Winter is Coming- How to Slow Down, Go Inward & Hibernate
Welcome to She Lives & Loves. A podcast for women who are ready to fall head over heels in love with themselves and life.
I’m Kerin Monaco, I’m a Conscious Life Creatrix, Self-Love Guide and Poet . Before we begin I want to say a big thank you to the podcasts supporters. Those of you who are supporting my work through a monthly donation, sharing your favorites episodes on social media and with your friends, and definitely those of you who have reached out with gratitude for the meditations and teachings I am offering. I am so appreciative of your presence in the podcast community.
In this episode, which is episode 5 I’m talking about the energetics of winter. We are approaching Samhain which is November 1st. This is the date that marks the transition from autumn to winter. It’s that liminal space that we all know and love so much. I’ll be hosting a Seasonal Circle for women who want to celebrate this transition. You can learn about the circle the end of today’s episode OR using the link here.
It’s pretty easy to know when the season of winter is approaching. Obviously it takes place the same time each year but if we had no calendar we would know. The air turns colder, the leaves have begun to change color and fall back to the earth. Stores begin to decorate and market the holiday season. Gatherings start to take place in doors. The aromas of cinnamon, pine, and hot cocoa fill the air alongside the sound of crackling fires, leaves crunching beneath our feet, and silent snow falls.
Now even though we are approaching the season of winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, this podcast episode is helpful for you if you are experiencing an energetic winter.
The signs of an energetic winter may slip past us. We aren’t taught how to honor the signs that we receive from our bodies, spirits, and emotions. We live in a world that celebrates hustle and achievements and shames rest and nourishment. Unfortunately, it’s why so many people are burnt out, exhausted, and unhappy.
I’m sure you can think of a time in life when you were feeling the urge to slow down and embrace solitude. You may have had periods where it felt very quiet. Perhaps you didn’t feel able to get things done or there was nothing to get done. There are the darker times in life that feel like a cold winter night. You might even recall 2020 when the world was forced into a global winter season.
Other life events that sometimes cause an internal winter are:
The passing of a loved one
The end of a relationship
The loss of a job
Sometimes winter comes with no event, no warning… just a knowing that it’s there.
This list is not exhaustive. There are no rules. Winter can be catalyzed by almost anything but it does traditionally follow an ending of some sort.
Regardless of if you find yourself in a seasonal or energetic Winter, I’m offering you some inspiration in how to prepare.
Why Do We Honor Winter?
This is a time to go within. Winter is connected to the Dark and New Moon. We experience heightened awareness and intuition during these times. Can you get quiet and truly listen to the whispers of the heart or maybe even the heart’s silence?
In listening to this inner wisdom, we begin to open up the path forward. We won’t stay in winter forever though at times it can certainly feel like that. The winter is an invitation for ALL to go within and explore our unique path. In the quiet, still moments if you are brave enough to lean in, you’ll hear new ideas, potential projects and so much more. You may even find in the stillness of winter anything you brought with you that is not aligned is able to be released here.
This is also the season of rest… or as many animals demonstrate hibernation. In this part of life we not only are called to sleep more but also engage in anything deeply nourishing to our mind, body, and soul. We may find that slowing down is a process especially when the world is always urging us to keep up. In many ways Winter, honoring Winter is an initiation back into the feminine way of cyclical living.
Really all of this can be pulled together in simply stating that in winter we are called to let the Crone rise within. The Crone is the aspect of ourselves with sacred wisdom. When working with this aspect, we see how we have everything we need within. She doesn’t let what people think of her get in the way. When resting, if she were to be called lazy, she would laugh it off and get back… doing absolutely nothing.
Part of conscious life creation for me and designing a life that I cherish, has really come through honoring the seasons of life. Winter has ALWAYS been the most powerful season for me. Once I learned that the barrenness serves an incredible purpose, the discomfort dissipated, and I was able to lean in and experience the season’s gifts. Over time I’ve learned ways to prepare for the season. That being said there are winters that blow in fast, furious, and without warning.
As with ALL episodes I share suggestions to inspire you. You can follow them or let them lead you into something unique and special to you. I pull my inspiration from nature.
Just like the leaves fall and leave trees bare, I clean up my to-do list, my calendar, and my alter. I leave a lot of space in my days during my winter because I move slower and rest more. A packed list of 111 things to get done isn’t conducive to being able to lean into my heart’s wisdom. A calendar of events and gatherings makes me feel rushed and pressured. I clean and clear my altar as a symbol of my readiness to receive. The, as I journey through the season and things resonate or ideas begin to form I may add a symbol or trinket but for the most part, I breathe into the void and devote myself to the stillness.
I stock up just as animals do prior to hibernation but rather than being focused on food, I explore books that I want to read, treats I want to bake, tea (so much tea), movies, and really past times that will encourage me to relax. I find if I have set aside what I want to do intentionally it is easier for me to embrace the slowing down, more internal, and it also alleviates the frustration or even struggle of being in the process. If you want to peak at my personal Winter Hibernation List, I do have a Pinterest board, I will link too for you.
And then this goes hand in hand with the stocking up, but I really see winter as a season of creating. At the time of recording, I’ve already started making my candles for the season, I get a new journal to doodle in, I make nourishing meals to enjoy. When it comes to creating, the sky is always the limit but you can consider creating a new cozy corner, knitting a blanket… or purchasing candles and blankets if you’re not crafty. For me I do spend a bit of time really creating within my home spots and systems that are cozy and generate a sense of warmth.
What’s so beautiful about this idea of preparing is that then you ease into winter with a sense of contentment and maybe even excitement.
Personal Inquiry for the Transition
I hope these ideas spark something for you. Follow your intuition and your interests. Some inquiries for you to use to start consider how you want to prepare and sink into the season are:
How do you want to feel this winter? How can you intentionally create that feeling?
I’m going with cozy but any feeling is welcome and valid. Once you know that feeling, you can start to dream up ways to invite it in. Working with cozy, I know this is a winter where I’ll be turning up the candle, sherpa blanket, and fuzzy socks vibe in my home. Sitting here I’m thinking of projects that I can create sitting on the couch… like maybe I’ll try needlepoint.
What feels nourishing to your soul and helps you slow down?
Some of my own practices really shift in the winter. I move from a vinyasa practice to a yin or restorative style yoga. My walks get slow and more exploratory. I swap out the simple salads of summer for warming soups and roasted veggies. Rather than whipping up a batch of cookies with a recipe I know by heart, I may try something new so I have to pay more attention to the steps. Naps. I nap year round but I find they get just a little more decadent in the winter.
Which ties into the next question which is how can you rest more?
There are a lot of things that I am stepping away from as we transition into the season. I’ll be hitting pause on a couple of courses I’m taking. I’ll probably not be out and socializing as much. I tend to repurpose content in my business when I’m in winter. And of course I’ll be making a dent in the stack of books that I’ve gathered.
Finally what can you empty and hold as a symbol of your willingness to experience the barrenness of the season?
I’ve already got an altar I’ll be packing away so that I can really embrace the season. Part of my practice will be showing up to sit in front of the empty space in devotion. Being present with it and becoming receptive what the next chapter holds.
On November 1st, I’m holding a Seasonal Sister Circle to mark the transition into winter. This circle will be taking place on Samhain when the veil is it’s thinnest. As we come together, we will connect with our higher guidance and heart’s wisdom to bring through messages on self-love for the upcoming season. I will be leading you through a meditation, a channeled letter practice, and concluding with some space holding. If you’re curious about the circle, you can get all the details at here.
I hope that today’s episode was supportive of your path. Once again, I’m Kerin Monaco. Conscious Life Creatrix, Self-Love Guide and Poet. I’ll see you next week. I'll be talking about JOY and how to create more of it in your life. See you then.