Thriving in Harmony with Winter – The Path of Seasonal Attunement
by: Derek Fleming M.H.
Winter can be a challenging time living in Northern climates – the cold temperatures, the snow, the ice, and the shorter daylight hours make for a downright tough season sometimes! Wouldn’t it be nice to embrace the winter with exuberance and grace, enjoying the crisp clean fresh cold air, the beautiful purifying veil of a fresh snowfall, and the peaceful calm stillness of our environment while not worrying the whole season about ‘getting sick’..? Is it possible that during the Winter when we’re living in an internal state of balance and not worrying about our cold hands and feet, sluggish digestion, or compromised immune system that we can start to easily embrace our daily lives through our most challenging season?
The Ancient systems of Eastern Herbology have spent thousands of years contemplating the true meaning and existence of nature and the changing seasons, by carefully examining natural phenomena and how it’s interconnectedness is arranged and balanced. Principal tools which have evolved over time such as the ‘Five Element Theory’ and the practice of ‘Seasonal Attunement,’ give us some insight into the relationship and harmony between the seasons and how they interact with our internal body and organ systems; how the foods we eat and the activities we do develop a healthy internal relationship with our external environment – in any season. The profound interconnectedness of nature give us a depictive analogy of how we can live in Harmony and balance with each other, within our selves, and with our environment – living up to our utmost potential every day. When our body is in harmony with the external environment our internal processes mimic this balance and starts to fall into a perfect harmonious state making it easier to overcome illness and imbalance. When in harmony with Winter for example, we start to have better digestion, clearer thoughts, a strong robust immune system and things just frankly work better.
Winter is the season of the Kidneys, the Colour Black, Salty tastes, and Yin – the feminine. Now, that may not mean much to you, but if we start to keep these ‘element correspondents’ in mind, and begin to learn how ancient systems suggest we utilize these correspondents, we can start to incorporate these principles into our daily lives and start to ‘attune’ to the current season. For example, by consuming clean crystal sea salts, eating saltier dark foods such as a salted fermented black bean dish, or bone broths with added seaweeds, dark colour Herbs or Fungi such as Black Mountain Ant, Mesima, or Chaga and so on, we can then start to embrace true attunement with Winter.
During Winter the energy of our body wants to move inwards and downwards, into a natural conscious state of hibernation – a time of external rest and mental introspection. Winter is a great time to plan your goals for the year ahead while the stable power of Winter’s feminine energy acts to hold, nurture, and develop our thoughts into well orchestrated manifestations of who we want to be or what we would like to do with our lives. By giving gratitude to the energy of Winter and living within her guidelines we can embrace the nourishing feminine nature to our advantage and live up to our most idealistic potential. ..And best of all, the process begins with just a few easy steps in the right direction along the path to seasonal harmony.
To learn more about how you can live in Harmony through Winter and engage the practice of seasonal attunement – what activities you can do, or what foods/Herbs/Fungi you should consume to make it your best Winter ever, join Derek for Thriving in Harmony with Winter on November 23rd, 2014.
Thriving in Harmony with Winter – November 23 – register online
Don’t just survive this Winter – Thrive this Winter!!