On this Winter Solstice day I am sitting in my living room with Christmas tree lights glowing, providing warmth and comfort during the darkest time of the year. The Solstice officially occurred last night around 11:49pm (EST) when the sun appears to stand still. It is the shortest, darkest day of the year before the days gradually begin to grow longer and the Sun begins to return, slowly shining brighter and brighter each day (in the Northern Hemisphere) until the Summer Solstice in June. This is the time of year when various traditions honor the Light. The pagans through Solstice, Christians celebrate the birth of the “Son” or Light of the world, and Jews celebrate Hanukah, a festival of lights. I love the hope and comfort that the light provides during this cold and dark time of year.
One of the great teachings from the yoga tradition I come from is that we must actually honor the darkness as much as the light. All things in nature grow from the darkness. And, you see, it is through the dark and difficult times that we actually learn how to hold and shine our own light. We grow. So during this time we can look back on the year and honor our joys and triumphs as well as our tribulations, our challenges and heartbreaks. Once we bless what has happened, the successes and joys and the things that broke our hearts, we open ourselves to the growth that is offered through the totality of our experience. As the days now slowly grow longer and the sun begins to shine brighter, we begin to grow our visions for the new cycle.
Get cozy with a journal and a cup of tea. Light a candle. Sit for a few minutes with your eyes closed. Tune into your breathing and begin to reflect back on your year. What transpired? What should be celebrated? What needs to be integrated? Healed? Forgiven? What now calls to be released? Write in your journal for a few minutes without editing yourself. Once you have looked back on all that has happened, you are ready to plant seeds of intention in the darkness that you can nurture and watch grow into your vision and dreams for 2016.
This season, may you be safe and warm. May you know the true peace and promise of the Light. May you be patient and kind with yourself and others. May you be present with your friends and family. May you find healing and forgiveness where it is needed, awe and gratitude too. May you know the unexplained bliss that throbs within the fabric of your being and bless others through your love and joy. May the slowly emerging light illuminate your way.
Happy Holidays to you!
With love and gratitude,