Ways to Tend your Body this Winter
Let's face it: our bodies have been through A LOT in the past few years. There's been an increased amount of fear and stress at the same time we've been more isolated from human touch and connection. If you've been with me for some time, you know how much I advocate for being super kind, generous, and loving towards our bodies. I also advocate for letting them lead, or at the very least, being involved in decision making. Winter is the season where I feel extra inspired to dote on my body. It is the season that invites us to build and strengthen our vessel. To enjoy stillness and space to inquire how we truly are feeling. To let our body speak their needs. This is extra important now. As most of our bodies have accumulated a lot of emotion, stress, and worry. Winter's soft embrace helps us feel held and cared for, helps us feel safe enough to release extra burden, and helps us shift from ignoring to adoring our body. So as we approach Imbolc, the mid-point of the winter season, I invite you to spend some extra time caring for, listening to, or tending your lovely body. Here are some suggestions:
If possible, allow yourself time each morning to journal, meditate, or find some sense of stillness or being-ness. It is often the mornings, when we are raw, that we can sense in to a larger field of what's going on in our psyches and bodies. Morning rituals can be extremely simple, but powerful ways to start the days. I have 2 recorded Reverent Morning Ritual videos to help you connect with yourself in my Videos section on my website.
As much as you can remember throughout the day, pause and check in with yourself. Put your hand on your heart, and ask, "what am I feeling right now?" Scan through your body and see if you can sense any sensations or emotional flavors that are present. Breathe into your body, and let her/him/them know that you're here, and it's ok.
Practice intuitive movement. For even just a few minutes a day, let your body move in any way that feels really good. This could be shaking or jumping, moving your arms, rolling your joints, quiet rocking, spinning and dancing, or anything in between that's available to you and your body. The practice, though, is to let your bodydecide, and not impose what you "think" you should be doing, or what "looks good."
Get outside! Especially in the winter months, we may need extra motivation to get bundled up and face the cold. Our bodies and nervous systems generally feel more safe and at ease in natural environments, since that's where we evolved to be for thousands of years. Our bodies can often relax more with the trees and birds. Go press your back up against a tree and just breathe. Feel your body. Let the tree help ground you and bring you back in connection with yourself.
Take a break from technology and information. With the excess amount of information we're processing these days, taking breaks to allow the body to integrate and just BE are crucial.
Thank your body for all they do. Our bodies are constantly working to keep us healthy. They're always doing their best to heal and to communicate with us. Give thanks for anything and everything you can think of that your body does for you. And let your body really soak up and receive this appreciation. Breathe in deeply with each gratitude, and let your body feel it.
I hope these practices will help you turn towards yourself during these Winter days. And if you're craving a more intimate, deep-dive into being with your body, join me for Gifts of the Body this coming Sunday, Feb. 6th. This is a mini-retreat that loves up on the body, and helps us feel a sense of connection with the incredible gift we've been given. The gift of being on the Earth in a body.