matters is that there is no agenda, no pressure, and no end result in mind.

5. If time allows, linger until you feel satiated.  Close the ritual container as you see fit, and repeat as needed.

May any intentions or goals you make for the New Year be informed by this wider definition and experience of courage.

In gratitude for this shared conversation, Aninha

P.S. During the push phase of 2013,
I birthed two articles:
The Ecology of Calling and Women and Ritual.

May they inspire other rituals this season and beyond that support your calling.

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