The Changing of the Seasons
Being quite spiritual women and Doulas/Natural Therapists (Anna a Gold Coast Neuro-linguistic Kinesiologist the other a Canberra Doula) we often find ourselves incorporating and acknowledging the importance of spirituality into not just our lives but also our businesses. Spirituality is something that is often mistaken as religion and while for some people it can be about religion; however, it is not about embracing religion for all people. In fact, despite widespread beliefs and promotion of spirituality being ‘religion’ or belief if ‘god’ or ‘goddesses’ what spirituality represents is different for every individual and some people, may consider themselves to be spiritual people yet not believe in the existence of any form of a divine being, nor do they worships them .
For us spirituality is a way of life, our connection with nature and the universe, along with the connection to each other as individuals – our strengths, our flaws and everything in between. It is about recognizing the different energies within ourselves and around us, recognizing the seasons, sun, and moon. Things that play a role in our day to day lives, guiding us on our own individual journeys and our journey together.
The reason I was called to write this today is because it is a very special time of year for us in Australia; this week we celebrate Imbolc and acknowledge the seasonal changing as we near the end of winter. This occurs in February in the Northern Hemisphere, and August in the Southern Hemisphere. During Imbolc, we acknowledge and release the negative aspects of winter and also energies from past experiences that linger in our mind, body, and soul that may be impacting our ability to accept the new life that the future brings. During winter people become unwell as exposure to sun is reduced while exposure to germs are often increased, people experience seasonal depression , weather often gets cold or miserable , and plants die off around us. As we reach August the season starts to become a bit kinder and winter nears an end. It is a time to release that which has been weighing us down so that we can accept the new life, happiness, and gifts Spring will bring.
To truly be accepting of and grateful for the new things that may enter our lives we must clear out those things which no longer serve us, pulling us down.
In the Celtic calendar, the festival or acknowledgment of Imbolc was one of four important dates/events also known as the “fire festivals”; it celebrates the end of winter and coming of spring. It is a way to acknowledge the hardest part of the year is over, we have made it through, and every part of life that had been adversely impacted during the season of winter would soon improve. Socialization would increase, the sun would soon shine bright, seeds of new life would grow, and all would soon flourish again. This is a time when new crops of food slowly sprout emerging from the ground or seed punnets, providing us the gift of food which nurtures our body. It is also a good time to be planting seeds for new life to sprout from the ground. Imbolc is translated as ‘In belly’ or ‘ewes milk’ and is said to be related to the breeding season of livestock; this was celebrated in many cultures throughout history under different names, and customs depending on location, culture, and spiritual or religious beliefs.
There are many deities that are often associated with Imbolc; however, the most common is the Goddess Brigid, or as many Christians may refer to her as ‘Saint Bridgid’. I will not go into the details about the mythological folklore around this Goddess or ‘Saint’ in this blog post, as there are many stories surrounding this deity and as mentioned previously not all who are spiritual attach deities to their spirituality. However, I will shine a light on this deities connection with healing, midwifery, teaching, smith-craft, animal husbandry, and the arts. Brigid was also believed to be a feminist warrior of sorts; protecting women, supporting reproductive rights (pro-choice not pro-life) and it is even speculated by various sources that Goddess or Saint Brigid was lesbian.
Deities and mythology aside, the changing of the seasons is something that many people can resonate with and connect on some level. Almost every individual has witnessed the dormant trees, sad-looking plants, darker skies, and possibly frost on the ground. Many of us understand the cold of winter, illness that often accompanies winter, and many of us have at some point experiences the winter blues or seasonal depression. Consequently, many have also experienced some form of hardship or difficulty over the winter season, possibly even social isolation. For this reason, it can be incredibly beneficial to take a moment to sit with those feelings, release them (scream them out in an open field if you need to) and allow ourselves to open up to the good things that are yet to come. Connect with nature and remember that the sun will shine brighter and warmer for us all soon. Spring is coming.
Some lovely ways to celebrate the changing of the seasons and help to nurture yourself are:
Go for a walk – even better do it barefoot on dirt (there is a lot of science behind this- will cover in a later post)
Do a little gardening, maybe plant some new life in your gardens then watch it flourish as Spring arrives
Get out into nature and just sit; listen to the trees, the wind, and the birds.
Do some Yoga, Meditation or Gentle Activity in Nature – helps to connect to the world while nurturing body & soul
Visit a river, stream, creek, or lake (if it is not too cold have a swim)- just enjoy the change of pace in nature
Draw yourself a bath and relax
Do a spring clean – it’s a great time for a clear out of physical possessions weighing you down too
Give your local public outdoor areas a tidy up
If you have a topic you would like to see covered in our blog posts please get in touch; we are always happy to receive topic requests and write about them. We would also love to hear from you if you are interested in Doula support; we are happy to arrange a FREE initial meet for you.