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  • Jo Gifford

The Creative Liminality of Seasonal Surrender

The rain hammers against the window as the sky darkens. I nestle further into my weighted blanket on the sofa, my snoring bengal cat snuggled in the nook behind my knees.I started this day full of plans, a list of events in my diary; gym training, projects to work on, words to write, goals to achieve. My body, in the wisdom she so often makes clear in my body during these darker months, was having none of it.

Exhausted, I take my inner tantrum to the sofa, and consider what it is I am fighting. 


For years, my body has needed more rest in the autumn and winter months. This year has been a particularly challenging one, and my nervous system knows it. 


It clearly needs scented candles, cacao, nidra and, of course, terrible TV for a while.I come to the realisation that it’s my mind fighting my body and her wisdom. My body categorically knows what she needs. But my mind, which I have trained to have the requisite “mindset” of progress, feels held back.

Despite the cries from my ego, I know my body knows best. My tired, stress-stretched being needs space, quiet, an absence of to -do lists, and permission to let go.And slowly, as if from nowhere, from the corners of my heart and without my mind noticing, gentle whispers arrive.The seeds of soul sown ideas scatter with quiet intention.


The space around me stops feeling like a block and opens up into opportunities I cannot see when my calendar is full, I am juggling responsibilities, or my brain is simply too full of tasks to begin to imagine how to start being creative.The seasonal surrender is one I am still learning to embrace with my mind as well as my body.


I am reminded, each and every year, that slowing down allows the true gifts of liminality to rise to the surface.The leaves know it, as they let go.


The wildlife know it, as they hibernate.


My cat even knows it, as he tucks in tighter, and snoozes without a care in the world.


He knows his playground outside is seasonal, and feels no fear in riding the circadian rhythm waves.As the creative whispers emerge from my own soul in the darkness, I am reminded that the shadows are needed for the light.


I will remind myself of this next year. The creative liminality of seasonal surrender stretches out until March, when those shoots start to show, and I begin to unfurl from the blankets.Wishing you a slow, shadowy winter to nurture the magic of your soul.


Written by Jo Gifford

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