In the northern hemisphere, the time between Halloween (the day of the dead) and Christmas (the winter solstice), is the time that the days are shorter, the sun stays hidden longer, and the shadows of the world are even darker. It is the time of darkness.
When the days get shorter and the sun gets scarce, it’s easy to fall into the wintertime blues. Seasonal symptoms of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) such as disrupted sleep patterns, depressed mood, worry & anxiety, brain fog & confusion, fatigue & exhaustion, aches & pains, can persist for weeks or months.
Traditional treatments for anxiety & depression such as pharmaceutical medications and psychotherapy often take weeks or months to produce benefits. Most SAD sufferers know the feelings will lift by spring, so they often just endure the wintertime blues in despair, desperately waiting for spring.
But why wait until spring? There is goodness in this dark time of the year, if we only embrace it.
During these dark days of winter, it is important to remember that there is purpose for the darkness, that on the other side of night, there is always day, that no matter how dark the night feels, there always comes a dawn, and after the worst of the worst storms, we do eventually get a day of clear skies and sunshine warmth. In the meantime, this darkness serves a purpose, as a hibernation period, a deep sanctuary and rest to promote deeper healing.
This book is designed as a step by step process to help guide you through the mental, emotional, psychological, and spiritual healing that needs to happen during the hibernation time of the darkness, and prepare you for opening to the light in a healthy and gradual way.
This four-week program offers simple and practical self-care and mindfulness exercises based in neuroscience. Progressively, over four weeks will you apply mindful affirmations, specific breathing techniques, and self-care healing rituals that trigger your happy hormones, change your brain chemistry, and offer you SAD relief instantly.
Balance of the Universe
One of the great laws of science/physics is that everything always seeks balance. Every light casts its shadow. Always. We know this from the simple rhymes and phrases we used to learn science as kids:
What goes up must come down.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Every light casts a shadow
When hot and cold blend, they make warm.
When we learn to apply this concept of balance to the duality of our every day lives, and we work in our own lives to maintain a balanced equanimity, everything in our lives works better.
This book and course and all the exercises prescribed within it are meant to teach your nervous system how to find and maintain that balance and equanimity. The exercises in this series are based on neuroscience as a means of training your nervous system to establish healthy habits. The breathing exercises will trigger your brain to spill hormones into your system in ways that promote healing and shifts and change. The MOZI Method body-mind-spirit exercises are designed to create new habits in your system and gradually let old habits that no longer serve you melt away. The ritual prescriptions, are more dramatic healing processes that make bigger shifts in your system.
Like any healing process, the more you commit to it, the more you put into it, the more you practice, the better you will do and the greater results you will experience.
Feeling Safe in the Darkness
Mindful Intention ~ I Am Safe
Hibernate to Heal
Sometimes the simple act of acknowledging and validating the overwhelming sucky-ness of a situation makes it somehow feel a little bit better.
2020, “the year of perfect vision” was rather harsh on not just our eyes, but all our senses. Here in the United States, we started the year tracking the politics of an impeachment of our president. No matter which side of the aisle you lean towards, this was stressful, and divisive to a country whose name implies unity. Then, before the ink could dry on the impeachment reports, the corona virus pandemic hit, and everything turned upside-down and inside-out as the world went into lockdown. Terms we’d never heard before, such as social distancing, virtual learning, safe-at-home, and city-wide curfew became common place as we scurried for toilet paper and cleaned out our over-cluttered closets. After two months of hiding inside, as the weather got nice, George Floyd was killed and our nation turned inside-out on itself again, this time with protests and riots. Mother Earth lit our west coast on fire through the summer, and doused our east coast with hurricanes in the late summer and early fall. The mask orders and cancel-culture of social media in the fall brought more division just in time for a highly controversial presidential election.
Phew, just writing that much was exhausting enough for me to need to get up out of my chair and go eat a cookie (or three). The whole year was a year of darkness, and we kept waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel.
Shadows and darkness are almost always scary. For good reason. It’s no wonder that our greatest fears as kids are usually connected to darkness, and the monsters that come out from under our beds when the lights go out. As a kid, when I had sleepovers at my Grandma’s house, I was terrified that the cartoon creatures on the posters she had on the closet doors would come alive and attack me in the night. Oddly, I now love owls…and if memory serves me right, those creatures were OWLS. And, even more ironically, owls are considered creatures of the night. Anyway, I remember being the kid that asked my mom to check under the bed and to lock the monster in the closet at bedtime, and begged my Grandma to tell the owl posters to stay inside poster world and not come climb into bed with me.
By December 2020, as COVID cases rose in America, quarantine restrictions got tighter. I felt like we were being told to go to bed and stay there while the lights are turned off and the under-the-bed monsters got louder.
How are we supposed to sleep in this kind of chaos?
Every morning I roll out of bed onto my yoga mat. It is my time to connect with myself, set my intention for the day, and stretch my body out of dreamworld through the veil into consciousness. At the beginning of my yoga practice in the end of 2020, I pulled an animal totem card to help with my intention and lesson for the day. Several times, at least twice a week, between Thanksgiving and Christmas of 202, I pulled the BEAR card. Hmm…what do bears do this time of year? They hibernate. They sleep. They dream. They rest. They restore.
Winter is about an energetic hibernation. Not only is it important for our physical health during cold darkness, but it is important for us as empaths, to protect ourselves from the intense stress and anxiety and the chaotic energies of the outside world. Winter is a perfect time for empaths to turn inward, to hibernate and renew ourselves in preparation for the new year and new energies.
Not surprisingly, as with anything, when we change our perspective about uncomfortable things, they can somehow get pleasant. Children like to sleep with TEDDY BEARS…BEARS…hibernate…and a means of snuggling in and hibernating, restoring, rejuvenating, repairing. An energetic hibernation in winter is a perfect way to promote repairing and HEALING.
During a play-date with my five-year-old nephew, he buried me in the couch cushions. I found it rather comforting, even as he was jumping up and down on me like I was the couch. The soft cushions surrounding me felt like a protective armor to block out the sound and pressures of the outside world…and yes, the light too. I was in a quiet dark SAFE place. Thinking about it more, I realize that one of the things I loved to do as a child, especially when I felt over bombarded by the energies of the big bad outside world was to build a blanket fort using the couch cushions and throw blankets. So, when I did just that with my nephew, I realized it helped a lot to make myself feel safer and cozier and happier in the dark days of winter. In fact, it made me want to nestle in even more.
I encourage you, try it. Build a blanket fort. Use as many pillows and cushions and blankets as you can. It’s cozy. It’s warm. And just like a bear, it’s a little hibernation den. Something about it will make you feel better.
The other thing I did as a child to fend off the monsters of the big bad dark world was to use a nightlight. I’ve been lighting all kinds of night lights since Halloween this year. As a grown-up, they come in the form of candles and salt lamps. They help. A lot. Lighting candles, especially at night, it makes the darkness feel romantic instead of scary. The salt lamp makes it feel cozy instead of cold.
When bears go into their hibernation dens, they sleep. They let themselves sleep deeply. They sleep for a LOOOONG time.
Perhaps the dark days of winter is about sleeping in, sleeping longer, sleeping deeper, resting more…to repair and recover from all the chaos of the year. Go to bed earlier, stay in bed longer, take naps. In the summer, you can stay up later, get up earlier, and stay awake longer when the sun is out more.
I am safe
I am okay
I nestle into this hibernation to rest, restore, and heal.
Everything eventually works itself out
This time is a reset
Everything is okay