As we embrace the new year, it is hard not to get bogged down with the troubles of humanity, evident almost everywhere we look; from the personal to the political, the economic and the planetary, with a constant backdrop of war.
When the weather is cold and the days are short, it’s difficult to keep a relationship with nature; the body contracts and our daily life can become more limited. Then thoughts can turn inward and spiral, we lose perspective and find it hard to remain open to life’s challenges.
Perhaps this is not the time to push ourselves, fuelling the list of ‘shoulds’ with resolutions or comparisons of how we could be if we tried a little harder. It is also not the time to implode and stagnate, so how do we find balance?
Gentle, nurturing self-care is key. Learning about what we need right now and allowing ourselves to discern what feels right, rather than what feels easy. Each of us is different, although most of our needs are universal, but as we take time to understand ourselves with compassion, we begin to find a way to flow with the days and with our fluctuating selves. For some, the habits we build up can be nurturing, for others change and new challenges are required. Some of us need stimulation so as not to collapse into lethargy, others need restful periods of calm with very little happening in order to regenerate.
Each day your energy may change as can your needs, so even if your work or family schedule is demanding, finding moments to put yourself energetically at the centre of your day is important.
In this way we drop into the witness of ourselves, that deeper place of observing which connects us to the greater picture; the seasons, the consciousness of humanity and ultimately to the One movement of life which we are not separate from.
Allowing this shift of perspective, even as we honour the needs of our separate selves, prepares us for the spring when life will awaken in the earth and in our bodies. We will be able to embrace the year with renewed fortitude while being embedded inwardly in love.