Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Winter Harmony- Welcome Jennifer Koenig

The Winter Harmony blog series is our gift to our beautiful community to help inspire and support you to live in harmony with winter. Join us and some amazing guest bloggers M-F during the month of January.
Click here to see all the Winter Harmony posts in one place.

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Winter Harmony Mandala to bring a little peace and joy to your winter season this year and see what message it has for you.

For me winter is a time to surrender to myself and for self-reflection. Once the leaves have all fallen, the sky is revealed. Sunset colors, brilliant pinks, purples, blues, that I could not see before from my kitchen window are visible to me now. The vibrancy catches my attention away from the rush of cooking dinner and washing dishes. The night skies also become more sparkly and clear. The cold crispness of the air makes the stars shine brighter against the dark majestic blue. Because I spend so much time indoors, I feel disconnected from nature but get some moments back when I let the dog in and out of the house. I usually will take a couple of minutes to stare up, take a few of deeps breaths, clear my mind and let the Earth know how beautiful it is. Sometimes I even speak out loud. I want the universe to know I am noticing.  
Most winters in New England, we are blessed with scenes of fresh fallen snow. The blankets soften and quiet the normal rushing around. I had plans this winter to utilize this quiet, slower time to re-connect and devote myself to my creative process. Harmonize with this special time and go deep inside to dig around to see what I can find. This winter however, I have been derailed by grief. Everywhere I turn are stories of heartbreak.  My heart tears to pieces every time I hear or read the words of the Mothers who lost their children to violence just a short 20-minute drive from my house. Images still run through my mind of the large memorials created from outpourings of love and support from around the world. 
The tragedy in Sandy Hook, hit so close to home I feel like I was hit by the death sick. Faced with the impermanence of the people and things I love, a sense of urgency is ticking away in the center of my soul. My dreams and ideas have started knocking louder, calling me into action, begging me to stop dragging my feet and leap ahead to share my visions with the world. But in this grief, instead of finding time for delve into myself, I just sit with my son, holding him, hugging him, and watching him play. Appreciating every moment I have with him. 
Working a full time job, an hour away from home, leaves me very little quality time at end of the day. When I am finally with him, I don’t want to leave his side. I have no desire to go inside myself if that means taking my attention off the beauty of this little boy’s soul. Lately, as I put him to bed, he kisses me and asks me to leave the door “open just a little bit, so I can sneak”. This makes me giggle and I remind him that it is not sneaking if you tell me. I shut his light, turn on his stars and leave the door open just a little bit. Inevitably, he does sneak out invading my alone time, but I always let him stay. He climbs into bed to snuggle, and “reads me a story with his mind”. 
I give myself such a hard time for not doing all I expect from myself and I realize that it is neither loving nor kind. I thought maybe I would reconnect with my creativity by going inside, but what has happened instead, is a reawakening of my creative soul through his being. All the time we have been spending together painting, singing, dancing and creating stories, has re-ignited me. I have been reminded of the innocence of our natural creative state as Curious Experimenters full of Spirit. 

It really doesn’t feel like that long ago, when my sister and I would spend hours upon hours in creative play. I have been struggling for so long in my creative process because I am always so serious about it. I put so much pressure on myself to create something meaningful and with purpose; I just end up procrastinating on my projects. I think right now what needs to happen for me to be in harmony with my creative process is to take advantage of winter’s gift of hibernation, to just play again. It’s about time I stop beating myself up, bust out my crayons, Crayola watercolors and have some fun strengthen my creative play muscle instead.
Art and words by Jennifer A. Koenig, MA. I am a mother, artist and Medical Education Specialist. I have a Master’s Degree in Experiential Health and Healing. I consider myself a Health and Healing artist- utilizing the art and the creative process to find enlightenment, become self-aware and empowered. Please visit my blog at



  1. Thank you Jennifer...

    For your sharing what is in your heart and soul...this winter.

    May you especially enjoy the bliss of crayolas, watercolors and fun with your preciuos son these months of hibernation and sharing cozy times together.

  2. This moved me to tears Jen. You embody the gift of the creative divine mother! XOXO

  3. Thank you so much. The beauty of your heartfelt expressions also moved me to tears.

    Sometimes I can be sooooo affected by the scary stuff...the tragedies, the overflowing landfills, not wasting water, energy & our other precious natural resources, that I "box myself in" so tightly...and I cannot breathe life into anything! Trying to control the waste and the "usefulness" of everything that I do shuts down the creative juices inside my heart.

    When this happens I remind myself of what Molly Potter, my neighbor/artist, said to me as I sat there in her pottery studio kneading the clay, blocked by my thoughts about waste.

    "The Earth knows how to handle the "waste" from creative energy...she thrives on playfulness! Don't TRY and make anything....just play around!"

    I rolled out the clay and started playing around pressing different objects into the surface......The next visit I played around with different glazes, not caring how they ran together....just experimenting. It came out of the kiln looking really cool. I ended up giving it as a gift to my girlfriend who fell in love with it. She put some kind of hook on the back and it hangs from her wall to this day!

    It's amazing what a change of thought can do for the heart & soul.

    YOU ROCK JENNIFER...and so does your website!