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Darkness of Winter Encourages Insights

The darkness of Winter has descended.

For many the long stormy nights of Winter and the proverbial dark night of the soul are uncomfortable.

In addition to being dark, times like these can feel cold, lonely and boring. Whether the dark makes you feel sad, depressed, confused, uneasy or fearful, you may be quick to counteract your discomfort by searching for ways to create more light, companionship, and activity in your life.

Although bringing light to a dark time may alleviate your sense uneasiness, if too much light is brought on too quickly, a magical time of healing and connection is disrupted. In the long run, you'll see more progress if you learn to work with the darkness rather than deny its existence.

The Magic of Darkness

Being in the dark heightens our senses.

* We hear more acutely. As a result we are more likely to catch messages from our intuition.

* We perceive subtle connections more easily because our minds are not cluttered with extraneous details.

* We tap our creativity more deeply. Poems, paintings, and songs are often crafted by people who are wrestling with some aspect of their life.

When you are in the midst of an inner Winter, these are precisely the skills you need to turn your situation around.

Find Comfort in the Darkness

If you find yourself disliking the dark of Winter, create ways to enhance your sense of comfort during these times. Gather:

* A warm, cozy blanket and some big fluffy pillows to create a safe nest for yourself.

* A huggable stuffed animal--a big teddy bear that feels like it's hugging you back is a great choice.

* An array of candles to bring some sacred points of light to your setting.

* A favorite CD or tape with music that moves you.

* A notebook and pen for writing your thoughts as they come to you.

* An evening or day in your calendar that's devoted just to you.

The most productive thing you can do during Winter is nothing. That's right. Give yourself the gift of time to be in solitude with no expectations or pressures to "accomplish" anything significant. Give yourself complete permission to unplug for several hours or several days. Unwind. Take long luxurious naps. Daydream to your heart's content.

The Gift of Insight

You really never know how or when the insights will come, so follow your heart and do what feels best in the moment. Your answers may appear during your retreat or afterwards as you return to your daily life.

Don't push. The gift of insight is not something you can demand or force. Insights come when the time is right.

Your only job right now is to cultivate an environment and state of mind that encourages new, creative thoughts and ideas to come through. Be open and receptive to unexpected answers. Be observant and make note of any new thoughts that occur to you.

Honor the Darkness

With time, you will come to know when your body and soul need some quiet time. You'll begin to sense when something significant is brewing and gestating.

When you feel this feeling, act upon your premonition by creating time and space in your life for some time alone.

Gift yourself with an intentional retreat. Catch the sparks of insight as they appear. Don't rush to conclusions, but allow the outcome to unfold in time as you live your life.

May the darkness that surrounds you be full of sparkling insights this Winter season.

About The Author

Carol McClelland, Ph.D. uses nature's response to the change of seasons to show people how they can make transitions gracefully and effectively. Her book, The Seasons of Change, is available in English and Spanish. Her free Seasons of Change eNewsletter inspires, supports, and guides people in transition and is distributed eight times a year as the seasons change. To subscribe, visit

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