Moving Inwards

“”Moving Inwards ” – A Letter

January, 2007

Dear Ones –

Are you enjoying the calm and quiet of the “dark time”? After the whirlwind of Christmas; the decorating, the parties, the shopping, the cards, the gift-giving and gift-receiving, and the family social time — and the aftermath; the post-holiday sale-shopping, and gift-exchanging, you finally have time to breathe. To sit, to be quiet, to be still. Isn’t it lovely?

We are blessed, right now, with a time in which little is demanded of us. Or rather, any expectations are more self-imposed than coming from the outside. Unless we are dramatically into winter sports, or enjoy going out on dark, snowy evenings, we can actually find ourselves with some too-good-to-be-real “quiet time.” And “quiet time” is the essence of the season.

Now, with no one to bother us, we can take stock. This is not so much forming our “New Year’s resolutions,” because our energy for moving forward is not ready yet. But we have, in the midst of dark, cold winter, a time in which to take note and contemplate.

This is a good time to turn inward.

You may notice that your “turning inward” right now has a different qualitative feel from the previous two months. The time leading up to winter solstice is, despite our holiday overlay, a time for deep introversion. In contrast, the time just post the solstice has a more energetic quality to it, a sense of quiescent “liveliness.” The energy is not yet “realized,” this is not yet an “action” time — but you can sense the forming of an energy in your psyche, in your life.

If you recall the symbolism of the “yin/yang” symbol, you recall that within the center of “yin,” there is the small element, or essence, of “yang,” and likewise within the center of “yang,” there is the beginning of “yin.”

Yin and Yang

As we sense how this appears in our own lives, we can feel the energetic truth of this wisdom. We can sense that even when our lives are very quiet, and the days are still very dark, we get an intuition of the energy that will soon emerge. And often, our awareness or sensitivity is enhanced during the long, dark hours of winter. We have an increased ability to “sense” what it is that we desire and wish to create in the coming year.

So for each of us, we can commune with this “dark time” and begin gathering our intention, if not yet our energy, for the forward momentum of spring.

We have the best opportunity to shape an energy when it is just beginning to form. This is why people intuitively make resolutions for the “new year” right after the winter solstice. This is also why our culture chooses to start our “new year” at this timer.

Take care of your health. Eat wisely and well. Eat, as much as you can, vegetables that are appropriate for the season. Since many winter vegetables are dense, or starchy, or a little bitter, they often require more cooking than will the delicate spring greens and vegetables a few months from now. Do slow roasts, and use your crockpot or slow cooker. The scents of rich food flavors will comfort and encourage you.

While salads and some raw foods are still appropriate, even in mid-winter, take care to cut your raw veggies into smaller pieces, and to dress them well. (In fact, this is a good time to experiment with some richer or more flavorful salad dressings.) Try to let your salads get a little warmer in winter; cold raw foods are a bit of a shock to your system right now.

While it is always important to drink water, consider making a little drink of hot water poured over a sliced or squeezed lime or lemon. It will taste better, and the warmth will also help comfort your system. Also, drink herbal teas.

Stretch as much as you can. Emphasize stretching, and taking note of how your body feels, more than trying to push yourself into extreme exercise. At the same time, core conditioning, strength training, and cardio will all boost both your mood and metabolism.

Get out during the middle of the day. Take a walk, or use your lunch break to just get outside and do a quick errand. Try to connect with sunshine, as much as you possibly can.

Winter is an especially good time to review your dance CD and DVD collection. Do you have enough music to work out at home? Do you have some good vids/DVDs, so that you can practice? Do you have some performance DVDs of artists who will inspire you? Make some careful selections, and build up your collection.

Now is also a great time to review your dance costumes and practice “gear.” This is one of the very few times of the year when you will have time for the quiet, gentle arts of sewing and beading. Check everything, from the elastic on your zills (and in your costumes) to hems, beads, and sequins. Make a list of what you need, and give yourself a little outing to get supplies. Make it easy for yourself to spend some quiet evenings at home, getting everything together for the new year.

If you have not been journaling lately, now is a great time to start! I so strongly encourage and recommend The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. If there was one book that I would suggest to friends as a start for winter reading, this would be it.

One of my favorite books for starting the new year is The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It is a lovely and loving way to nourish your creativity and inner passion.

Click on The Artist’s Way
The Artist’s Way to go to the Barnes and Noble website to order this book.

As you do your journaling, your intentions will become increasingly clear. Let yourself write about what you want. At the same time, start collecting pictures, from magazines and any source that appeals to you. You will have some snowy, “stuck-in-the-house” days in January, February, and March. These will be ideal times in which to create “image scrapbooks,” where your selection of pictures is a a way for your “right brain;” your artistic, wonderful, art-child brain — who doesn’t normally speak in words — to communicate with your “conscious self” in pictures. The two together — journaling and picture-scrapbooking — make a wonderful way for the different “sides” of you to connect on what it is that your really, really want.

You might consider shopping for a special journal where you can use both pictures and written lists or “bullet points” of what you want to create. As you write things down (maybe on special, pretty paper that you can paste into your journal), and embellish with pictures or even little drawings, you create a stronger “visualization” and “intention.” The beauty of this is that when you look back, several months from now, you will be amazed at how much of what you desire has manifested in your life.

Plan now to go through your special “visualization” journals at different times later this year, so that you can note what has appeared in your life, and how easily it has come to you. (I like to put little sticker “stars” in my journal as desires come true for me. Sometimes I decorate or embellish those things that I really want. That way, as they come true, I get an extra visual impact when I put “sticker stars” near them.) This way, we can reinforce to ourselves that our desires and intentions really do have power. This reminds us to keep our thoughts very clean and clear, because our thoughts — together with our desires or our “wanting” of something — do have the power to create reality.

Enjoy this beautiful dark time. Enjoy creating a sense of desire for what it is that you really, really would like to have in your life. It is the strength and clarity of your desire that will bring what you want to you — not your “work,” or “resolve,” or “discipline.” It is the joyful, fun-ful, delightful sense of anticipation, of absolutely reveling in the deliciousness of what you want, what you intend to create. You have the ability, through your desire, to magnetically draw things, events, people, and experiences into your life.

Have a wonderful year. I will be thinking of you.

Love to all – Alay’nya