there's a hint of magic in the air...
I used to love the month of January. A feeling of freshness in the air, with Christmas decorations put away and mantles freshly dusted, a new pile of books on my bedside table and an empty planner on my desk.
This year? Not so much.
After a rough end to 2021 mental health wise, I was so excited to start the year with new energy and a fresh outlook. I’ll admit that that freshness is partially there. But as much as that comes in little sparks, the cold and grey of this month also brings waves of exhaustion and overwhelm without even that much on the to do list.
It’s a funny time, that moment between Christmas and Spring. I sometimes feel like we don’t fully live in the present in these inbetween months. I see people posting pictures on Instagram of their vases filled with tulips already, and others skiing in the mountains wearing thick coats and making snow angels. We’re not quite in one season anymore with our hearts, but we’re not quite in the other either with our temperature and daylight.
And I’ve hit that point right now where I find myself floating in this inbetween, My system seeks grounding but my heart also desires the uplevel that January often brings – intentions set, vision board done and space to plan abundantly there.
As often happens, I was reminded of the fact that the rising happens after, and within, the rooting.
And to be honest, there’s a hint of magic that this inbetween time holds. A promise for what’s to come and an appreciation of what was. The inbetween is a space for opportunity, an invitation to go deep, set your priorities straight and perhaps choose differently than you’ve ever done before. When we start to focus on rooting down in the now, we can start to see this magic better.
So I started to think back on what I used to love doing at the end of a Wintering. I may not be able to influence the hours of daylight or the temperature outside, I can try my hardest to take good care of myself and feel better and lighter within. To ritualise this inbetween time is to celebrate the present moment for all the gifts it hold – opening yourself up to more flow and ease in the future too. If we’re always stuck in the future, we never arrive in the now. The trick is to honour the now, so you can receive the next moment with your full awareness.
Here’s some practical things that are helping me, and may help you, to arrive in the now and ritualise this moment in time…
1. Declutter, Clean & Cleanse.
How much cliché is too cliché? Hear me out, though! Getting your Spring clear out done before actual Spring will not just make you feel lighter in the darker season, it also means that when energy increases a little again, you won’t feel the need to stay indoors and sort out your home before you get to enjoy the first flowers in your garden, the first green leaves on the trees or the first sunshine on your face.
My rule? Anything I haven’t touched, used or worn in the past year gets to go. I can be pretty ruthless when it comes to decluttering but that’s only because I’m really clear on what matters to me in material terms. I don’t expect myself to downsize on books – for instance – but am strict with myself when I think I just need to hold onto that one jumper because of memories, rather than practical wear. It’s time to create space for the new.
Perhaps even more important than cleaning and decluttering is cleansing. Your own system as well as your home holds onto energy. Your home can hold the energy of guests long after they have left. Your energetic body can hold onto memories and experiences and emotions long after you’ve felt or lived them. It’s time to cleanse.
You can do this in any way you like, of course. You know best what you need! My preferred method is using dried herbs from my own garden to use as a smoke bundle (local sage, thyme and rosemary all work great and is more sustainable and fair than palo santo, for instance). You can also open all your windows, blast some Taylor Swift and get you body moving. If it helps you to release, it is a cleansing ritual!
2. Slow Down & Dream.
The inbetween holds a promise of magic. You don’t know what this year will bring you yet, but you are allowed to dream about it! In fact, dreaming is crucial. It awakens your imagination and therefore parts of your body, mind and soul which have probably been left quite untouched since your childhood years (or ever!). Get creative and dream big. Open up a Pinterest account and save those images that make your mind think ‘I could never do/buy/have/experience that’. Why not, right? Don’t self-sabotage yourself away from your most expansive, happiest life. You get to dream. Screw being realistic. Create space for your soul’s desires to come through and be surprised at the direction you could be taking your life.
Take some time away from external input for this. Netflix is great this time of year (hello new seasons of Queer Eye and Emily in Paris!) but for you to connect deeply with yourself, these types of distraction are clutter for your mind and soul. Set aside some time to spend with yourself, by yourself, without your phone or laptop. Perhaps go for a walk in nature, or journal your heart out, or pull a card or two. I also like to lie down on the rug in my living room, close my eyes and just let my heart speak. Ask yourself: ‘If money, time, location, age, [fill in the blank] wasn’t an issue, where would I be right now? What would I be doing? Who would I have around me?’.
Dream big, my love, You deserve it.
3. Seek Warmth.
There’s nothing quite so blocking to your system than the cold – in my opinion. I know some people thrive in the colder weather, and I also wouldn’t say I thrive in hot climates, but at the same time, the continuous desire to walk quickly so you get home quicker so you’re back in the warmth isn’t really the expansive energy we’re looking for here, right?
So, after you have wrapped up warm and enjoyed a nice Winter walk, get inside and brew yourself a nice cup of herbal tea. Draw yourself a bath or get in the shower. Visit that friend who has a woodburner. The fire will come back again in terms of seasons, but it doesn’t mean you cannot focus on warming your body right now – and warming your inner world whilst you’re it.
What lights you up? What gets the fire in your belly roaring with pleasure? Is it a cosy film, quality time with friends, a good book? Seek outer and inner warmth and you will find it. Be surprised at how nourishing it can feel to warm your body and soul. Let life give you that spark within again.
What I love about these things is how small they are to implement. You don’t have to throw away everything in your home – perhaps it just means dusting off your altar and choosing some new elements to display. You don’t need to quit your job and move to the other side of the world in a matter of weeks – you can just let various ideas for your future roll around in your head and heart and get curious about which one(s) seem to stick.
So yes, perhaps January and February are beautiful months to invite in a spark of magic that no other moment in the year holds quite like they do. It all happens in the now – so what are you going to do to ritualise it?
I would love to hear about it in a comment!
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