Prompts to connect with nature this winter
Updated: Mar 25, 2022
Winter is a time to deeply rest. The days are short and the nights are long to allow us to take the time to rest, integrate, and prepare for the seasons ahead. The energies of Winter are clearing what no longer serves us and invites us to find grounding during this time.
Rest is a spectrum. Sometimes, all you need is to sit down and chill out. Other times, you find rest by doing a leisure activity, gentle movement, or spending time with loved ones. Rest involves recuperation, and requires flow and movement to avoid stagnancy from creeping in. The energies of winter invite us to bundle up and get outside. The air seems fresher, the sky is clearer, and there is a certain magic to the nature that surrounds us during this time in this point of its lifecycle.
The waves of the ocean tend to be more powerful in the cold seasons, the winds are stronger, the rain is abundant, and the sunlight hits differently- in the Pacific Northwest, where I live, the sunshine is a welcome rain from the cold, gray days. Feeling the sunshine on my face in the winter is rejuvenating, and instantly leads me to feeling more joyous during this time.
Make spending time in nature a ritual, be it on a daily or weekly basis. Find space in your life to soak in the energies winter has to offer. Try doing a walking meditation, and listen for signs of life:
What plants do you see growing?
What animals or signs thereof are around you?
What has changed since the last time you were here?
What is receding?
Ask the trees to keep a secret, the oceans, rivers, and lakes to tell you a story, the wind to show you which direction to go. Then stop, breathe deeply, and listen for the answers you seek.
To do a walking meditation is simple: focus on your breath, taking deep inhales and exhales while walking at a gentle pace. Your breath may not be as deep as if you were in seated meditation. Three (3) counts in and three (3) counts out is plenty. Focus on the sensations in and around your body, listen for the sounds of energies around you, of your foot steps, and for as long as you can comfortably do so, just walk and focus on your breath. If thoughts pop into your head, let them pass by like clouds in the sky. If you’re new to meditation, this practice may feel strange at first. Acknowledge this and know it is normal. Try to do longer durations each time you go on a nature walk, even if just by a minute each time.
Give thanks to the energies around you, both seen and unseen. Express your gratitude in whatever way resonates with you, be it a physical offering or spiritual offering, whatever resonates with you is exactly what the space you’re in needs at this time, and exactly what you need in this moment. Learn to strengthen your trust in this feeling.
Some people give thanks with a physical offering such as tea, hair, or corn. Others with a simple thank you. Some consciously choose only positive loving thoughts as their meditation, while others focus on having a clear mind for as long as they can maintain it. Some people give offerings through acts of service, such as picking up trash or moving debris from the pathway. As you build a relationship with nature, these actions will become more intuitive and second nature. Try different ways of connecting and see what lands for you.
Kaitlyn Beugh's mission is to assist you in fostering a soulful connection to self and the natural world through creation and intention. She is an interdisciplinary visual artist and energy healer. Her art practice plays on the ephemeral, and is intuitively channeled and created in a flow state.
She lives, works, and plays on the unceded land of the Coast Salish First Nations. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts with a minor in Social Practice and Community Engagement from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and has a background in social services.
Kaitlyn is a practicing artist and has some of her artwork for sale in the form of original pieces via her website here. Kaitlyn is currently studying herbalism and connecting deeper with the energies of plants and natures cycles.
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