The winter months can be the hardest time to have strong grounding and boundaries, especially for those of us who are sensitive, empathic, and/or feminine leaders; yet, if we do it well, we will be rewarded tenfold for our efforts come spring.
The winter is represented by the life-giving water element, the beginning, and ending of all. Its deeply held power is beautifully expressed in the 43rd verse of the Tao Te Ching:
‘The gentlest thing in the world
Overcomes the hardest thing in the world
That which has no substance
Enters where there is no space.
This shows the value of non-action.
Teaching without words,
Performing without action:
That is the Master’s way.’
We go into winter as a means of cleansing ourselves. Water is “that which has no substance” and can “enter where there is no space.” Water carved our planet, holds the volcanos asleep until it is their time to rise and cuts through land, patiently digging paths like the great Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon National Park to the Pacific Ocean. Water is where you rest so that your next year can be downloaded into your internal water as it transmits frequency, as described by the Pleiadian in Conversations with Laarkmaa.
Likewise, winter allows our boundaries to be fluid between us and the world, as it is more fluid and expandable than other seasons. The winter’s dreamy slumber is perpetuated by a flexible field that allows us to float on a cloud of joyful expansion. While our bodies rest, our spirit is open and receptive to the possibilities coming forth. It is important to allow your dreams to be yours at this stage. They are quite delicate and can be shattered easily if shared prematurely.
We feel safe and protected in the warmth of our beds, wrapped in layers of coziness. Winter offers us this same experience, it can easily be overlooked and missed because of its subtlety. We cannot always be moving, working, and doing at the ferocious pace society deems necessary to live a sustainable life, and winter is the natural season to slow our pace. For women, we have both a monthly and yearly winter, giving us access to a dreamy renewal space for our body, mind, and spirit.
While we are resting our bodies, we are raising our minds, guided by spirit, thus raising our vibration and consciousness to hold the frequency of our coming expansion. We must hold boundaries to protect our time of rest, to protect our minds and hearts from dismissing, judging, negating, criticizing, and/or shaming our dreams. Protection from external and internal criticism is necessary. In the winter we dream our biggest dreams of potential. It is our job to deal with the fear that comes when we dream such big dreams.
Boundaries are using our “no” as a powerful reclamation of our own personal power. When we hold our boundaries with ease and grace, understanding that this is the time to allow ourselves to dream big and often, then we take inspired action, doing only what must be done.
As a deciduous tree loses her leaves in the fall, leaving her bear and exposed to the winter cold, her trunk, branches, and bark get the full experience of being sundrenched on a daily basis in the winter months. The sun warms her, bringing attention to the necessity of the integrity of the bark and her ability to source from within.
She remains a stable structure to support the rest of birds, offering only a quiet place to land, rather than the shelter of shade or bountiful harvest of her other seasonal faces. Her boundaries are different in winter. She doesn’t force out leaves or seeds to please a hungry squirrel. She doesn’t uproot herself to offer herself to a bird in need. She stands quiet, stable, rooted, and still. Knowing she is enough right here, right now, and that what she really needs is the dreamy rest of winter, she brings her focus inward and dreams of next year’s growth, searching gently for the path to make her heart sing with the joy of spring.
Her commitment to upholding her best boundaries and grounding are vitally important here. If she devalues her own needs by making herself available during this season of rest, then she will ultimately only weaken and potentially damage her integrity and wellbeing. This is the nature of water. It will flow wherever it is directed, and if we allow our inner water to flow outward, using it primarily to give to others rather than to support this necessary time to gather resources and use them well, then we will show up in spring depleted, damaged, and burnt out.
One very specific way of honoring your boundaries and grounding is to find and respect your own personal pace by understanding and aligning your time, energy, and resources with the natural movement of your moon cycle phases. Each season and moon phase gives us a new and different energy and pace. Summer is a growth season; supported by the warmth around us, we expand with the heat into the world. Winter is the season of contraction, when the cold reminds us it is best to bring our attention inward, dreaming and creating for no-one but our own souls.
It’s also necessary not to lose ourselves in the dreamy space, letting go of dedication to our life’s work. Daily connection to our source and supportive resources needs to be at the forefront of our minds upon waking. Choose a gratitude practice, sit in quietude, gaze at beauty, listen to the universe through journaling or blog writing, read books, do yoga or other body-centric movements, focus your mind, listen to spirit, create art, meditate or practice pranayama. The choice is yours. Make it your own.
For me, every morning is different as I let spirit have it say. My job is just to become present and available. In the summer I bring all my morning ritual outside to breathe the warm morning dew. In winter, with candles lit, I sit in prayer, connecting to mother earth in my mind and heart through the silence of her nurturing flow within me. Without this morning pit stop, I feel an instability within my core being, and my day becomes less peaceful and more anxiety-provoking.
During the mother and enchantress phases of my moon cycle, when my inspiration and direction are clear for writing, there is a dance between writing and settling into myself. Both need their due time and attention, having equal value and necessity in my becoming. I choose to pray and rock, sit and listen, toggling between staying present in both my breath and the words that need to be spoken. The more I settle and breathe, the more I have to say, and the more the mother, the flow of the water, and the magic carpet ride of the Tao carry me forward.
Just like my pile of digestive enzymes, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, herbs, homeopathy, bio-identical progesterone, and aroma-acupoint therapy prepare me for the day, so does the daily fostering of my stable grounding and healthy boundaries.
Grounding is rooting your mind, heart, and actions down into the stability of life which is always there to support you. For me, it means connecting to the mother, the elements, my animal totems, my guides, etc. Keeping boundaries is knowing what is “yes” and what is “no” in your life. I choose to say no to anything which requires stress or strain on my part. I have lived many years as the tortured artist, struggling to find the words and outlet my soul longed for. Now, having found what I have been searching for in my practice with women and the courses I offer, I have learned that it is vital for me to go at my own pace in everything in life. Pushing or stressing feels like a distrust of my support and resources. In my experience, it has only been my own self-defeat and the fear of how changing and becoming successful will affect my family that has held me in a place of uncertainty, self-pity, and self-destruction. Learning to honor the pace of my own nature has been one of the most important gifts of stability and sustainability for me. Faith in your own blessings can never steer you wrong.
Boundaries are the yeses and no’s you allow in your life, both those you give to yourself and to others. It’s like becoming your own best mother, knowing when to stop working and have fun, knowing when to create and play, knowing when to work and stay steady, knowing when to go to bed, when to eat, and when to separate from the world to dream and bleed. Boundaries are your own best friend. They check the intentions and credentials of everything and everyone we interact with, holding our own best intentions as the rules for the road. If we have no boundaries we have nothing to check in with, nothing to ensure we are steadily upholding our honor, needs, and gifts. We can be like the jungle, thinking nothing of swallowing and integrating everyone and everything that desires to come in. Or we can be like the Arctic, being so inhabitable we rarely have a visitor or companion. Boundaries are what you say they are. They are your choices for what you allow in your life and what you don’t. When we choose to not make a yes or no choice, we are still making a choice—one dictated by your default setting. If you are generally living an existence of people-pleasing you can be sure that it will carry into all areas of your life without blinking. If you say “no thank you” and choose to no longer be a people pleaser, then there is a rule to follow, a boundary between you and that behavior.
Now, that’s not to say that claiming this boundary once will be a magic force-field around you that keeps you from doing whatever others need or request of you to make them temporarily happy, content, or placated. Nor will declaring your boundaries keep others who have been trained to expect your acts of servitude, damaging flexibility, and availability to stop asking too much of you altogether. The integrity of our boundaries and grounding is maintained by the repeated choice to make them real in our lives. Making them real will change relationships. More importantly, making choices that uphold your stable grounding and sovereign boundaries will change how you relate to the world around you and the people in it. Do you want to be a strong woman guided by her own light? Then you must be okay with life conspiring with you in support of your wishes as a result.
Now it’s your turn. Commit to your morning space of grounding and stabilizing your intentions before you ever open your mouth. Capitalize on your existing practice by adding space and focus for deep connection and receptivity to the earth for grounding and seeing your daily to-do list as a 'get to-do' list. Make it all happen on your terms, at your pace, in a way that suits your needs.
Your life is in your very capable hands.
Make this the best winter yet.
Your spring will thank you.
4 keys to grounding and boundaries:
Allow your root chakra to be free to send down roots into the earth.
Trust the earth to make a way for you, to meet you and your needs. We have to trust the earth to receive her life-sustaining support.
See yourself as a mighty oak tree, with roots equal to, or even three times as tall as your above-ground structure. Let your roots go deep, far, and wide. Let them be your stability, your source for vitamin N; nurturing. Let this connection and relationship bring power to your above-ground boundaries that is equal to the power and nutrition of your below-ground connection.
Let your branches and roots be your force-field of grace. Surround yourself with only people, places, and activities that support your growth and stability. No matter how grand the root system of the oak tree, if she is in a lifelong hurricane, she will be uprooted and torn apart. Nurture your nature. Love and appreciate yourself. Use your yeses and no’s with conviction and clarity. Choose weather that brings your oak tree all she needs to grow, thrive, make shade to share and a playground to climb, and to create acorns to feed and plant. Then you will have a personal honor that no one dares to cut down.