In the park today a not-so-generous winter sun sharply contracts bare trees.

Bare to the bones, the park conveys Winter’s unique point of view. The focus is on the very structure. 

Bare to the Bones

The look is stark, the beauty is dramatic. 


I’ve seen this park in summer – it bursts with life. Doesn’t look so now. There isn’t even a promise.

The Winter after Christmas isn’t most popular time of the year by any stretch. Yet it’s a hugely important foundation for the rest of the year.

In the same way as Kidney/Bladder – the TCM body system governing winter – forms the foundation of your health with everything else depending on it, winter introspection and decisions made from the depth of your being make the foundation for the entire year ahead.

Reflection is called for. Deep Soul searching. Observing answers. Conserving what is vital. Planning not action.

In winter we have a clear picture.

If we choose to look we will see that ‘what is’. What is we are, what is our life made of at this moment of time. In spring, the ‘what is’ hidden under wildly optimistic green foliage; in summer it’s hazed by the heat; in autumn painted in rich colours and covered by falling leaves.

In winter we naturally have more time for inner journeys as we are indoors more. It’s a vital little pause. Life feels more contracted even if you are invested into our 24/7 central heated lifestyle.

  • If you are that tree, that park, what makes the Bare Bones of your daily life? 
  • What is a unique point of view on your life from winter – what is really important?
  • Who is really important?
  • If you turn your attention to your inner Self what is in a sharp contrast with a dull background?
  • What is crucial for a very structure of your life, your body, your health, your social circle?
  • What do you need to preserve no matter what?
  • What’s in your life needs deliberate loving cultivation?
  • What do you really want?
  • What are you grateful for in your life?

Contemplating these questions is like a little brisk walk around the park of your winter Self. Brief but refreshing it is here to trigger some inner processes, so some outlines of your Self will start to transpire.

Only midwinter has this unmistakable depth. The pause of Winter can be stark and beautiful just as your winter park.

Don’t just hide. Embrace winter. Go in. Have fun with hygge, walk and journal. This depth is not to be missed for it holds the clues to you. The clues or full answers depending what you are ready for. All the colours are to come soon they are just hiding.

I propose a little reflective writing exercise. Create a tiny pause today to answer the questions. 

Add some Dream Work to the mix for extra depth – winter is a prime time for working with dreams.

This will be a sketch of the Self, the Bare Bones of your Winter 2020 sketch, just the outlines based on these answers. 

If you are fascinated with your sketch of Self and want to do more check our next post Winter Inventory.

And if you are really excited with this beginning join us for the full journey of Cultivating the Self in our Cafe Self. 

Whatever you do work this sketch. Every day. It’s a useful little snapshot of this time of your life. Great for practicing being present. Priceless as you life history in the future.

Enjoy 🙂

Subscribe to our Questions to the Soul Newsletter (the form is in the column on the right) and if you would like to go deeper with your Winter Questions, please get in touch using the form below and receive our free Workbook Bare Bones Winter Journaling Prompts.

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