Dormancy of Winter

Focusing inward to experience the enormous amounts of healing activity and reorganization beyond the visible level

December is the beginning of winter, a quiet time when the consciousness of the earth seems to go inward. Plants retreat into the ground and certain animals hibernate. On the surface, it would seem that during this time of dormancy, nothing is happening. Everything is still: frozen. If we examine the grand cycle of nature, we know this simply isn’t true. Every cause has an effect and every effect in turn, becomes its own cause for the next effect and so on.

Understanding this, we can see that winter is indeed a very causative force within the earth. It may appear still, but it is far from dormant. Winter is the time when earth pulls together all its mineral, biological and chemical resources far below the surface we perceive as “dead”, preparing for its rebirth. Even animals in their months-long slumber are rejuvenating their bodies at an astonishing pace. Movement and change is everywhere. We just can’t see it.

As spiritual beings, we are also a part of the Great Cycle. There are many times in our lives where we find ourselves in the midst of a personal “winter”. Our lives can feel shut down, inert, stagnate or deadened by financial troubles or relationship problems but especially illness. We look at the surface of our lives and finding no visible change, assume nothing is happening. Winter shows us that we should never judge a book by its cover, especially when it comes to our own bodies.

“It is in the dormancy of winter that impending life is pulled together, organized and focused. Spring tells you that your desire has already happened and is the acknowledgment in nature that the silent work of winter was effective.”

Dormancy of Winter

The message of winter is to become quiet. Keep your attention focused inward and stay mindful of the enormous amount of healing activity and reorganization that’s happening just beyond the level you can see. Become aware of the dynamic landscape that your body truly is in spite of appearances. You certainly don’t believe everything you see. If you did, you might assume the sun recedes into the earth every night at sunset. If you’re going to believe in something, believe in the amazing unseen healing forces of your body.

Just because we can’t see something is absolutely no proof that nothing is happening. In fact, we almost never know what’s happening until it’s already happened! Considering this, which is more important: the rose bud that blooms into a beautiful flower OR the rain, mineralized soil, pollinating insects and sunlight that pulled their resources together to make the bloom possible? The dynamic power of winter is beautifully conveyed in this quote by the great essayist, Robert Bitzer.

“Perhaps this means that winter would be more important than spring. It is in the dormancy of winter that impending life is pulled together, organized and focused. Spring tells you that [your desire] has already happened. Spring is the acknowledgment in nature that the silent work of winter was effective. So your demonstration is the acknowledgment in the outer world that your silent creation was real. Spring comes because of what took place in winter.”

Dr. Habib Sadeghi is the co-founder of Be Hive of Healing, an integrative health center based in Los Angeles. He provides revolutionary healing protocols in integrative, osteopathic, anthroposophical, environmental, and family medicine, as well as clinical pharmacology. He served as an attending Physician and Clinical Facilitator at UCLA-SM Medical Center and is currently a Clinical Instructor of Family Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences. Dr. Sadeghi is a regular contributor to Goop, CNN, BBC News and TEDx. He is the author of Within: A Spiritual Awakening to Love & Weight Loss, as well as the foreword to Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good, and is the publisher of the health and well-being journal, MegaZEN.

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