Winter, The Season of Water
Updated: May 16, 2018
Like other animals, many humans are inclined to move less and sleep more during winter. It is a time of stillness and reflection, allowing the body to rebuild its energy stores for the year ahead. During winter, it is tempting to read a good book, go to bed early and eat warm, nourishing food. It may seem like less is happening during the winter, but what is going on occurs inside. Animals huddle in their warrens nursing the young, tree sap sinks deeper in the trunk, and we dream of future plans.
Winter is associated with the Water element, which can be a quiet, dark pool within ourselves where our essential self resides. Meditative pursuits allow us to tap into this essential nature so that we can fully express our needs, find meaningful work, and enjoy deep relationships. Disconnecting from our constant stimulation is especially helpful during the winter, in order to reflect on priorities and reassess goals. In cultivating the inner self during the winter, we are better prepared to “spring to life” when the cold energy of the season gives way to longer days and brighter sunshine.
The organs of the Water element are the Kidneys and the Urinary Bladder. The Kidneys hold the reservoir of Qi in the body, and can be depleted by poor diet, insufficient sleep and emotional taxation such as worry and low-grade fear. The Urinary Bladder allows the body to excrete waste fluids, the way our mind sheds outdated thoughts. Eating whole foods and quality meats, along with healthy sleep patterns, support the Water energy of these organs and promote robust storage of Qi for times of need.
Some habits to think about this winter...
- Start an easy meditation practice, or write daily (whatever comes to mind)
- Cook for yourself and loved ones….nourishing food feels so good in winter
- Keep regular sleep times, preferably on the early side