Putting Things Down

Energetically, the time approaching the winter solstice is a time of consolidation. It is a time of letting things come to rest. Nature around us has substantially gone dormant. While we as a species obviously do not hibernate, we too are meant to respect the energy of the season.

In our culture, divorced as it is from the natural cycles that feed our energy, we make no differentiation between the short, dark days of winter and the long, hot ones of summer. Yet our bodies know the difference, and cry out for us to acknowledge that difference, to respect it.

As we separate more and more from the natural energy of which we are a part, we become less and less grounded. Ungrounded energy tends to float upwards, coalescing in our heads, strengthening our sense of the reality of our thoughts and taking us away from the here and now. Thus the danger of becoming too ungrounded: it becomes easier and easier to believe our own bullshit.

We are carrying so much at a time when the energy of the world is requesting that we put things down. It can feel fraught, dangerous, to acquiesce to that request. Won't we fall behind everything that is going on around us?

Honestly, there is a chance that we will. But I wish to pose to a question: at what point does the damage to your health become a cost too great to bear? Does that our culture all but demands of you to behave in an unhealthy way mean that you should do so? Or should you set up boundaries against it for your own well-being?

I urge you to choose the latter. What would it feel like to take just one of your burdens, set it down for a little while and breathe? (If necessary, you can always pick it up again.) This is the energy of the season. Even a few moments of repose, of connecting with the quiet flow of the season's energy, can provide us with an important respite.

Give yourself that respite. In myriad ways, these are very challenging times. To deal with them effectively, we're going to need to take care of ourselves. Who else will?

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