Yoga Me Well Blog Archive

Into the Winter

I LOVE winter. I love the Tim Burtonesque trees with their curly, gnarled twiggy limbs. I love brooding bruised cloudscapes heavy with rain. Wet slick streets, blinding white-gold in a burst of late afternoon sun. And most of all, the excuse to retreat from the world to just curl up and read by the heater, watch DVDs, and empty my way too busy brain. It’s time to make room for new things to come into my life.

Winter’s a natural time for self-reflection. All its energies compel us to take quiet time and take stock of Life-So-Far before the outgoing energies of spring and summer launch you onto a whole new track. What am I going to do with all that supportive energy and opportunity?

For me, the best time for self-inquiry is before I go to bed. I focus, breath and ask for a dream to guide me, or some intuition or sign to light the way in the week ahead. It comes in a quiet knowing, or a convo with a good friend, or sometimes there’ll be a relentless theme about the people coming into my life, so it’s impossible to ignore the message!

First thing in the morning is good too. As soon as I wake, I stay tucked deep inside my skin, warm under the doona, and ask for guidance, or simply explore the inner landscape – what am I taking into my day?

Of course, I need to be far more careful about what I wish for…

Winters past have bowled me flat over. Mac Truck stuff. I have spun with all the apocalyptic Revelations. I thought I’d been processing some fairly significant stumbling blocks in my life over the years until I realise, each winter anew, that I’m standing at the foothill of another personal Himalaya when it comes to living authentically. How long it takes to inch closer to your true self, to acknowledge all of who you were born to be.

There’s some awfully deep-rooted belief systems messing with my life that need to be confronted … those boring, tired, ruthless old scripts of being “too mediocre”, not having the “innate nous/intelligence” to run my own business and be successful at whatever I want to be. There’s that ol’ chestnut – lack of courage and confidence and self-belief to do what I love and to earn an easy living from it – teaching, writing. It’s all good. Tremendously good.

I’m always excited to think I’m heading toward a lighter and brighter time for these breakthroughs, and then I think, it’s pretty amazing how resilient I can be to slug through waist-high mud to get there. Though it’s also likely, I realise, that I often find it easier to just wade through swamps than fly on my magic carpet.

Self-inquiry is a brilliant practice for getting real about life and purpose. You’ve just got to be up for the Big Ugly Truths. Oh yeah. They’re in there. And beyond each big ugly truth is the iridescent Knowing that lifts you to a new level of seeing and being. Ah, you say, you knew already it was this way. So obvious now that you have moved through it. But until all parts of you agree to take the journey, the internal foundation for genuine a shift in perspective and action lies in dunes of fleeting insight.

Liv Mitchell

Liv Mitchell is a hatha yoga teacher, relaxation instructor and freelance writer/editor who specialises in holistic wellbeing.

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