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How many of us have heard variations of the old adage “Idle hands are the devil’s playthings”, at home or school or work? We may even hear it as an inner voice when we take a break from the busy-ness of life.

At this time of year, especially wth the coming of Christmas / Yule / Hanukkah and other winter festivals, we may even feel guilty taking some “me time” to relax, think, rest, ponder — so-called non-productive time — rather than “getting it done”.

But is that time truly non-productive…. ?

In the Northern Hemisphere, we are moving from Autumn (Water energy) to Winter (Earth energy)… the energy of Mama Earth is pulling deep down and within. Some animals will soon start a period of hibernation. Trees and plants are sending their energies deep down into their roots to rest and renew and prepare for the rebirth in spring.

At this time of Samhain, An Cailleach — the Crone of Winter — reminds me to curb my innate tendency to fill my days with “stuff”, and to acknowledge that there is value and wisdom — and a true need — to embrace the soft gentle time of Winter rest… to accept that it is also productive time when we reflect, release, rest, reset, rebirth and, in the words of John O’Donohue, as we entrain with “kindness of rhythm in your journey”. It’s part of our natural cycle in the Wheel of the Year.

It doesn’t mean that we stop being productive in the traditional ways, but that we also prioritize time for whatever we need to do to rest and reflect and release — and for some that may mean blocking off some downtime in an otherwise busy schedule.

Spirit has no judgment. The journey has its own beat, its own rhythm, and unfolds in its own time.

Embrace that. Trust your soul … let the wisdom unfold … embrace the kindness of rhythm…

Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.”

– From “ Anam Cara”