The magic of winter isn’t limited to cozy sweaters and snow-covered trees. The cool, dark evenings have a special power that we aren’t harnessing yet – they reunite us with a sense of mystery. It may feel like there isn’t much mystery left to life, but this time of year reminds us that there are plenty of opportunities to explore the unknown. You’ll recapture your sense of wonder when you align yourself with the unique energy of this season.
Here are some ways dark nights can help you feel a sense of magic:
- You can explore the depths of your mind.
As you’re forced to spend more time indoors, resist the urge to distract yourself with mindless internet browsing and binge watching your favorite TV series. Use your free time to explore the content of your thoughts. It may sound ridiculous since you think with your mind all day, but there are parts of your mind you haven’t explored yet. Your mind isn’t just a tool for remembering data, it is a fantastic creator of new projects and a direct link to your intuition. All you need to do to venture into those uncharted waters of your mind is to sit in stillness and let new thoughts surface. Reflect on your life as you drink a cup of tea, sit on the sofa and stretch your imagination, or simply pull up a cushion and meditate for ten minutes.
Tip: Switch your phone to airplane mode for an hour every evening. When your phone is on, it is hard to fight distraction. Allowing time to explore the depths of your mind is way more exciting than looking at pictures of your friend’s lunch on social media anyway.
- You can enter the unknown.
Many of us carry the fear of the dark with us from childhood. The darkness conjures up the idea of mystery because we literally have no clue what is around us when we’re in the dark. Fear of the darkness is actually fear of the unknown. So instead of reacting to the unknown with fear, why not let it enchant you? Mystery is fun. It can inspire us to dream up new possibilities. We don’t have to know everything.
Tip: This solstice, go outside into the darkness. Look at the the night sky for 25 minutes. As you’re looking at the stars, contemplate the universe and everything that humans haven’t figured out yet. Imagine new possibilities. If you can’t see the stars or get outdoors, practice sitting in darkness for 25 minutes using only candle light. In either situation, if you feel afraid of the dark, journal about the fears that surface. Ask yourself: What can you learn from those fears? Instead of feeling afraid, what possibilities lie in the unknown?
- You can connect with family and friends.
Throughout human history, people sat around campfires telling stories. The colder weather can create more warmth in our lives as it brings us closer to the people we love. It is understandable if being trapped indoors with your roommate or family doesn’t sound appealing. But, part of embracing the unknown is figuring out that you don’t know everything about your friends, family, or roommate. Rather than filling up on distractions during the dark, dreary afternoons, fill your calendar with coffee dates and long talks with the people you love.
Tip: Make an effort to spend quality time with at least one person you love. Challenge yourselves to not check your cell phones a single time. Let the conversation be your only form of entertainment. Ask them to tell you about a personal memory they’ve never shared with you before. Then, share one of your memories with them.