Before I experienced my first Arctic winter a few years back, Sean was the first to tell me: You’re going to want to hibernate.
LIKE A BEAR?! I chuckled.
Exactly. He replied, flatly.
And dang: He wasn’t joking. I remember at first, I resisted the urge to flow with winter’s slow pace. I’d want to put the "pedal to the metal" as soon as I woke up each day — work calls, computer sessions, outdoor projects, you name it. I assumed the same pace I maintained all summer and fall would translate to winter.
And no surprise here: I was wrong!
Instead, I found myself craving more quiet time in the morning. Time to see the snow falling, or the northern lights still waving in the sky. Time to savor my coffee, journal, and meditate a little longer than usual. And — I'll admit — some days, I just wanted to sleep in a little longer!
During my first few weeks of that winter, I felt like my hair was always on fire — from the moment I woke up to the moment my head hit the pillow. I was charging at a fast pace that wasn't sustainable — and yet, I knew I was the only one who could give myself permission to slow down.
Eventually, I had to shift. And isn't it funny how we always say to ourselves, "Why didn't I do this sooner?!"
Things slow down in the wintertime — it’s a fact of nature. And in the Arctic? Things reallllllly slow down without the sun cresting the horizon for over a month. Just like the bears, we can give ourselves permission to hibernate in our own way. We warm up with hot tea, we up our vitamin D supplements, dine on root vegetable soups, and wear our slippers by the fire every night. Even our sled dogs, who are buzzing by 7am in the summertime, can be quiet and still until 10am in the winter — and sometimes, it just feels good to sleep in!
The cycles and rhythms of Earth and the Moon went from being a nuisance that messed with my schedule to my muse. When I felt like I’d lost my groove, I could just step outside and look up! I learned a simple truth that I keep learning over and over again:
Mother Nature is my rhythm.
So as I approach Winter Solstice and the Full Moon in the coming week, I’ll be celebrating the seasonal transition slowly, and steadily with our group of guests coming for Winter’s Womb. It will be an interesting cosmic combination! Solstice means “sun stands still,” and in those dark, tender moments of December 21st, we will be feeling the contrasting vibrancy of Full Moon energy from a few days prior. There will be yoga, meditation, ritual, good food, and memory making with new friends.
And even if you’re not here at Arctic Hive, there are tons of simple ways you can honor this season — whoever you are, whatever you believe in. We all have universal access to Mother Nature, and when we sync up with her rhythms, our whole perspective shifts and life falls into place a little easier most days.
Click here to see my top three tips for honoring this Winter Solstice + Full Moon combination!
Sending love to you, wherever you are!