Thriving – Aligning with Nature’s Season


By: Kevin Kunkel, MA, CMT

While abiding by smart tools to manage the stress of the holidays is wise, the wisdom of honoring the natural rhythm of the season is a key to experiencing more health, ease, and a deeper satisfaction around the holiday season. Taking breaks, doing less, planning ahead, eating and drinking moderately, and being sure to exercise and take time for yourself are all important reminders of how to survive the holiday season. In order to thrive and richly enjoy this holiday/Autumn & Winter season, however, I invite you take a deeper step into aligning with the rhythm of nature at this time of year.

‘Tis the Season of Letting Go of that Which no Longer Serves Us

Being human upon this earth is to be a part of the rhythm and flow of the seasons, of the sun/moon cycle, and of the rhythm of our own body. We often don’t pay attention to the natural rhythms around us and in our body for immediate gains at work, to meet expectations, or to keep up with the Jones’s, but this can be detrimental to our health, as well as our enjoyment of these months of the year.

Winter slows us down, demands for us to do our own form of hibernation, and tugs at us to turn inward towards our own darkness. Late Autumn is a time of preparation for the dark, cold winter months. We are being pulled into our bodies, into sleep, into darkness and our own inner caves. It is a season that encourages letting go of that which no longer serves us, so that we may more fully take the winter rest and be capable of a new beginning in the spring.

Winter Hibernation = Spring Re-Birthing

Unfortunately, our 24-hour society, our non-stop demanding work, and our focus on the holidays encourages the opposite of this. Any personal reluctance to take a good look inward, at our life and internal parts that we may have been avoiding, can cement the absence of any true reflection, any true preparation for the winter hibernation and the spring re-birthing.

Slowing down, or at least carving out some singular, pro-longed moments to reflect, is essential. Without slowing down, reflecting, and letting go, there is no space for rebirth in the spring, no room to make powerful steps forward with new year’s intentions. Perhaps for you this looks like: doing less activities on the weekends and evenings, spending a whole Sunday staying in and quiet, or wisely cutting back even just a bit on overworking every day of the week for the next several weeks. In order to reflect and truly go within, a deeper level of quiet and stillness should be strived for in this Late Autumn and winter season.

“We Prepare for More Joy by Making More Room”

Health and wellbeing arise when we are aware of and honor our own feelings and impulses, our community around us, and the natural world. The callings of autumn and winter is a challenge for us, yet a part of our reality that one is wise not to resist. A reality that is undeniable to anyone who can see the leaves falling, the colors changing, or feel the cooler morning air.

Going in requires the strength of allowance and letting go and the practice of presence. For all, there are feelings and desires inside of us we may have been avoiding through the sunny days of one or many summers. This time of year asks us to be honest with oneself, to be accepting, and self-compassionate. We prepare for more joy by making more room, by letting go of the old. We intentionally turn within knowing that winter will allow a time for things to digest and be cast away slowly, and knowing that the rebirth of spring will come as sure as the sun will be rising tomorrow. You may find it important to reach out and feel support from others during this time, as well as take more time to nurture yourself with a warm bath, warm foods, drinks and exercise.

Rest, Reflect, and Re-Align

In the bigger landscape, no matter which side of the political aisle you are on, our current arena is begging us to take a deeper look at the darker side of us as a society and as individuals. This begins with each of us taking a deeper reflection into our own shadow. This is how and where we can and need to do our own part. Nature will self-correct if we re-align to it and allow the seasons to change us. Slow down, reflect, go within during these last weeks of late Autumn… so you may rest well this winter and be ready for an amazing spring.