Well, the weather is getting distinctly wintry, and so it's the time of year when many people like to become more introspective and meditative. It also means that Christmas, Yule, Hanukkah, and other winter solstice celebrations are on their way.
Winter is a time to replenish your spiritual sources of well-being, and nourish yourself. So I recently blogged about avoiding spiritual burnout; how to recognise the symptoms, and how to recover from them.
Spiritual burn-out is a real risk for spiritual leaders, counsellors, caregivers, healers and psychics. Grace, a psychic, gives advice on how to avoid it (and she should know because she has suffered from it). I have recently suffered from this myself, and have found in the past that if I was getting nurtured by others, and receiving energy from the universe, it didn't happen, whereas if you fail to do these things, you will get burn-out, and the symptoms can be quite nasty. Find out more...
I have also recently created a series on spiritual practices, including gardening, storytelling, labyrinth walking, creating mandalas, and just having a nice cup of tea and a sit down.
If you would like to contribute an article on a spiritual practice, please let us know via Facebook or email.
Another way to replenish your inner resources is to celebrate Yule.
The most important thing about Yule (the Winter Solstice) is that it is when the days grow longer again after the long dark winter nights. It is also associated with holly (the evergreen leaves symbolise the persistence of life even in winter, and the red berries symbolise fire). Fire is a symbol of the sun, which is why people lit fires at both summer and winter solstice.
Ethical Christmas gifts
Are you stuck for ideas for what to buy for your loved ones?
Why not make them a gift? A hand-made gift shows that you have taken time and trouble, and is uniquely personal. You can also meditate on the well-being of the intended recipient while you are making the gift.
You can knit, crochet, carve, sew, or quilt your handmade gift. There are many websites with hints and tips on how to make things; they even have videos demonstrating how to do it - which is how I learned to crochet.
If making gifts is not your thing, there are some lovely things available for helping with meditation and other spiritual activities. If you buy crystals, however, please make sure that they are ethically sourced and not strip-mined. If you buy items from developing countries, please make sure that they are fairly traded.
Suppliers of fair trade goods include Traidcraft, Amnesty, Oxfam, Shared Earth (fair trade and sustainable), Windhorse (ethical and sustainable), Natural Collection (fair trade and sustainable), and many more. Always look for the Fair Trade logo.