Leaves in colours from brown, orange and green to represent seasonal living

Seasonal Living

Embracing the Rhythm: Finding Joy in Seasonal Living

I don’t know about you- but I was so happy to see the arrival of February after a very long and very cold first month of the year.

But something I’m working on practising myself is seasonal living. Celebrating each season for what it is and what it can offer, rather than simply counting down the days until Spring and the longer days.- This has had such a huge impact on my daily life so far. 

Trying my best to be present and grateful for what is, and not just wishing for time to pass by and it has surprised me how much this practice has helped me to enjoy Winter and all it offers us.

Appreciating Winter

For me, this Winter, apart from never-ending January, has been fairly short. Some of the trees in our garden were still holding on to last year’s leaves when its new buds started appearing. I felt sorry for the tree, felt it must be exhausted by the constant production and growth. It’d had no time for hibernation and rest.

This caused me to reflect on the importance of the down-time, the Winter. A time of rest and nourishment, a time for all the energy to be absorbed deep down into the roots and Earth. A time where there is no activity and excitement but instead a profound stillness. It struck me how the same applies to us. The time of stillness and quiet is necessary before the energy of growth and newness. We need the time to nourish our body, minds and souls in order to be ready for Spring and action.

The older I get, the more I embrace Winter and the energy it brings us, the yin, the slowing down and hibernation. I sometimes feel a desire to cocoon and recover from the over stimulation of life. As humans, we have natural seasons of life. At times we want to be more extroverted and connected to the community. And other times we are called inwards. To spend time alone and to reconnect with ourselves. This Winter has been one of those phases for me. In this cocoon stage, we are searching for more, small talk doesn’t interest us and we feel the pull to rest. It can be a sacred process if we can fully embrace it. 

Solitude over loneliness

I choose to see this experience as solitude, not isolation. In this space of solitude, we heal our body, expand our mind, and we have space to process, grieve and reflect on our life. We are conditioned to keep going- to keep pushing and grinding, in a constant stream of distraction and expectation from the outside world. Allowing ourselves to hibernate, as I see it, is an act of self-love.

Fortunately for me, I don’t suffer from FOMO so I can easily reject the idea that we always need to be connected to everyone, all the time. This time can sometimes be hard for loved ones to understand but in healthy friendships periods of space are respected and understood as loved ones hold space for our needs and growth. When we feel ready, we are able to return as a better version of ourselves- with an abundance of patience, gratitude, and self-awareness, and more present in all of our relationships.

It so happens that this phase happens more for me in Winter, nature’s cocoon phase, but it can call to us at any time of year also.

What is Seasonal Living?

I have found that in a world of constant stimulation and global availability, it’s easy to lose touch with the natural ebb and flow of life. Seasonal living, however, is an invitation to rediscover this inherent rhythm, enriching our lives in surprising and delightful ways.

It’s more than just swapping pumpkins for snowflakes. Seasonal living is about attuning your life to the natural cycles around you. It’s about savouring the fleeting delights of each season, appreciating the unique gifts it offers, and living in harmony with the changing pace of the Earth.

Why Embrace the Seasons?

Seasonal living offers tangible benefits:

  • Enhanced mindfulness: By paying attention to the subtle shifts in nature, you become more present in the moment.
  • Healthier eating: Choosing local, seasonal produce ensures optimal freshness, flavour, and nutritional value.
  • Reduced environmental impact: Consuming local, seasonal produce minimises transportation emissions and supports sustainable farming practices.
  • Greater appreciation for nature’s beauty: Each season unfolds its own unique magic, fostering a deeper connection to the natural world.
  • More meaningful celebrations: Seasonal traditions and rituals add depth and connection to holidays and special occasions.

Start Your Seasonal Journey

Ready to explore seasonal living? Here are some simple steps:

Connect with nature

Wrap up warm and venture outside. Make the effort to get outside and appreciate nature- just as she is. Listen out for bird song, enjoy the crisp cold skies and be on the lookout for the first signs of spring-tree buds, snowdrops and daffodils are coming. Notice how observing the changing landscape and its inhabitants can lift you.

Carve out space in your routine for solitude

Whether it’s to curl up with a good book, yoga, go for an afternoon stroll or simply to sit in peace, make sure you create space in your calendar for you-time. Whilst it’s equally important and rewarding to spend time with friends/family- solo time is a great way to recharge in the Winter months.

Kickstart your spring cleaning

Cleansing your living space after midwinter’s hibernation is a really uplifting way to blow away the cobwebs and prepare yourself for Spring. Keep only things that speak to your heart and revel in the magic of a fresh, clean slate.

Gift yourself more time

So many of us spend much of our lives rushing around, feeling as though we are short of time. If you feel this way, perhaps try this: When you first wake up in the morning, take a moment to take stock and bring awareness into your body. After completing a task- take a few minutes to revel in satisfaction. Step outside more often. Notice how nature is no rush to get from A-B, and as a part of nature, why should you be?

Explore local markets

Discover the bounty of fresh, seasonal produce available in your region.

Plan your meals around the seasons

Cook with what’s fresh and readily available, experimenting with new recipes.

Adapt your wardrobe

Embrace natural fabrics and styles that suit the changing temperatures.

Create seasonal rituals

Celebrate the solstices and equinoxes, mark the arrival of spring with a nature walk, or gather loved ones for a cozy autumn harvest dinner.

Seasonal living is about savouring the present moment, appreciating the cyclical nature of life, and finding joy in the simple things. So, step outside, breathe in the fresh air, and start connecting with the rhythm of the seasons. You might be surprised by the transformation it brings to your life.

If you’d like more information on yoga philosophy please contact me or book here to practise with me in Marlow, Twickenham and online.

With love

Anney xx

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