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Are You Afraid of Wintering?


When I was battling with Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome it seemed as if was afraid of falling asleep.

As soon as I dropped into that liminal place between awake and sleep, on the brink of sleep, my whole body would jerk awake, adrenaline surging through me.

I was exhausted but I was unable to slow down into a sleep state.

I was thinking of this as I watched the beautiful sunrise on the morning of the Summer/Winter solstice 2 days ago.

Rubin Naiman, a sleep specialist, says that most people are afraid of sleep because we are afraid of that place of darkness and surrender. Many of us avoid resting or sleeping by not allowing much time for it or not surrendering fully into it. But then we drag ourselves through the waking hours.

Winter, night time, the new moon and the menstrual phase are the darkest, most feminine phases in our natural cycles and rhythms. They are also the phases we often view negatively. In a society where the masculine qualities of being busy, successful and visible are seen as signs of virtue we have learned to turn our backs on the “wintering” that is so very necessary in those darker, more feminine times.

For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere as we now head towards Spring and Summer don’t forget to use the remainder of the darker and colder months to rest and rejuvenate.
For those in the Northern Hemisphere as you head towards Autumn and then Winter don’t fear it. Find ways you can honour and embrace these necessary darker times.

When we rest in the times that rest is naturally prescribed (Winter, night time, menstruation) we get a much better return on our investment in rest than if we rest at other times. Knowing this, we can leverage these medicinal times of rest and rejuvenation.

Rubin Naiman says in his book, Healing Night, “To enter and sustain deep sleep we must be willing to be like the night- we must be willing to slow, to allow the mind to quiet, and the body to cool”. It is in this state that our bodies rejuvenate and detox fully, our minds process and our subconscious puts to bed what needs to be put to bed.

If you’re afraid of the dark and the cold it’s possible you’re actually afraid of the surrender and slowing down of the more feminine energy. Perhaps just take some time to ask yourself – why might you be afraid or unable to embrace the Wintering process?


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