The map told me the next exit would get me off the interstate highway onto a secondary road that could lead me to my destination; so I took it. At the end of the off ramp I came to a stop and breathed a sigh of relief. Every lane on the interstate was a fast lane and I’d been in the fast lane way to long; so there I sat pondering a new direction. I made a left turn onto the county road and headed north. My pulse slowed, my vision cleared and with a new sense of intention, I finally began seeing where I was and was not.
Reflecting on the winter season can help us slow down and look within. It can also challenge us to awaken as we slip and fall, slide off the road, lose our power and get stopped in our tracks. It can cause us to rail at the storms or look within; search for more external diversions or for something deeper. Winter gives us opportunities to be quiet, to listen with more attention to the inner promptings and deeper longings. It’s a time for slowing down, getting off the expressways and discovering a vastness within.
Reflecting on a time when there were no handheld electronic devices, no twenty four seven news, no interstates and no internet, I find myself longing for a simpler life. I find my Self beyond what our culture says the ‘good life’ is, what the advertisers tell us will make our lives better. Sitting in the stillness of a ‘snow day’ opens us to a serenity that comes from the unfettered presence of the hearth, the falling snow, the wind, the quiet, the wonder of the open moments. Here there’s a connection with our Divine Essence, with the heartbeat of creation that’s silent, generative, nurturing and ever present.
Sitting in this winter environment of black, white and grey can bring us to an awakened presence of our own kaleidoscopic life and that of the whole creation. When we see with new eyes and hear with new ears, everything changes. The silent music that comes paints pictures in our souls that remind us of other times, places and spaces that have colored our lives yet go unnoticed. In slowing down, remembrances of precious inner graces come floating up from our unconscious to remind us of who we truly are.
If what I’m saying sound superfluous to you, then you probably don’t like the season of winter. You’ve probably forgotten the ears and eyes of your inner child that listened and even saw the silence that’s ever present in the depths of Being. You’ve likely bought into the conventional three dimensional worldview that shuts down all we’re capable of perceiving and receiving. For when we intentionally search for the Self that lives in the heart and soul of everything; winter becomes a wonderland, a gift to be lived lovingly.
- As you live within these winter days, practice giving yourself the gift of silence that connects you to the ‘thin places’ and invites you into new ways of seeing and being.
- Make an intention to slow way down and enter into the joy of each day; to become aware of all the wonder and beauty beyond the myriad of thoughts, words, and deeds.
- Turn off the television and all the outside interferences that bombard your senses for a significant period of time everyday to sit deeply in the silence of the moment. Notice the difference it makes. Feel the freneticism and the calmness, the inner energy that leads you astray and, that leads you Home. . . .