February is a time of year when everything slows down or stops completely high in the Colorado Rockies. Snow days mean staying home, pulling out the sleds, drinking hot cocoa, and waiting for the storm to pass before digging out the car.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAIn the meantime, winter beckons our bodies and our minds to slow down, to turn within, to reconnect with our spiritual awareness. Hence, it is also a time for extended personal or group retreats in many spiritual traditions: Buddhists believe the New Year (Chinese New Year falls on February 8th this year) to be an auspicious time for extra meditation and prayer, as karmic forces are magnified during major holidays; followers of Judaism look forward to Purim at the end of March; Christians begin the season of Lent on Ash Wednesday, February 10th.

Even if you are “unaffiliated”, your body is still programmed on a bio-electrical level to slow down because of less light, to stay indoors and out of the cold, to eat less, work less, and lose many hours staring into the fire. Mother Nature calls all her creatures to hibernate, to rejuvenate at the very tips of their deepest roots, to dream long and deep of the seasons to come as the great cycle continues on it’s course.

At the Holistic Homestead, we recognize the universal instinct toward spiritual fulfillment, and the very real need for meaningful spirituality as an integral part of our overall health and wellbeing. That is why we’ve been hosting our annual online winter retreat since 2012 – and you’re invited!

How do I participate?

My 2 1/2 year old loves to sit on his "OM time" cushion and chant "oooommmmmm..."
My 2 1/2 year old loves to sit on his “OM time” cushion and chant “oooommmmmm…”

First, make sure you’re following the Holistic Homestead’s blog (the +follow button on the bottom of your screen) to receive a free e-mail every time we publish a post. During the nine-day winter retreat this year, we will publish teachings, inspirational quotes, meditations, and simple practices that you can do at home every day to deepen your spiritual awareness.

If you are very new to the concept of making a spiritual retreat, or if you struggle with finding even five minutes out of a hectic schedule to sit down and take a breath (let alone meditate…), sign up on Eventbrite.com. For a minimum donation of $1, you will receive a PDF about spirituality and health, extra articles and guest commentaries, and personalized guidance to help you structure a successful retreat.

Stay tuned for more great ideas on preparing for your own personal winter retreat with the Holistic Homestead!

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