As a practicing Pagan for many years, I always looked forward to winter. It was such a welcomed shift from my hectic, over-programmed life to a slower pace in all things. Allowing my body and mind to reflect the cycle of nature in winter meant that I took the opportunity to rest more and turn inward for some intentional reflection. When spring came, my spirit was then ready to blossom again and whatever I had been pondering could start to manifest.
My spiritual life has shifted somewhat. I still find meaning in following and celebrating the seasons, in setting intentions at every new moon and am still known to pull out my tarot deck and pendulum on occasion. However, my yoga practice has made me appreciate the calm and stillness in every single day. My meditation practice, turning inward and reflecting, is how I begin each day before sunrise.
My mother instilled in me a practice of prayer, and I think of prayer as talking to the divine. She could also be heard saying, however, “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason!” This was a message meant to let me know when I was talking too much and not listening, and it is a message that has become more resonate for me these days in my spiritual practice. If praying is speaking to God, then meditation is listening. I am finding a great deal of worth in just listening. For me, calm and stillness is key to hearing that divine voice. It is a voice that has helped me make intentional changes in my life instead of settling with inertia. It is a voice that keeps me in integrity with myself and those I love and serve. It is a voice that has led me to a more authentic place in my life.
Although I admittedly seem to go deeper in winter, I no longer wait to turn inward and reflect. My reflections no longer wait until spring to birth–I have a consistent flow of creative energy. Life remains full, but I rarely experience it as overwhelming. These are most certainly the results of calm and stillness.
So, I encourage you to take this month to find those opportunities to simply sit still and calmly listen.