Please Note: Winter Blooms is an educational website only and is in no way meant to replace experience with a trained EFT practitioner, counselor, or therapist. To find an EFT Practitioner, visit the AAMET website, the EFT Universe website, the Tapping Solution website, or contact Jane at 802-533-9277 or firstname.lastname@example.org for EFT coaching support.
Holidays. For some people, this time of year is filled with the joy of anticipated reunions and the evolution of family and community traditions. For others, the official onset of the winter season heightens fear, loneliness, and lack of connection to our fellow human beings. We in the west have created the perfect conditions for situational depression through our emphasis on material gifts, an emphasis that eclipses the intangible joys the season brings. Finding our way into the spiritual heart of the Winter Solstice is challenging but it can be done, even as we feel ourselves slipping into despair over human excesses.
In much earlier times, our ancestors obeyed the demands of the seasons rather than the tyranny of the clock. Sunrise and sunset pretty much defined our work days, and the hearth of a home, no matter how humble, transformed into its storytelling stage. Those days were, in terms of creature comforts, lived brutally close to the bone when compared to our heated and plumbed rural or urban dwelling places. Those days were also excellent teachers of the natural ebb and flow of life, something it is easy for those of us in the west to lose track of in our constantly lighted, 24/7 patterns of contemporary human activity. Observing the Celtic marker of Imbolc, Candlemass in the Christian Tradition, helps us to connect with Sun and Earth rhythms that ground us in a spiritual as well as natural-world reality. This grounding is vitally important because every healing practice, including EFT, is far more effective when we are consciously connecting with the rhythms of nature. We are, after all, a physical species and part of the natural web of life on Earth.
The process of aging well offers us one of life’s most satisfying rewards: maturity. Mature trees provide shelter to birds and small animals, breathe for our planet, and weather storms. In some Native American traditions, trees and plants are called Standing Silent Nation. Clarissa Pinkola Estes compares us to mature trees when she applauds people for “still standing” after experiencing traumatic events. Habits that support our intentions to do well by ourselves and others expand our maturity. As a negative habit transforms into a positive one, we are able to turn our gaze inward regardless of what might be going on in the world. This inward gaze signals our capacity for reflection, a sure sign of maturity. Developing this capacity, we discover and strengthen our inner balancing point, our inner core.
In tree life, once a seedling makes it past the vulnerable newborn stage, it is called a sapling. In human life, we call this period of time childhood and adolescence. Our new habits enter a similar period, often marked by the adolescent cockiness that suggests we can eat some fudge if we’re transforming an eating habit, or smoke a cigarette if we’re transforming into non-smokers, without consequence. It’s a dicey period because it comes with very heady energies. In actual adolescence, we often believe we can do just about anything, never mind the battle scars our friends and family members often point to as they advise us to be cautious. As adolescents, we don’t take advice readily, perhaps because we feel so empowered by the physical evidence of growing strength. So it is with our habits.
The tradition of making New Year’s Resolutions is a long and often frustrating one. This year, rather than depending on will power or the ‘no pain, no gain’ philosophy, it may be time to try something new. Shifting habits by opening to their fullest stories offers a gentle way to begin the process of desired change. Asking and listening to guidance regarding what positive contributions your habit is making to your life, no matter how technically destructive the habit may be, is one of the most effective ways to approach the possibility of positive change. When we can view even the most negative habit as a faithful servant to our well being, we begin the magical process of transformation.
There is a concept in Japanese philosophy known as Wabi Sabi.While this term has had many different meanings over the centuries, here in the west we have borrowed the term to express the staggering beauty we find in the imperfections of life.A wander through any forest confirms the wisdom of a Wabi Sabi philosophy.On a recent hike up Camel’s Hump here in Vermont, we discovered fallen trees in various states of decay, leaves in the process of browning, and a path sometimes rutted by the feet of countless ardent visitors.Stepping off the path, looking high into the canopy of trees, and allowing afternoon sunlight to illumine what it would, we were awed by the exquisite harmonies we found there.Objectively, we saw rotten wood, decaying leaves, and churned earth; aesthetically, we witnessed the dance of life in one of its most vibrant and inspiring expressions.
Most of us are positively and negatively affected by weather changes.On sunny days we smile (for the most part), and when it has been raining torrents for what seems like weeks, we grumble (unless we are building our Arks.)While there is something to be said for the glories of every season, we here in the upper half of the Northern Hemisphere appear to revel in our summers more than any other season.Perhaps this is because local fruits and vegetables are with us in such abundance, or because digging in the dirt and walking in the sunshine connect us with our essential humanity.Not many of us let go of summer without a few bittersweet sighs.We may delight in the autumn colours and brisker temperatures, but there are those boots and coats we have to dust off and slog with us wherever we go.While summer is an expansive time and expansion is always exciting, once fall comes, its contractions announce the birth of a whole new way of being in the world.
Although we are spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual beings, our lives often demand that we focus on one of these areas to the detriment of others.For example, work may require hours of intellectual energy in front of a computer, challenging situations with family and friends may overburden our emotional circuits, a variety of situations may require prolonged physical energy expenditures, and all of our material-world demands may conspire to make us feel without spiritual support.It is easy to fall into the habit of depression or anxiety when we meet one of these basic needs at the expense of others.