When I first came across the concept of 'Wintering' I was so happy. This made so much sense to me. I find it's an idea that manages to bring some real warmth and meaning to those times when things may seem bleak.
Wintering is a book by Katherine May. The following quote is taken from a book review, and I feel it captures the essence of the book perfectly.
'A beautiful, gentle exploration of the dark season of life and the light of spring that eventually follows'
I first read Wintering around November time which seemed perfect, but to be honest, the idea is so much bigger than coping with a cold, dark season. May talks beautifully about handling darker times of life, when things aren't going so well. Of course things can take a bad turn at any time of year, so don't take the 'winter' of 'Wintering' too literally.
I found reading Wintering to be such a grounding experience. It was one of those books that, as I read, I found myself constantly thinking 'oh yes! that's me.' or even 'I never thought that way before but now I have it makes perfect sense!'.
One of my favourite parts of the book is that it gives the reader permission to rest.
May makes me feel that rest and retreat isn't just acceptable, but vital in order for someone (anyone) to get through life.
If you've ever felt guilty for avoiding social situations or find yourself pressured into saying 'yes' then the power of retreat may appeal to you. The focus on retreat isn't to hide from the real world but to prioritise being kind to yourself. Just as spring follows winter, a newfound energy and love for life can follow a period of retreat, rest and quiet.
This quiet period may not always feel comfortable. It is there to give you the time and space to sit with difficult situations and emotions.
Paying attention to these emotions allows you to process them and move on. Ignoring them will usually do nothing but fertilise further negativities.
Mimi Kuo Deemer Qi Gong Winter.