Whilst the beginning of December marks the start of winter in meteorological terms, I prefer the start of our personal wintering to be marked by the winter solstice, the 21st of December.
Winter is the season for slowing down, going inwards, and allowing the process of dying off and regrowth. We see it in the natural world around us and it’s the same when it comes to our own personal wintering.
So, what does it mean ‘to winter’? The origins of the word ‘winter’ lie in the Latin word ‘hibernationem’ which means ‘the passing of winter’. Sadly, as humans we can’t hibernate for the season and it can be just as hard to even slow down. For many, December can be incredibly busy and/or emotionally charged, as the outer world ramps up for Christmas. For those working in corporate organisations, the slowing down is short lived and largely just a shift in focus as the busyness continues at home, and then the new year brings a rinse and repeat of last year.
And yet, our own wintering, the process of slowing down and reflecting, is critical for our personal growth and wellbeing. Just like the trees that will burst into vibrant new life next year, we need to find stillness over winter.
So, as you prepare for your winter, as well as the practical things at work and home, what might your personal wintering look like?
For me, this year, I’m having a winter question. A question that in my moments of stillness, I will reflect and journal on. I’ll take it with me on my walks and see what emerges. I’ll use my insights for my spring planning in March, not in January.
So, what might your winter question be? And how might you create your moments of stillness so that you have the space to ponder it?