The winter solstice is on the 21st of December and in the northern hemisphere, is our shortest day. It is the day when the sun is at its lowest in the sky, casting the longest shadows across the earth.

In terms of chi, this is the yin phase of the annual cycle, and is when we experience water chi in the five elements. It is a powerful change point, from becoming more inward, to the beginning of expression and expansion.

If we learn from nature, this is a time for regeneration, developing ourselves from the inside, regenerating ourselves and preparing for the spring.

This combines to make it an ideal time to find the stillness on the outside to explore our deepest self. We can use the natural energy around us to help meditate and see what emerges from the silence.

The image I have is of being very quiet in frozen snow covered woods and waiting until a deer or bird appears from nowhere, like a new thought or realisation.

This is the time to step back and take the biggest view of life, so we can plant the seeds of new ideas, ready to sprout in the spring. It is a phase in the cycle when we can focus on our own healing, rest and rebuild our vitality.