Hibernating with Bear Spirit

Photo Credit: Public Domain Image 

Bears hibernate. We learn this as young children in fairy tales, folklore and picture books.  When winter comes, bears find a nice cozy cave and sleep the winter months away...well, sort of.

The fact is that hibernation doesn't mean that bears "sleep."  They go into a state known as "torpor," from which they can wake quickly and easily if need be. The state of consciousness that bears enter is more akin to the meditative state of a practiced yogi.  The bears bodily functions slow down, but if they need to wake, they can and do.

Bears teach us a great lesson in caring for ourselves. Like the bear, we, too, need to have periods of total rest. Times when we slow everything down so that we can process all that has happened, heal and return to balance. Each winter, I remember this - seems easier to remember when it is cold, icy and snowy outside.  Each winter, the call of Bear Spirit invites me to "hibernate."

How can humans hibernate? Well, unless you are a yogi, chances are you will not be slowing down your metabolism enough not to eat or drink or process food waste.  But, we can go within - enter the caves of our consciousness - and "be."

Some people find that they do this with meditation, which is wonderful. However, if you are like me, meditation doesn't come easy.  I find sitting quietly without moving to be excruciating. Not only does my arthritis flare up, but my monkey mind has a field day!  So, what to do?

For me, hibernation - going within - comes in prayer, comes in reading, comes when I work on creating art or handiwork. (knitting, sewing, etc.)  Winter offers me the best time for that because I don't want to be outside. Therefore, my home, my favorite chair, become my cave. I nourish my being by connecting to Spirit, by feeding my intellect and by giving birth to works of art or creations of handiwork that I share with those I love. 

May we all find time to hibernate - to go within. May we learn to call on our reserves through meditation, prayer or reflection. May we, like Mother Bear, give birth to works of art, new ideas, creations of handiwork that will bless the world around us. May we find healing, peace and balance.

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