We are fast approaching the winter solstice on December 21. The Latin word "solstice" literally means "sun stands still" either at its highest point in the sky on the longest day of the year or the lowest point in the sky on the longest night of the year. The winter solstice is the pause before the Earth's next inhale toward incubating new growth and increasing light. Nature knows the value of this time to curl up, snuggle in, and give a long exhale into the waning light. It is a time to slow down, to turn inward, to accept and even embrace the darkness. Animals and plants hunker down, go underground, and hibernate during this time.
We don't. We actually increase our activities, ramp up the pace, and spread ourselves thin as December unfolds. We live our days out of sync with the natural world to the detriment of our circadian rhythm. We complain about the dark rather than giving ourselves permission to experience the benefits of this sacred time. We are at odds with nature and wonder why we feel out of sorts.
It is a time to let go of some of our busyness. It is a time to find more rest. Find stillness, reflect. Reflect on what can you let go of? Self doubt? Guilt? People-pleasing behaviors? Relationships that don't support or nourish you? Going to bed too late and being chronically tired? Comparing yourself to others? Releasing what no longer serves you makes room for new growth.
So, pause. Take a long exhale. Light a candle and dream in its flickering glow about the next season of your life. Where do you want to shine more light? Explore your creative side? Travel somewhere interesting? Conquer a fear? Start a new job? Live a lifestyle that is more aligned with what is meaningful to you?
Join me on Saturday December 16 from 1:30--3pm at The Barefoot Haven Yoga Studio in Greendale (https://www.thebarefoothaven.com/) for a contemplative journey into exploring the release you can find in the pause of the winter solstice. In this class you will enjoy restorative yoga and guided meditations appropriate for all levels, even new yogis.
Art by Jessica Boehman