The Hidden Gift of Winter

winterDecember 21st (5:44 am EST) is the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the shortest day of the year. Beginning Thursday, December 22 the days will grow longer, culminating with our Summer Solstice on June 21, 2017. Arriving a few days before Christmas, allow yourself to receive a hidden gift: permission to take a time-out and reflect! Pausing to go deep within will go a long way towards calming and balancing your chi, particularly if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed with responsibilities or commitments. I call it “slowing down to speed up.”

Winter is a yin season. It’s cold, dark and wet. Many people don’t like it. They go south or southwest to the sun, fun and warmer, longer days. I find that there’s a big benefit to adapting to the energy of each season wherever you happen to be. It’s part of going with the flow and being in the cycle of life. When viewed from the perspective of nature, winter is a powerful season.

Energetically, the yin qualities of winter include going inward, being still and quiet, reserving energy, being more sensitive to surroundings. Nature is taking a rest, preparing for new growth next spring. Although it’s not visible, there’s quite a bit happening beneath the surface. Seeds are set and roots are developing or going deeper. Frozen ponds and lakes provide glass-like, reflective surfaces while fish and plant life also slow down.

In your body, winter correlates with your kidney meridian, your primal source of life energy. Your kidney nourishes your bone marrow, your body’s source of red and white blood cells, and filters waste from your blood. Kidney energy provides vitality. Externally, the condition of your head, hair, and airs are indicators of kidney chi. Having a clear vision and being clear-headed, pairing knowledge with wisdom, and power with compassion, are signs of kidney vitality.

When your kidney chi is out of balance, you may experience problems with your hearing or ears (such as tinnitus/ringing in the ears), depression, being overly critical, cynical, irritable, stingy, or fearful. You might also experience a lack of enthusiasm or zest for life, stagnation, detachment, loneliness, insensitivity or self-pity.

From a feng shui perspective, the season of winter is associated with the Career area of the bagua. This is the center front of your space … your land, your house, every room in your house, your office, business or workplace. This area of the bagua also correlates with the kidney meridian and your ears. Over the years, I’ve had a few clients with hearing problems. Simultaneously, they also either had blocked center front doors or they were not happy with their career. It’s amazing how everything is connected.

Give yourself the gift of doing a mediation on the winter solstice. You may find that you get more done in less time, creative solutions to problems emerge, your energy is more calm or balanced and you’re more pleasant to spend time with. This is a gift you can also give to others.