Intuition & Inner Knowing: hibernation

Winter is here. And with it are short, dark days. Long nights. A perpetual blanket of snow on the ground. A cold that commands respect and settles in the bones. Bare trees and gray sky.

Winter has me thinking about the ebb and flow of seasons and the natural course of things, like the instinctive drive for animals to migrate, adapt, or hibernate—depending on what suits their needs for well-being and longevity.

To become inactive or dormant

I love looking up words and flipped open the dictionary to find hibernation is defined as to be or become inactive or dormant. Taking it a step further, dormant means temporarily devoid of external activity.

Well, I may not be hibernating in the truest sense of the word, but I certainly have been more inclined toward inactivity and dormancy these past couple months. More conservative in my movements and goals. Tending toward introspection. Spending less time focused on action and striving.

Hibernation vs. I should get busy

When I first noticed my own version of hibernation, the inclination was to “should” myself. I should get busy. I should be more productive. I should be more focused.

But then I stopped long enough to appreciate the temporary inactivity, the slowing down—and recognize the potential for dormancy to be the foundation for my renewed energy and strength. My rejuvenated and reinvigorated “spring”, which I know is just around the corner.

Letting myself off the hook

As a result of reframing the meaning of my hibernation, I let myself off the proverbial hook. The “shoulds” ceased. In their place is a newfound respect for awareness of both myself and my environment.

In the past, I’ve often been too busy “pushing through” and “marching on” to even notice a change in the literal seasons or be aware of what my body and soul needed in order to be restored. We’re all a part of nature and so it makes perfect sense our best selves come into being when we’re more aligned with the larger natural world around us.

My challenge to you is to reflect on your own “winter”—both the literal and figurative—and give some thought to what this season means in terms of your own hibernation and renewal.