Sipping my morning coffee, meditating and looking into the distance through the window, I realised – it’s Winter! A snowy fairy tale that brought peace and rest to the soil reminded me of a Greek mythological story about Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld and her mom Demeter, the Goddess of nature and fertility. Its symbolic meaning teaches us about the seasons and as well about the importance of sleep; about the symbolic role that seasons play in the concept of a good rest and recharge. And this is how the idea of this week’s blog post was born.
Storytelling, the Most Efficient Transmitter of Knowledge
Being a Storyteller I feel the power of storytelling mainly in helping us accept and understand situations, through stories coming from the history of oral tradition, when talks were the main channel of transmitting knowledge to the next generation. To me, it is especially dear as it reinforces our relationships and brings people together to achieve bigger things.
It is also very efficient for business growth and internal marketing because storytelling is the easiest and most natural way to explain the aims, values, and mission of a company or a brand. Today, I’d like to use it to explain the connection between nature’s life cycle and importance of sleep, the good night rest and recharge.
Myth about Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld
Back in ancient Greek times lived a beautiful girl, named Persephone. She was a daughter of Zeus, the God of the sky and Demeter, commonly known as the Goddess of harvest and fertility. Besides that, Demeter presided also over the sacred law and the cycle of life and death.
Attracting the attention of many, Persephone was noticed by Hades, the God of the Underworld, who was moved by her beauty so much that his heart softened, he fell in love and wanted to marry her. He went to her mother to ask for Persephone’s hand, but Demeter would never allow that marriage happen.
Hades, stubborn as he was, wouldn’t give up. He had to find a way to get Persephone for himself! And did he? Sure, he did! One day when the beautiful girl was picking flowers, he made a crack from his homeland, came up to the surface of the Earth and abducted her …
Demeter was desperate because she couldn’t find her daughter anywhere, nor she knew where to seek anymore. Even though Zeus was aware of what happened, he didn’t want let Demeter know in order to prevent an argument between her and his brother Hades. No matter what, she kept seeking for her daughter and found out the truth. Furiously, she requested for her daughter not to be only allowed to come back from the Underworld, but to be taken back if needed.
In the meantime, Demeter’s grief and deep sadness caused the harvest to fail, animals and people to starve and life on Earth slowly dying. Zeus had to do something about it and thus allowed a compromise that Persephone may come back from the Underworld in case she wasn’t taken there against her will. Demeter became even more furious because she had to prove such an obvious fact! On Earth, the draught became even worse and harvest even poorer.
It turned out, Demeter’s motherly instinct was right. Persephone missed her family and living in Olympus so much that in the Underworld she cried day and night. But Hades tricked her into eating pomegranate seeds that were known to make a person who ate them miss the life in the Underworld. So, Zeus had to find a compromise, because now, no matter where she’d be, Persephone would always miss one of both worlds.
Conclusion of the Story Brings the Lesson about the Importance of Sleep, Rest and Recharge
At the end, Zeus decided that for half a year Persephone can live with her mother and these were the months of Spring and Summer when Demeter was happy and took good care of her harvest. But the other half a year, Persephone spent with Hades, which made Demeter depressed, unwilling to work and thus the Earth inclined. The seasons of Fall and Winter came and these are the months when Earth rests and recharges to be ready for the next Spring.
This Greek story about the seasons brings a message that nature needs time to rest, too. Being part of the natural habitat, Humans should follow nature’s and Earth’s life cycles in order to be aligned with it. As Nature has its seasons, our days have awake and asleep periods.
The importance of sleep is the lesson we are meant to take with us from this ancient myth. The basics of one’s wellbeing teach us to regain our energy overnight to be able to perform our daily tasks. So, let’s take time, when we feel tired and listen to our body – as nature changes through the seasons, our body will let us know what to do, too. Just stay connected to yourself and don’t ignore the signs. All we need is already there. Have trust and stay in touch.