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Rooting deeply into where we are

I must be what they call a ‘winter’ person. This year, as the season started to shift into autumn and the trees prepared to shed their leaves, I felt a corresponding movement in myself – physically – a dropping-downwards kind of energy.

In the indigenous tradition of the UK, the end of October marks the end of the agricultural year, and the start of November is actually the beginning of the new year: darkness is the beginning of a new cycle, and it is from the darkness that light emerges.

It seems fitting that, within this space of generative darkness, I can see several ways that I’m settling deeper into where I am (rather than trying to get somewhere else).

I’m appreciative of my affinity for the conditions of winter: there’s a darkness in my own nature that welcomes the longer nights and a drawing-inward. For me it’s often a season for internal reflection, for the pleasure of stories, and for indoor cosiness.

Perhaps this is partly a function of my being a Highly Sensitive Person. But I haven’t always valued the way I’m wired. I have felt pressure to make myself different, to numb my sensitivity or curtail my multiple creative and intellectual energies. But at the moment, I find myself embracing more wholeheartedly what is it to inhabit what Paula Prober calls a Rainforest Mind, as I commit to honouring these traits and learning to use them more fully.

Similarly, my desire to live sustainably can sometimes prompt a yearning to go and live in a log cabin in the woods. But to my surprise, I recently stumbled on the information that urban living is more sustainable than I had realised (thank you David Owen for Green Metropolis).

When I’m able to drop more deeply into where I am, instead of wanting to escape it, I recognise all the opportunities for fun and enrichment that we have access to locally – from nature to art exhibitions to shops and community. Or even just the restorative comforts of time spent at home!

There are times that my practice supports me in moving towards something new, and there are times – like now – that my practice supports me in sinking more deeply into where I already am. And as we start to feel the energies that come with the Yule celebrations, I always find it helpful to keep my focus on appreciation and gratitude practice.

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