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Winter Feels

Oof, Feel like I just came out of a deep winter slumber/slump. These past few months have called for some deep dark inner work and I feel like I am still discovering how that integrates and shows up in my life. What I do know is that I am so glad I took a step back and gave myself time to rest and release. I hope you have had that time for yourself as well.

Winter is a dark and heavy time that can either feel like a womb or a dark cave….I definitely oscillated between both this winter. But over the past 2-3 days I feel like I can smell spring coming.

That scent of wet and the feeling of thickness on my skin: Distinctly different from the winter smell of crisp cold snow and the light dry feeling on my body (even in my throat).

It would be easy for me to fast forward into the excitement of Spring - but I want to (again and again and again) slow down and reflect on winter...and even try to honor the last few weeks we have left with this big mama energy.

If you are also feeling anxious for warmer weather I invite you to take a deep breath and use this time to prepare yourself for the change coming.

As I was thinking about how to enjoy this Kapha energy (heavy, dense & supportive) I am reminded of the lesson I just taught to the teens about “seeing freshly.” - I also work as a mindfulness instructor for Philly’s public high schools. The lesson was timely, as these kids are SO TIRED of online learning and all the difficulties that come from being stuck in your house all the time, as a teen especially (Can you even imagine?) Our lesson was about how to surpass our usual lens of like, dislike, the “I already know”ness and open our mind to curiosity.

“Imagine this was the first time you ever saw this room...imagine you are from another planet and everything you are experiencing is new data. What can you discover?” I told them, "look at one part of their room and imagine it is art - what is the composition? the contrast? the colors?"

I came to really appreciate my view - here is what I looked at and though "damn, that would make a great photograph."

This is such an incredible capacity of our mind to be able to pretend in this way...and then actually discover something new! I have been trying to apply this not only to my physical surroundings but also to the hard lessons I have been learning throughout winter. Instead of getting mad at myself that all my inner demons aren’t completely destroyed (anyone else feel like they have been at battle?) I can bring some curiosity to the difficulties I am experiencing and potentially find a new way through.

I have also been reading Emergent Strategies by Adrienne Marie Brown, which has helped A LOT with cultivating curiosity and visioning the world I want to create. (highly recommend)

ANNYYWAYY all this to say, give winter a little extra love and maybe a dash of curiosity can help you weather the final weeks/months as we move into a new beautiful season.

Some seasonal tips to consider:

1. Add in more mushrooms to your cooking & teas - fungi is a great way to prep your immune system for the incoming pollen and help reduce the amount of allergy response you might have.

2. Try to keep up some exercise every day or week to help your body release built up winter toxins (our blood becomes a little sweet in Feb- March as we naturally shed extra kapha)

3. Make sure you stay hydrated as this will also help move toxins on out.

4. Massage & Exfoliate - keep that lymph moving and continue to take care of your biggest organ.

Haylee Warner

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