During the winter months, an important part of my self-care routine is getting outside during daylight hours. This becomes a challenge during the week when it's dark outside by 4:00 p.m. It's easier on the weekends, but even then, I'm tempted to stay inside all day, snuggled up on the sofa in my warm, cozy apartment.
One thing that helps motivate me to get outside is finding outdoor activities I enjoy, and then discovering ways to transform the experience into sacred ritual.
For instance, every year in late November, my partner and I brave the cold (and often wet) weather to visit a nearby park where salmon spawn. We walk the gravel path that angles along Piper's Creek, stopping every so often to observe the salmon swimming upstream. We watch as they clear the sand and gravel with their fins, preparing to bring new life into the world.
Always, always, I put my hand on my heart and send blessings to the salmon. I welcome them home, thank them for their tireless journey, and wish them well as they fulfill their life's purpose.
The trail leads to the beach, where we usually rest for a few moments before we trek back to the car. Here, I close my eyes in gratitude for having witnessed these tiny miracles in the making.
What winter outdoor activities might you add to your self-care routine? How might you transform these activities into sacred ritual?