Seeking Life’s Shelter

I recall in the countryside where I grew up, that if heavy rain or hail showers came while walking in the fields, we would put ourselves up close to the hedge for shelter until it passed. I’ve had to do similar many times through life’s ebbs. Like the shelter of the hedge, I have sought over the years, the shelter of inspiring words and music,  beautiful places or the kindness and shoulder of a close friend.

In this I am reminded of the wisdom of these amazing words of the late Philosopher and Author John O’Donohue whom I had the great pleasure of knowing and spending some time with on my own journey.

““It is now wise to follow the instincts of nature and withdraw into yourself. When it is winter in your soul, it is unwise to pursue any new  endeavours.”
 — Anam Cara, Seasons of the Heart

WE can have ‘Seasons of the Heart’ and times of  “…winter in the soul” so great that it is necessary to “… withdraw into” ourselves. At one time or another we all have, and do, experience such times, and the tendency may be to try and keep going without taking time to stop and take shelter.

The great wisdom in nature is to flow with the Seasons, with it’s shedding in Autumn, it’s rooting down deep in the earth in Winter, it’s slow gentle emerging through the ground in Spring and it’s magnificent rainbow of blossoming in Summer.

HedgeIf you are feeling “winter in the soul” stop, take a breath, take time to shelter. Even just for a few minutes each day, read or listen to something that inspires your heart and uplifts your soul. Seek a beautiful place to spend some time in. Share how you feel in the warmth and love of someone you trust and with whom you can just ‘BE’.

When we feel in an ebb of life we can feel that we have to ‘DO’ something, or we may be told by well meaning people to embark on a new and exciting endeavour to shift ourselves out of the feeling. However, rather then trying to ‘get out of the feeling’ it is important to acknowledge it and embrace it with a nurturing compassion.

When the storm clouds gather and the heavy rains of grief, loss, disappointment or sadness begin to fall, it is important to take time to put ourselves up against life’s hedge and let the storm pass. This gives us the time to wait till the light breaks through the dark clouds, the sun shines brightly and it’s bright rays warm us once again. As it surely will.

Love… & Peace…


Bernadette Phillips is Founder of New Insights For Change intuitive guidance for conscious living… she is a Social Scientist, Social Activist, Writer, Speaker, Poet and Blogger.




8 comments on “Seeking Life’s Shelter

  1. Carina Segerstein

    Thank you Bernadette for your true and comforting words ❤ ❤ ❤

    • bernadette phillips Post author

      Carina, thank you. Delighted that you enjoyed this post. I very much appreciate your comment.

  2. Richard Hatton

    Such great and reassuring wisdom,laced with beautiful prose.

    • bernadette phillips Post author

      Richard, thank you so much for reading this post and for your beautiful supportive words.


  3. Beautiful. Resonates with me deeply . Cried of I have been in Winter season for some time now. My shelter is often in experiences shared by the few in my Soulpod. Thank you Bernadette. Wise words…will share on Fb..xo

    • bernadette phillips Post author

      Awe! Marie, heartlinks with and to you… and thank you for reading my post. yes, ‘shelter’ can so often be found in as you say so beautifully here “in experiences shared by the few in ‘our’ Soulpod”. Thank you also for sharing it x

  4. Stan Philips

    Thought provoking blog Bernadette. And it makes me wonder whether we can recognise that “winter of the soul” as it’s chill wind blows around our life.and, if so, discover how best to deal with it. Maybe even come to terms with the reactions of others who feel that icy blast themselves.

    • bernadette phillips Post author

      Stan, thank you. Yes indeed the recognition of that “winter of the soul” is such an important insight. Putting ourselves up against the ‘hedge’ can assist us to do this as we stop and mindfully give ourselves time to shelter from those “chill winds”. And also can give us great empathy with others.