In praise of hibernation

Monday, 10 June 2013

In praise of hibernationAs I am writing this, the Cape has been subjected to freezing (literally: the streets are WHITE with hail) rains, and winds are blowing trees down as we speak. I am one of the lucky ones (and I hope you are too) who is warm and cosy. And I love winter. I love the wild weather. I love the cozy fires and mugs of cocoa and thick glasses of gluwein. I love the boots and flowing coats and hats and scarves. I am genuinely sorry for Durbanites who have balmy weather all year round and no need for a fireplace or a winter wardrobe. But apart from all the fashion statements and cozy moments, winter is also a time to take stock, to turn your energy inward, and, like a daffodil, do your growing underground for a time, until it’s time to send shoots out into the world, come next spring.

In spring and summer time, we are busy doing stuff: the days are longer, it feels wicked to watch TV or be indoors when the sun is shining (and so it IS!) and we’re having braais and going to the beach and just generally being full of busyness. But maybe we should listen to the seasons just as nature does and learn to hibernate a bit. Get still and quiet and rested.

Now is not the time for action; it is the time for contemplation and resting. Watch that movie you’ve been meaning to see, catch up on all the episodes of Game of Thrones, read to your heart’s content, and write in that journal of yours that’s been forgotten about while you were too busy having a jol in summer.

And sleep. Because when you sleep you dream, and dreams will help to lead you to the life your True Self longs for and knows is right – if you will listen. Because it’s only when we’re quiet that we can hear the voice of our True Selves (or The Universe, or God, or whatever you want to call what we know to be The Truth).

Morning pages

Winter is the time to think about what we’ve done and who we are and what we want to accomplish in the coming spring.
I love Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, which teaches the reader to discover and recover their creative self. And the most important tool she uses to help struggling creatives is what she calls Morning Pages. Every morning for the twelve weeks it will take you to work your way through the book, you are required to fill three A4 pages with writing. You can write about anything and everything. And because you have to do it every single day, it becomes a meditation and a way to learn about yourself and what you want out of life. I challenge you to do the same for a period of time (how about the whole of winter?). Buy yourself a beautiful journal, or cover an exercise book in pictures that inspire you and make you happy, and write every morning for three pages and see what comes up.

I promise you, you will know more about yourself, and your life – that is the beauty of introspection. And your winter will be a season of deep, underground growth. And that’s the kind that brings the shiny, yellow daffodils of happiness and purpose, come springtime.

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  1. Khensani

    I don’t know people in Cape Town deal with that weather.
    Great article, really makes you think.

    4 years ago •

  1. Sammy

    Lovely article, ct weather may at times be good but 4 seasons in oneday now thats crazy. Wardrobe changing urrgh

    4 years ago •

  1. Tundee

    Wow… This is really something to think about!

    4 years ago •

  1. Zellikinz

    I love cape towns rainy weather in the winter

    4 years ago •

  1. Schoeman

    Staying in saves money. I love to be out and about, but winter is the best time to hang out at home!

    4 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    Sleep is the best in winter, there’s nothing quite like the luxury of being snuggled under lots of blankets. I do find exercising to be better though, just because the perspiration isn’t as much or annoying.

    Lets all do something nice for someone else though, look at your cupboard and give out a few things.

    4 years ago •

  1. Gross

    Just like everthing in nature has a “down time” we humans need it too. Our world needs it and it happens to be my fav time of the year. The regeneration is always so beautiful to watch

    4 years ago •

  1. RoseAngel

    I love winter as it gives me an excuse to cuddle with my husband anytime. We live on a plot and have been experiencing a lot if electricity cuts so that so uncool!!! Invested in a generator because I’d that. Also I get creative with my two girls as I don’t like them going out unnecessarily so we play a lot if indoor games and have more quality time together as a family as opposed to summer

    4 years ago •

  1. Amz

    if I could hibernate I would for sure not a winter person at all – but some very good ideas thanks for the awesome article

    4 years ago •

  1. Mpoyif

    Love the idea of hibernation – That’s my natural tendency but this year I’ve also committed myself to getting into shape now so that when Spring arrives, I feel just as new as the season

    4 years ago •

  1. Ladyconfused

    I love Winter this is more my time for action than Summer. Summers here are way too hot to do all the things you want to do without dehydrating or getting sun burnt. But great life tips

    4 years ago •

  1. Yollie

    TV is what I do best in the winter. Warm blanket, DVD’s and hot choclate!

    4 years ago •

  1. Carlene

    Lovely article! I won’t feel guilty indulging in my urge to ‘hibernate’ this winter – perfect for recharging my mental and physical ‘batteries’.

    4 years ago •

  1. me

    Sleep comes easy in winter -too easy. Having such ‘assignments’ will help to not only sleep through the winter.

    4 years ago •

  1. Tasha

    I love writing… just never get time to do it.

    4 years ago •

  1. CindyBotha

    Very true!
    Always thinking about what to do in wintertime: HERE IS YOUR ANSWER!!!

    4 years ago •

  1. Cornelli

    Not a fan of winter at all! Cannot wait for summer to get back!!!

    4 years ago •

  1. foreverGLAM

    Great idea. I’ll also write. I’ve been making videos Ike Beyonce and when I watch them and reflect back, its really amazing how much I’ve grown.

    4 years ago •

  1. NaturalDiva

    i have heard that this book is wonderful and some say life changing. you have given me something to think about, thank you.

    4 years ago •

  1. Pannack

    I miss summer already even though I do love a good snuggle

    4 years ago •

  1. TJK

    You have inspired me to take time for some introspection! Thank you

    4 years ago •

  1. Simimano

    I also love the “cozy” feeling the winter season gives off..however I do find myself wishing it to be summer at times again just because it is TOO cold. Getting up in the morning for the past few weeks has been quite hard, especially after 6 in the morning! Though I’ll get used to it, I do prefer winter most times. Thanks for the article, very interesting! :)

    4 years ago •

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