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 How to Move Through the Dark Winter Night
By Art Ramsay, PhD

 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;” Most of us are familiar with these first two lines of the biblical verse and the song, Turn, Turn, Turn. How does this affect us spiritually?

 The four seasons that come and go as the earth moves through the cosmos is viewed in many ways, mostly from an agricultural standpoint. We plant in the spring, manage growth through the summer, and harvest in the fall; but what about winter? Nothing grows in the winter, or does it?

 Spiritually, we move through the four seasons in much the same way as nature. Each season affects our growth. Winter, beginning with the Winter Solstice, begins, or ends, a year long cycle depending on how you view it. Let’s look at it as a beginning.

 Winter is the time of year when bears hibernate, and many animals find shelter from the weather and cold. Trees and other bushes lose their leaves that lay ready to fertilize the ground in the spring. A quiet time settles over nature, and it rests.

 In a similar manner, for those who know, winter provides a time to go within and discover what your next step is, or find answers. Just as animals use this cold and quiet time to settle down and wait for spring, so can humans. But for many people, it is a frightening journey.

As Maryanne Williamson stated “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” Going within during the winter months can bring up issues to be healed and great changes in our lives.

 But it is during these dark, winter times when we make significant discoveries about ourselves if we take the steps to do that. As nature drops seeds to the ground that await spring to begin their growth cycle, so do we set in place that aspect of ourselves ready to grow.

 For many, winter is no different when it comes to habits, activities, or their line of work. We tend to maintain our status quo regardless of the weather. But for others, winter is a time to sit and read, or meditate and go within more often.

 Each season brings a different focus for our spiritual growth, and winter is the time to create something new within ourselves. It is like nature working deep within the earth, readying itself for spring’s arrival. That is what we settle in to accomplish as well.

But what we seek to create may take some effort to reveal. The old adage about anything worth having is worth the effort, rings true here. The ‘effort’ here, though is not physical; it is emotional, mental, and heart felt. Our journey within includes bridges to cross, hidden aspects of our psyche, and beliefs to release.

 Our body’s need for sunlight also plays a part in the least sun of the year time. For many people lack of sunshine can cause emotional trauma, which then exacerbates finding the revelation we seek.

 To make our discoveries, we need first to know what we seek, and then the steps toward revealing them. We do not need a ‘plan’, but we do need an idea about where we are going in our time of self-discovery. By doing this we avoid pitfalls that will stop or trap us

 Your first step might be to ask what your next step is spiritually. What needs planting in the spring? Just as seed companies ready their seeds for spring gardeners, we must prepare what we want to plant in the spring. We need not be in a hurry, after all, we have three months. But we do not want to wait either.

 It takes time to first bring forth what we want planted for summer growth. The bridge we need to cross may be long and difficult. We may fall in the river a few times and need to start over. Issues may surface that threaten to stop us. So beginning early and steadily moving forward is our task.

 There are many ways to proceed when a perceived block arises. A few are below.

  • Ask questions like “what would you have me know?” or “what does this mean?”
  • Ask for support like “Spirit, guide me through this obstacle right now. Thank you.”
  • Insist on overcoming the barrier no matter what. Plow through it. (I don’t recommend this unless you have tried other ways first)”

 Have confidence that you can remove the obstacle, which is really a belief, with little difficulty and move on. It takes courage to release a belief that seems to have supported you in the past. Know that it no longer is necessary, or it would not have appeared during your session.

 Use the winter season in a way that reveals the seed, or seeds, you will plant in the spring. It is a great way to start the new year, knowing that you are on your way to planting that sacred seed of spiritual growth.

 

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