This week I’ve been exploring ways to be more in tune with winter’s natural rhythm. The long, dark days make me feel like hibernating, for sure, and at times I get frustrated because I’m not my usual productive self. But I look out my window and realize that even though the garden is barren, in the depths of the dark soil, roots are replenishing, and seedlings are calling on underground stores of energy to prepare for their transformation.
If we allow ourselves lean in to this natural pause and use it as a time of reflection and restoration, we literally are calling on our inner light. Hafiz of Shiraz, the oft-quoted Persian poet and Sufi mystic wrote, “I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.” Even in the dark of winter, the light of your being shines bright. And, to throw in another quote here, this one from Shakti Gawain: “The more light you allow within you, the brighter the world you live in will be.”
Activating and calling on your inner light isn’t about changing the pace of winter or brightening it up. The goal is to shine your inner light to bring awareness to all your parts, especially some of those that include emotional, energetic blocks like feelings of fear or scarcity. Allow your inner light to give you inner sight, to see what needs to be seen and hear what needs to be heard. This work requires stillness and quiet.
Try adding slow, intentional activities like yin yoga, qi gong, tai chi, stretching, yoga nidra and walking to your day. Learn about mudras – the healing hand yoga from India. Do some breathing exercises to calm your nerves and create space for growth and transformation. Journaling and crafting are great for cold, rainy, snowy days (and nights) and they create inner stillness needed for growth. Diffuse essential oils to support you.
Use creative visualization to cultivate your connection to your spiritual inner light. Shakti Gawain has couple that work really well and I think you’ll love them (from his book Creative Visualization).
“Sit or lie in a comfortable position. Relax completely… let all tension drain out of your body and mind… breathe deeply and slowly… relax more and more deeply.
Visualize a light within your heart—glowing radiant and warm. Feel it spreading and growing—shining out from you farther and farther until you are like a golden sun, radiating loving energy on everything and everyone around you.
Say to yourself silently and with conviction, “Divine light and divine love are flowing through me and radiating from me to everything around me.
Repeat this over and over unti;lyou have strong sense of your own spiritual energy. If you wish use any other affirmation of your own power, light or creative ability.”
“Get comfortable, relax and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths and relax your body and mind completely. Allow you conscious awareness to move into a deep, quiet place within you.
Imagine that there is a beautiful golden light radiating from a place deep within you. It begins to grow and expand until it fills your entire body. It’s very powerful and as it fills you, it penetrates into every cell of your body, literally waking up each molecule to the light. Imagine your entire body glowing and radiating with this light. Then see and feel your body being transformed – becoming healthier, stronger, and more beautiful. Imagine everything else in your life being similarly transformed.”