Tao of Inner Peace Newsletter
Diane Dreher Coaching & Consulting, LLC
Seasonal Newsletter: Winter 2020
A Time to Simplify
The autumn leaves have fallen from the birch and maple trees. Summer’s roses are only a memory as the rosebushes are pruned and bare. The days are short, darkness falls early, and many animals hibernate. Winter is a season of simplicity, stripping away the non-essentials to prepare for the next springtime of renewal. It’s a season to go within, to find time for peace and contemplation.
Like the natural world around us, winter invites us to release what no longer serves us, echoing the ancient Shinto ritual of misogi, or purification. Some dedicated martial artists in Japan and America still practice misogi harai. Standing under a waterfall or plunging into a mountain stream in the heart of winter, they perform ritual chants, releasing discordant attitudes to gain inner harmony.

This winter, you can create your own ritual of misogi by releasing mental and physical clutter from your life.   In our busy, noisy culture, it’s hard to find peace of mind when we’re hemmed in by clutter in every direction—cluttered counter tops, cluttered closets, a cluttered calendar, and a cluttered life. Regardless of what advertisers try to sell us, being fulfilled is not the same as being filled full. Robbing our environment of order and beauty, clutter strangles the soul. We need spaces in our lives to move, to breathe, to embrace new opportunities. By eliminating needless stressors, misogi can bring you greater power and peace.

Misogi does not mean rushing around with an endless set of chores that drains our energy. Performed mindfully, the simple steps of putting your life in order can become misogi, rituals of empowerment. Here are some possibilities. You can begin by choosing one way that works for you:
  • Practice misogi with the paper in your life.  Don’t let unopened mail pile up. Sort it when it comes in. Put bills in a special place, correspondence in another, toss junk mail in the recycling bin, and recycle old magazines after you’ve read them.

  • Bring misogi to your living room. Pick up personal items before you leave the room. If you have a family, ask them to do the same. Misogi does not mean waiting on others. It is your affirmation of beauty and order in your home, clearing away clutter to create greater peace of mind.

  • Bring misogi to your closet. Do you have clothes you never wear? Begin sorting through your closet, but don’t try to do this all at once. Spend a few minutes going through one section at a time, taking out clothes that no longer “fit” your body, your style, your life. Put them in a bag to donate, practicing compassion for others as you simplify your life. Closet misogi will give you a new wardrobe as you discover clothes you’ve forgotten and save you time getting dressed. You can also affirm greater order by donating an old item of clothing whenever you buy something new.

  • Use misogi with social media. Do you mindlessly check social media multiple times a day or let texts and email continually interrupt you? Research has shown that too much electronic communication produces stress. It can keep us on edge, prevent us from spending time with our own thoughts and communicating with people we care about. Set boundaries that work for you. You can turn off automatic notification and check email at a regular time each day once you’ve finished a period of important work. You can turn off your phone during meals and limit time on social media. When you need a break, instead of checking your phone, try going outside to look at the sky.

  • Clear your calendar with misogi. We all need to work, do regular maintenance, eat, sleep, and exercise. We also need time for recreation and personal renewal. But sometimes we fill our calendars mindlessly, letting other people’s priorities take up our time. If this sounds familiar, then pause before answering a request, asking yourself “Will this bring greater joy and meaning to my life?” If not, it could take away time in your life from something you do value. 
This winter, you can create practices for greater peace that will blossom into new joy and renewal this spring. 
Free Coaching Available

Are you looking for the light of greater possibility this season? I’m offering two free positive psychology coaching sessions to the first person who contacts me at this link .
About Diane
I am a positive psychology coach, researcher, and best-selling author. My books include  The Tao of Inner Peace The Tao of Personal Leadership The Tao of Womanhood Inner Gardening:   A Seasonal Path to Inner Peace , and  Your Personal Renaissance: 12 Steps to Finding Your Life’s   True Calling .

My coaching uses the latest research in positive psychology, mindful listening, powerful questions, and other creative techniques to help people like you overcome roadblocks, achieve your goals, and discover greater joy and meaning in life.   
 
Certifications
I am an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) and a member of the  International Coach Federation   (ICF) a leading global organization dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high standards, providing independent certification and building a worldwide network of trained coaching professionals. 

I am also a Certified MentorCoach (CMC) with the internationally recognized coach training community  MentorCoach LLC.
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Diane Dreher, PhD, MA, ACC, CMC
Diane Dreher Coaching & Consulting, LLC
© Diane Dreher 2018