Settle in the Stillness

IMG_3998Winter offers us a time to settle into the stillness of the season, allowing our body and mind to be nourished from deep inside.  We are given permission to slow down, turn inside and notice what has come before us, as well as clear the way for the path ahead.  Allowing yourself time for inquiry and insight can give rise to transformation and clarity along your journey as a Healer.     The road can get mucky and we can quickly find ourselves on uneven ground, but having a strong base in mindfulness and self-care can help us keep our balance.  As Healers, we are often extending ourselves out to our communities, clients, families and friends, with sometimes little coming back.  Expecting the outside circumstances to change will only lead us to desire and attachment, further deepening our suffering, rather than alleviating it.  Instead, we can offer softness and self-compassion, turn our awareness inside, and learn that we have the capacity to nourish ourselves. In Chinese medicine, the season of winter is water.  It is a time to rest and rejuvenate as the earth quiets and goes dormant.  We can harness this opportunity to resonate with the energy around us and relate to the characteristics of the water element.  Water is a deeply cleansing element, so give yourself time to take regular trips to your favorite water source and don’t underestimate the bath; soaking and steeping, cleaning and clearing. Add epsom salt and your favorite essential oils for a blissful and productive experience.  Also incorporating a hand washing ritual into your practice can help protect both you and your client, providing strong boundaries, limiting transference and counter-transference. In the winter, nature becomes quite and turns its energy inward.  If a regular meditation practice seems daunting and overwhelming, try taking one extra deep breath before you connect with your client.  Or add mindfulness to an experience you already have every day, such as brushing your teeth, or doing the dishes.  The more moments of mindfulness you add to your life, the more intriguing a daily sitting practice will get. The sun is starting to rise a little higher in the sky and a tease of spring is in the air, so instead of eagerly awaiting the change of the season, I encourage you to use what is left of the winter to cultivate a self-care practice that will hold you up throughout the year.  Your practice will be as unique as you are and there is no one way to do it.  I have offered some ideas, but I encourage you to find what resonates with you and make it your own.  When the opportunity arises, step outside, close your eyes and let the rays of the sun shine down on your face.  A moment as simple as this can change the ripples of your day. Jenny DeDecker Jenny DeDecker, LMT, CLC, is the owner of the wellness studio, Full Moon Rising, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where she offers bodywork, yoga and meditation instruction and maternal health services.  She resides in the  U.P., up the hill from a creek, with her husband, and two small children.