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Honoring the Stillness of Winter

I'm wrapping up 3 full days spent in the desert of Southern Utah. I've been solo for almost 4 days at this point. Aside from the sweetest little kitty and some deer I saw on my walk, I haven't seen another soul. I'm far away from any city and at least 7 miles out from town. It has been crazy quiet, calm and peaceful.

It’s also been the window of the new moon and the skies have been filled with clouds, dumping at least a foot of snow. There is no light pollution. When it’s dark, it’s dark. I’ve really been able to feel the darkness of the moon and the stillness of solstice, where the sun seems to stand still in the sky.

Through the practice of menstrual cycle awareness over the years I have learned the value of every season, both externally and internally. As I've learned to surrender into my inner temple of menstruation, I've also learned to surrender into the inner temple of winter.

I've learned that there is in fact an ebb and flow to everything. I've also learned to trust in my own cycles and rhythms. When things are in flow, I follow. When I am in my ebb, I trust that I need to be there and wait patiently for the energy to change. There is always a reason for both.

The last month or so leading up to the Winter Solstice, I found myself feeling very introspective, as if I was in the chamber of separation that comes before menstruation. I did not want to post on social media, or project much of my energy outward towards much of anything. I felt as though I was in the greater energy of separation of the "yearly menstrual cycle" aka, cycling through the seasons.

Women experience what is called the 'inner seasons', just like the earth goes through hers. I've begun to look at the year as one long menstrual cycle, which I know may seem weird to many who don't understand what is actually happening.

Women's bodies are a microcosm of the macrocosm. Our bodies are mirroring the seasons that the earth goes through in one year, in one menstrual cycle. It is quite profound when you really start to listen and pay attention to it.

In some ways, Winter Solstice marks the start of a new cycle. In the menstrual cycle, day one of menstruation is associated with day one of winter. It is also associated with the energy of the new moon, the starting of a new cycle and ultimately new life. However, just like any seed that you plant in the ground, much of what is happening is going on beneath the surface, underneath the soil before it actually sprouts forth with new life.

Kitty in the sauna teaching me to chill!

This is where we are. Winter time is a time of rest, renewal, reflection and tending to the roots. New life is beginning, yet it is not time for it to 'spring forth' in action. The action that is being taken is in the unseen and hidden realms of the soul.

I am already feeling a sense of renewal. Granted, it could be that I just spent three full days in completely restorative energy. Regardless, I am feeling a sense of relief since we have crossed the threshold of solstice, just like I do when I first start to bleed.

In the menstrual cycle, when I am deep in luteal (the phase before menstruation), particularly 1-3 days prior to my flow, I drop deep into the first Chamber of Menstruation which is called separation, where I am separating from the external world. Things can get quite intense. My sensitivities become more and more heightened and my inner critic tends to be the loudest. Once I start to bleed, it is almost as though instant relief comes rushing in. That is what I experienced this year around solstice and the new moon solar eclipse.

I am not blasting off with the energy. Throughout winter I will be using it in more of an internal way. I will be using it to rebuild and restore my chi. I am choosing to surrender into the energy of winter, fully embracing the stillness and quiet. For I know from the countless times of practicing via menstrual cycle awareness, that if I allow myself to surrender, the energy of renewal, visioning, clarity and direction are sure to come!

There is no need to rush. The energy is not conducive of that. The days are short and dark, although the light is slowly returning. I will move slow, conscious and mindful, taking action when the energy is there and resting when it is not. I will most definitely be hibernating a lot!

I hope that you have had a happy solstice and holidays. I know for many this time of year is filled with parties, family, shopping and can be pretty high stress. With the holidays almost over, take some time for you. And don’t worry, winter has just begun. There is plenty of time to surrender into the stillness and dive into the roots of your internal landscape

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