Wintering: Coming Back to Life

February 14, 2024

Wintering: Coming Back to Life

The snow is falling as I write, depositing a protective blanket of fluffy white over my garden. I’m grateful as the fluctuating winter temperatures so far have meant the ground freezes and thaws repeatedly heaving bulbs and wild sown seeds out into the killing cold. 

Everything looks so still, so peaceful, in its monotone mantle, but I know that the Winter season is far from passive. While there is an absence of outer growth the landscape constantly shifts and changes as sticks and branches are rearranged by the winds and icicles mushroom on the eaves. And beneath the surface, of course, there is a hive of activity happening… you just don’t see it until the weather starts to warm. 

And so I am wintering. You know, getting cozy and trying to deeply rest. At least that’s what I thought wintering was about. I’ve been feeling into a personal winter for almost two years now ever since Iris told me “you’ve done enough” in April of 2022 and that it was time for me to stop what I was doing and integrate all that I had been remembering over the past decade. 

What I have discovered is that I haven’t actually been wintering all this time so much as falling, or autumning, as I slowly, and in some cases reluctantly, release and compost many aspects of what I have created and tended in my business and life (there is no separation) since this Soulflower journey began. 

Personal wintering does not necessarily align with the external season, but it certainly encompasses Winter’s traits—darkness, destruction, death and decay—alongside the long, cozy evenings, wrapped in blankets beside the fire with a good book and a steaming cup of tea.

If this is wintering, resistance is understandable. 

Humanity (myself included) has been avoiding wintering for eons. In many ways we have actually been taught to fear and avoid Winter’s wisdom. We demonize the dark, judge idle moments as laziness, discard the aging and avoid the simplicity and scarcity of Winter with a loud parade of consumer holidays. I’m not glorifying the real hardships that come with Winter but I wish to bring attention to the artificial aspects of unsustainable Summer-like wisdom we enshrine and perpetuate. It’s so easy to just flick on the light to avoid the shadows.

If we are to heal ourselves and our planet, if we are to remember our wholeness and find balance and peace individually and as a species, we are going to have to accept ALL of life. We are going to have to acknowledge and accept the wisdom of the light and the dark, the Summer AND the Winter, and face all the parts of the natural cycle of life that we judge as painful and difficult which Winter often brings and that wintering metaphorically embodies. 

No amount of technological progress or interference can halt Mother Nature loudly encouraging us to go within, to do the work that needs to be done to realign ourselves with life. 

I wish to thrive, not just survive. I wish this for all life. And I know deeply that in order to do this we will all eventually have to align with life, with Nature, not fight it. Our fear and survival instincts will certainly kick in and many will battle the changes wintering inevitably brings as if their very lives depend upon it… and sometimes they do. Remember, Winter is the time when life appears to leave the planet. 

And so it has taken me almost two years to actually get to my wintering, but I am realizing, slowly, that this is where the flowers have been leading me all along. 

Wintering, unconsciously, is where I began this Soulflower journey and wintering, consciously, is where I find myself now. 

I’m back to the dark, where I began. A complete circle. Except it’s not a circle, it’s a spiral and what is different now is that I am no longer afraid. I no longer feel the oppressive isolation, self pity, anger and worthlessness and other stories (of my own creation) that were defining the life I was suffering.

“Let go of your suffering so that there is room for joy,” said Rose.

“Let me help you let go,” said Dandelion. 

And so I tentatively leaned in, dipped my toes into the ocean of darkness I felt around and within me and I softened just enough to begin opening my heart to the wisdom of the flowers that nourished my soul on a daily basis. I began listening to my heart and to the heartbeat of the Earth.

Over the years, the Soulflowers have lovingly helped me to understand change to be the natural order of things. They have helped me to trust completely in the inherent intelligence of Nature and the necessity of all the seasons to support life, sustainably. 

We are cyclical beings. Life (life force energy) is never lost—it is only constantly changed, transformed. 

We cannot skip or avoid Winter (or the dark) any more than we can live without our heads, or hearts! 

Winter, and the wintering process, whether it is aligned with the seasons or not, is the part of tending ourselves where we are supported to shift our perspective from outer to inner awareness. In the inner realms, without all the outer distractions, we have an opportunity to clearly see and feel not only our hearts’ deepest desires from which to authentically create our lives from, but also everything that is preventing or “no longer serves” our growth. 

Grasping onto aspects of our lives or ways of living that we have outgrown will eventually deplete our energy and force us to push harder and harder to maintain something that has served its time. Life wants to flow, to expand, to spiral. Painful as it is, the destruction, death and decay of wintering is crucial in creating the space and fertile soil for new seasons of growth. Life is literally not sustainable without it.

That is what we have forgotten as we move into a collective, global wintering. And this is what Nature, all of Nature, is helping us to remember.

If all you see and feel around and within you is pain and suffering…

If you feel lost, or have lost hope…

If you don’t know why you are here or what you are meant to be doing in your life… 

Perhaps it is time for your own personal wintering. 

Sometimes you have to break everything down in order to reveal your true essence. You cannot fight the process. You cannot fight Nature. You are Nature.

I know it is scary, but we are not alone in this journey. The flowers are all here cheering us on. They are our wise elders lovingly helping us to remember what it means to be human and of the Earth. Nature is not an angry enemy punishing us, but a benevolent Mother abundantly reminding us that we are loved and that we belong. 

And so I am reluctant to emerge prematurely from the dark, healing womb I have been residing in and I am deeply listening for the inner stirrings of my personal Spring and for my life force to return. 

I am trusting the process, going with the flow, being patient with myself within the dark of not knowing while also practicing self compassion when old impulses to judge, numb or fix arise painfully in my body or in my life.  

I know that is easier said than done and sometimes there is more to say than what will fit comfortably into an email or blog. This is one of those times! I have so much more to say about HOW I’ve been doing this in real time supported by the Plant Spirits who, as I said above, are here to support us all during these dark and difficult times. 

Please find below a Wintering Bouquet I have created (in the form of a mini book) as a gift from my heart to yours to share my flower story medicine and maybe get some sap rising for your own journey. 

May you feel yourself held and may this simple bouquet offering be potent flower medicine for your soul.

Thank you for witnessing me.🌸

P.S. 💕 My heart longs to show up and give freely of all my gifts and also to know myself abundantly supported without all the transactions that can inhibit flow and stifle creativity. And so I am sharing this offering with you at no charge. 

Perhaps you will feel called to send kind words, a financial donation or other love offering back or maybe pollinate my work in some way. Or maybe you will simply open your heart to receive. All is the natural order of things. 

May we all lovingly tend to our own hearts and may we all have the strength and courage to listen to the wisdom therein.💕

Soulflower Winter Bouquet.pdf




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