The winter solstice is upon us. There are more dark hours than light each day and the earth has shed her leafy raiment, stripping down to bare essentials and (at least in Austin) cloaking herself in a chilly mist that blinds us to all but what is right in front of us, which feels like a metaphor for where I'm at right now.
For many of us, this time of year can be a bit frenzied as we prepare for holidays, attend gatherings or prepare for the year's end. But our bodies are often begging for the opposite of what we're giving them. If you've found yourself wanting to hit the snooze button, craving warm and filling foods, or maybe reaching for a bit more sugar or caffeine, there's a good reason for that. The chilly weather and the long, dark nights of December are nature's way of telling us that it's time to slow down, rest and renew ourselves for the year ahead.
For a long time, I celebrated winter solstice as a way to focus on the light within during the darkest night of the year. I reveled in warmth, laughter and community, which was lovely, but it tended to blend in with the rest of the busy holiday season. Over the past couple of years, I've started to view Winter solstice more as a time of turning inward.
Rather than reveling in the light I carry within me, I've grown fond of the darkness, the quiet, the stillness. Solstice is a night I can take for myself to embrace the night air and get in touch with my shadow. This is the season when she will admit to me the things that she (we) want that I've been too busy to see or think about yet. There, in the dark, or in the embers of a fire, I'll be able to see more clearly the things I want to release or let go of to make room in my life.
This year's solstice comes with an extra blessing as the full moon also falls on the same day. If you've been finding yourself overwhelmed with holiday madness, this might be a perfect opportunity to take some time to yourself. Light a fire or a candle, settle in with a warm blanket and perhaps a journal and just see what happens. You can even turn on some mood music.
Wishing you peace, joy and a blessed solstice!