As the UK finally embraces winter, I’ve been looking further at the concept of ‘wintering’ as a tool for both this time of year - and this time of life.
It is a concept born out of the practices that can be found in many Northern European countries, where the dark and cold are actively accommodated rather than railed against. From the healing potential of cold water, to the focus and clarity that can come from a steaming sauna. From the Danish concept of Hygge, where communities make a conscious decision to come together in a collective ‘hug’. To friluftsliv - the Norwegian term for ‘free air life’, which focuses on deep, imaginative play and time in nature.
In her book, Wintering, the Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times, Katherine May charts her own journey inwards following a period of burn out and grief - and the beauty in allowing our bodies and minds to be consciously ‘cosied’. And, in my LIVE a few weeks ago with the wonderful Kat Farrant of Movement For Modern Life, she talked of her own ‘autumning’ - reflecting on nature through the lens of Chinese Medicine. This practice views the months leading to December as a time for introspection. But it is also seen as a period for ‘letting go’, taking stock, making room for the new.
Menopause too, is a time that often requires looking inwards. There can be elements of grief, and practices and beliefs that we need to say goodbye to. This act of reassessment, with the benefit of all we’ve learned and carried to this point, is empowering too.
‘Plants and animals don't fight the winter; they don't pretend it's not happening.’
Source: ‘Wintering, the Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times, Katherine May’
Making the decision to welcome in winter, gives us the opportunity to take our time a little before we Step into Part 2. The slower pace, a chance to reflect before we race onwards. Wrap up well, take good care of yourself, and enjoy it.
With love Rebekah and the MPowder team
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