Winter Self-Care Series
The Art of Stillness by Fay Stevens

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There is something beautifully evocative about this time of year; crisp morning frosts, glossy hues of winterberries, the bright white light of the winter sun and dark cavernous nights shattered with diamond shimmer. As the nights become longer and darker and the days colder, I cultivate a set of practices that enhance my sensory engagement with winter, a curated calm serenity … an art of stillness.

Wrapped in soft layers of cashmere and felt, I step into the garden. Hands cupped around a warming bowl of lemon and ginger tea, I sky gaze and inhale warm wisps of tea-infused steam. Closing my eyes, I embrace the haptic qualities of variable hot and cold; the touch of warm ceramic as it sits in the palms of my hands, the exciting sting of cool morning mist on my skin and  I become as still as the morning, gentle awakening energy and soft opening,

The spiced scents associated with this time of year – cinnamon, clove, frankincense – infuse the house from ceramic oil burners. Yet, it is the fragrances of summer - lavender, neroli, rose, lemongrass - that I am often drawn to. Placing a few drops in the palms of my hand, I close my eyes, hold my open hands up to my face, deeply breathe in the aroma of warm sun-baked landscapes and I am transported, bare skinned, river swimming, dreamy summer meadow mellow…

When the afternoon light starts to fade a quiet afternoon bath laced with bubbles, aromatic and illuminated with candles feels sensual and indulgent. As I slip into smooth enamel, velvet liquid warms my bones, nourishes my spirit, balances my mood and I glow, with gentle warmth, peaceful calm and observant stillness.   

“Be still. Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity.” 
Lao Tzu

Fay is a writer focused on the place where art meets life. She is also an artist, curator and academic who works with her body as it perceives spaces, contexts and objects. Her site Noema is a locale for her writing and photography, documenting her process and practice; a view of life through the lens of an existentialist.

This is the second in a series of guest posts created to help us brave the cold, dark days of winter together. Sending love, light, and much love. ~ Carrie