This past winter has been long, cold, and dark. Hopefully, you haven’t accomplished much. I mean that in all sincerity. After all, winter is the season of hibernation; we’re not supposed to accomplish much. Winter reminds us that rest is important. I say so often that rest is the root of productivity, something that a culture obsessed with action often forgets. But rest is also the root of creativity and motivation. If we spend winter resting appropriately, not only can we recover physically, but we can recover mentally and spiritually as well. In other words, in order to be truly prepared for the dynamic, generative, and upward movement of spring we have to engage with and process the still, slow, and inward movement of winter. And the best way to do that is through journaling.

Born from yin: Six journaling prompts for the end of winter

This past winter has been long, cold, and dark. Hopefully, you haven’t accomplished much. I mean that in all sincerity. After all, winter is the season of hibernation; we’re not supposed to accomplish much.

Winter reminds us that rest is important.

I say so often that rest is the root of productivity, something that a culture obsessed with action often forgets.

But rest is also the root of creativity and motivation. If we spend winter resting appropriately, not only can we recover physically, but we can recover mentally and spiritually as well.

In other words, in order to be truly prepared for the dynamic, generative, and upward movement of spring we have to engage with and process the still, slow, and inward movement of winter. And the best way to do that is through journaling.

This seasonal node is called "The Great Cold" (which this year, is unseasonably warm and snowy but what are you going to do.) Usually, this is the coldest time of year; Minnesotans tend to think of February as the month where it's too cold to snow. The yang that was reborn at the Winter Solstice is getting stronger as the days are getting longer. People are starting to get restless and depending on their pattern diagnosis, their seasonal affective disorder is kicking up a notch. Living seasonally for these last two weeks of winter can go a long way to alleviating that increased anxiety and restlessness and set you up for success for the coming year.

Gearing up for the Great Cold Seasonal Node

This seasonal node is called “The Great Cold” (which this year, is unseasonably warm and snowy but what are you going to do.) Usually, this is the coldest time of year; Minnesotans tend to think of February as the month where it’s too cold to snow.

The yang that was reborn at the Winter Solstice is getting stronger as the days are getting longer. People are starting to get restless and depending on their pattern diagnosis, their seasonal affective disorder is kicking up a notch.

Living seasonally for these last two weeks of winter can go a long way to alleviating that increased anxiety and restlessness and set you up for success for the coming year.

It may not feel like this is a small amount of cold. But then you remember that last year the Great Cold seasonal node was blessed with a -60 F windchill last year. It was cold enough that even we Minnesotans decided that we could stay home. My grocery store closed. It was very strange. Compared to that, the cold at the beginning of the year seems small indeed. The Small Cold seasonal node lasts from January 5th to January 19th.

The Wee Hours of Winter: The Small Cold Seasonal Node

It may not feel like this is a small amount of cold. But then you remember that last year the Great Cold seasonal node was blessed with a -60 F windchill last year. It was cold enough that even we Minnesotans decided that we could stay home. My grocery store closed. It was very strange.

Compared to that, the cold at the beginning of the year seems small indeed. The Small Cold seasonal node lasts from January 5th to January 19th.

Last week we introduced the concept of seasonal nodes and how tweaking your lifestyle and diet every couple of weeks can not only preserve your health but improve it. Since the focus of this seasonal node is preserving yang qi by supporting the spleen I thought it would be an ideal time to share a yang tonifying recipe. Be warned: the recipe is pretty bland (it’s mostly rice and water) but if you eat it as is or with some tasty root veggies or eggs, I think you’ll find that you’ll feel warm from your fingers to your toes in no time.

Nourishing Winter Congee

Last week we introduced the concept of seasonal nodes and how tweaking your lifestyle and diet every couple of weeks can not only preserve your health but improve it.

Since the focus of this seasonal node is preserving yang qi by supporting the spleen I thought it would be an ideal time to share a yang tonifying recipe.

Be warned: the recipe is pretty bland (it’s mostly rice and water) but if you eat it as is or with some tasty root veggies or eggs, I think you’ll find that you’ll feel warm from your fingers to your toes in no time.

Staying warm after the Winter Solstice

Wow, friends. It’s definitely winter. I do like seasonal change but sub-zero temps can be a little much for even me.
How did you survive? Hot cocoa? Sauna? Hibernating under a blanket? (No really, I want to know so leave a comment below.)

I opted for hibernating. ‘Tis the season, after all. And it was while I was sitting on my couch with my mug of coffee I had a thought: we’ve already covered the basics of seasonal living. We’ve touched on every season. But do you know what we haven’t done? The seasonal nodes.

What are the seasonal nodes? Read on to find out.

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What better time than blogtober to update the element series? This spring I expanded on the spring seasonal living post, adding additional information about the wood element and its disharmonies. Now that we are well and truly into autumn it’s time do expand the autumn seasonal living post with an exploration of the metal element. In this post, we’ll do a deep dive into the metal element, the element associated with autumn and growing yin. Later this month we’ll do a follow-up post on the disharmonies of the metal organ systems. Without further ado, let’s get started! Featured image and cover photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

The Metal Element: Grief and Release

What better time than blogtober to update the element series? This spring I expanded on the spring seasonal living post, adding additional information about the wood element and its disharmonies. Now that we are well and truly into autumn it’s time do expand the autumn seasonal living post!

In this post, we’ll do a deep dive into the metal element, the element associated with autumn and growing yin. Later this month we’ll do a follow-up post on the disharmonies of the metal organ systems.

October is a season of change and transformation. The days get shorter, the nights get longer and colder. Trees shed their leaves and their skeletal branches are a stark contrast to the pale, cloudy sky. Fall is the season of all things witchy. There has been a recent uptick in the number of people calling themselves witch and I think it’s because there is a call for us to change. People don’t seem to mean that they’re making a theological change to Wiccanism. Rather, they are embracing this power of transformation. “Witchiness” has become synonymous with feminine-power (though not all witches identify as female!). It’s raising up our voices, taking care of ourselves, and yeah, sometimes sage sticks, tarot cards, and crystals. So to celebrate this witchy season I want to share with you some of my favorite books about female empowerment, healing, and transformation. Featured image and cover photo by Spencer Selover from Pexels

Five Witchy Books for Fall

October is a season of change and transformation. The days get shorter, the nights get longer and colder. Trees shed their leaves and their skeletal branches are a stark contrast to the pale, cloudy sky. Fall is the season of all things witchy.

There has been a recent uptick in the number of people calling themselves witch and I think it’s because there is a call for us to change. People don’t seem to mean that they’re making a theological change to Wiccanism. Rather, they are embracing this power of transformation.

“Witchiness” has become synonymous with feminine-power (though not all witches identify as female!). It’s raising up our voices, taking care of ourselves, and yeah, sometimes sage sticks, tarot cards, and crystals.

So to celebrate this witchy season I want to share with you some of my favorite books about female empowerment, healing, and transformation.

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It’s fall and our feeds are inundated with changing leaves, sweaters, socks, and cups of tea. But did you know that the seasonal draw to a perfect cup of tea is actually a remedy? Tea has long been praised as a healing beverage across cultures and in this post, I’m going to discuss the healing properties of tea from a Chinese medical and seasonal living perspective. Cover photo and featured image by koko rahmadie via Pexels

The Healing Power of a Cup of Tea

It’s fall and our feeds are inundated with changing leaves, sweaters, socks, and cups of tea. But did you know that the seasonal draw to a perfect cup of tea is actually a remedy?

Tea has long been praised as a healing beverage across cultures and in this post, I’m going to discuss the healing properties of tea from a Chinese medical and seasonal living perspective.