There is this tendency to believe that things should be all good otherwise they are all bad.
Like being social and easily interacting with others is good but being shy is bad. Or being rich is good and being poor is bad. Or having good health is good and being unwell is bad. Or having lots of energy is good and being tired is bad.
We like to do this as it helps us to feel like we can be in control of our lives if it’s as simple as more good and less bad. Our brains are also wired to avoid bad but this can start to become muddied and very extreme.
In reality it’s not that simple. While it can feel easier to be more extraverted shyness comes with incredible gifts and qualities. It’s just unfortunate that being shy or sensitive is not so highly valued in our society.
Our patriarchal society also values activity and productivity but doesn’t value rest and stillness (these are not usually aligned with profit are they?!) Sadly, most of the masculine qualifies related to being more visible, being productive, achieving, succeeding etc are seen as good and the opposite, more feminine qualities are seen as bad.
Related to this is emotion and feeling – it’s good to be strong and ‘in control’ of your emotions and bad to express emotions or be vulnerable.
The fact is that we need both – they are both different sides of the same coin and the different ends of the same spectrum. You can’t ignore the one end without it impacting balance. We need night to know day. We need Winter to know and appreciate Summer. We need it all for our survival.
Today and tomorrow (depending where in the world you are) we experience the Equinox which is a really important day as a reminder of the equal importance of both the masculine and feminine qualities.
In the Northern Hemisphere you’ll be going into the more feminine energy of longer nights and shorter days. The increasing darkness then culminates in the Winter Solstice where the days begin to lengthen and the nights will get shorter.
The opposite is happening in the Southern Hemisphere where we head into more masculine energy of increased light and warmth.
For many Winter is seen as bad and Summer as good. Yet Wintering is vital.If we don’t rest and hibernate we are more likely to burn out. Our bodies are not designed to be in Summer mode all year round.
Just like illness is often about transformation and release and being tired is a chance to connect, release and recharge, Winter is as important as Summer.
I talk about this as contractions and expansions. We have to have both. None of us like the contractions because they are often uncomfortable. So how about a perspective change –the contractions are where we gather energy for the expansions and are where the growth and transformation happen and the expansions are where we can really enjoy all that.
A contraction can be when you feel tired, when life feels hard and stuck and when there seems to be many challenges. You may feel more down or more anxious. Usually we then judge and resist this all and that actually just makes it harder. Many of us may even DO a lot and get busy to FIX it. That can make it very exhausting.
What if you look at it as the time when you’re being called to let go, surrender and allow the process that is happening. Feel the emotion and let it be there. Find someone to support you with this if necessary.
Usually what happens is that something is dying so that something better can be born. Or something is being let go to make space for something new.
Sometimes we need to Winter for years. Sometimes for just a season. But we do need to Winter.
The sooner you surrender into the Winter and allow the contraction as necessary and even good in many ways the easier it will be and the faster you’ll receive the gifts.
Happy Wintering Northern Hemisphere. And Southern Hemisphere please know that if you didn’t Winter enough you’ll feel it in the Summer so listen and allow the little breaks and the contractions of energy and body that happen. You WILL find benefit in this…..
How do you experience contraction in your life and body? Are you aware of this state or do you just shut down? Comment below if you feel called to share.