No, I’m not talking about going all Paleo and living in a cave! 🙂
But I am curious: Are you are you taking time to dream this winter? The darkness and coldness offer the perfect opportunity to follow nature’s call to slow down and crawl into your cave.
There are many reasons we don’t listen to this call…
- The fall and winter holidays tend to be so extroverted. We ignore the dark and the cold, dress up and drive around to spend time with friends.
- We might be on a roll, living busy lives, full to the brim with work, family, social life, exercise, home chores, etc.
- We might be extroverted people and really used to spending most of our time with others, finding our sense of self that way.
- Or we might even be filling up our lives in order not to touch into what is below the busyness, what might arise if we went into the darkness, into the unknown.
The mama bear knows how to do this. Our ancestors knew how to do this. Indigenous cultures still know how to do this…how to live in connection with nature’s rhythms, to follow the call of winter into the cave.
Wintertime, cave-time, is a perfect time to let go of outer distractions and tune into your own inner world, to stop listening to the “shoulds,” and open yourself to the quiet, still embrace of the vast, deep, mysterious dark. This is an invitation to envision how you want your life to be. When you’re curled into yourself, listening to your self, what do you dream up?
Most of us can’t take enough hibernation time—though I sure wish I could sometimes! So, how to we make time to connect with these qualities of Winter?
- Start a dream journal, keep it by your bed, and write down your dreams as soon as you wake up. It doesn’t matter if they don’t make sense to your logical, daytime brain. Just write them down.
- Try spending more time journalling, especially first thing in the morning.
- Try engaging in some form of creativity in which you ask for vision and stay open to not knowing the answer, to be shown what you need in your life right now. Collage is an easy one to start with if you don’t already have a specific practice.
- Take more breaks, rest time, or retreats in which you have unscheduled time. (See my post “Are You Listening?” for more ideas about this.)
Here’s a cave-time practice we can do anytime—try it with me now:
- Breathe deep into your belly.
- Feel your feet on the floor, your seat in the chair, your back resting on the chair.
- Imagine you could breathe all the way from your belly, down your legs, through your feet, into the floor. Feel roots growing down into the earth, rooting into the earth.
- From this rooted place, breathe into the cave of your belly. If you are a woman, imagine this cave as your womb.
- Breathe into your cave and feel/see/imagine its cozy embrace.
- Continuing to breathe deeply into this cave and into the earth, imagine yourself curling into yourself and crawling into this cave.
- Imagine yourself finding a comfortable place in this cave to lie down in for a little rest.
- And let yourself stay here for a few breaths, a few minutes, or longer. Breathe, allow yourself to be held, allow yourself to not know, to open to any visions or dreams that might be waiting here in the darkness for you to receive.
- Close your eyes.
- When you open your eyes, move slowly. You may want to write down any insight, intuitions, or feelings.
- Bring this more centered presence with you as you move into the rest of your day, knowing that you can return here to meet yourself and your dreams, even just for a few breaths anytime.
If you would like to explore your own inner dreams and desires with me, please post a comment below, or consider:
- Signing up for a free Holistic Health & Wellness Discovery Session,
- And joining me in Saint Paul, Minnesota for seasonal The Way of the Happy Woman® Retreats—the next one for Winter is on Saturday, January 31st from 2:00-5:00 pm.
Happy cave-time and winter dreaming!
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