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The dark days of winter are here, and the wheel of the year has turned to the spoke of the lowest light. It is a time that feels insular and quiet; the snow creates a hush while the extended darkness asks to be met. At this time of year I long for more time to read, sleep, and move inwards to take stock and incubate ideas. This can be at odds with our modern society, which often continues to grind no matter the season.

These kinds of disconnects can create a sense of imbalance between our natural urges and the structure and expectations of work, family, and social environments. The world exists in cycles. There are cycles to the seasons, to how plants blossom and grow, and then let go and conserve energy. There are cycles to the animals around us including migration and hibernation. We all have cycles and when we align and adapt to them, not only do we feel better, but we are able to harness the power of those cycles rather than struggle against them.

What would happen if we took our cues from what is happening all around us? What would happen if we started to align ourselves with the cycles that are occurring within our bodies? The amount of light available regulates our circadian rhythms which in turn dictate our sleep schedule, eating patterns, body temperature, and hormone activity. It makes sense then, that in the winter, we have different needs which can include an increased need for sleep and a need to hunker down.

What are your cycles? How can you find the balance between the demands of your responsibilities and the needs you have that align you with the seasons of your life?

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