We’re currently entering the darkest part of the year, and soon, Winter Solstice will be upon us. The longest, darkest day…inviting us to go inward…deeply honoring all that is, all that has been, and all that will be.
Whatever kind of darkness you’re moving through right now–whether you’re deeply feeling the change of seasons, the effects of the fires, or feeling powerfully affected by our current political climate–I want to remind you: the darkness is just as sacred as the light.
Whatever darkness you’re most present to right now, know it’s of service. It’s all part of the unfolding of the indispensable wisdom that is innate in the cycles of our lives, if we choose to honor them.
What do I mean, when I say “cycles”? Well, cycles are everywhere, occurring in every part of nature, at all times.
There is the cycle of birth and death.
There is the cycle of the seasons.
The swing of the political pendulum from progressive to oppressive and back again.
And in each of our individual lives, we are constantly receiving invitations to honor our natural cycles: nudges to release whatever part of us is ready to die (whether it’s a relationship, a pattern, an old story, whatever) so that we can birth something NEW; opportunities to deepen into relationship with our cycle of breath, with each inhale and exhale we take bringing us closer to source; or to honoring the most primal parts of ourselves, attuning to our wise woman cycle, which lines up with the cycle of the moon, and coming home to our inner wisdom and our essential Self in that way.
There are some spaces in modern society in which the importance of cycles is deeply honored. In Yoga, for instance, the Asana practice is a cycle in and of itself, which often begins in child’s pose and ends in savasana (literally translated as corpse pose), representing the passage from one stage to the next, with the invitation issued at the end of your practice to “begin again.”
However, for the most part, we live in a world where our natural cycles and rhythms are either taboo or seen as burdensome. We most often see these natural periods of darkness and introspection framed as something that “you get through.” An inconvenience to “normal life,” especially during the darker or more contracted parts of the cycle like winter.
Even with how prevalent talk of self-care has become in our society, we are still somehow treating our precious bodies like they are crises to be managed rather than understanding them as divine vessels with profound connection to the ebb and flow of the earth’s natural rhythms.
Understanding the true importance of natural cycles in my life has freed me up immensely, because the more I understand about how the cycles work, the better able I am to adapt, and to effectively move through them.
And so, given all I know about cycles, what do I understand about what’s happening for us right now, in terms of all the darkness that’s present into the world? I understand that it’s time to be quiet, to slow down, and to pause, allowing ourselves to rest in this time of transition, as we let go of all that’s passed and begin opening our hearts to what’s to come.
In these next few weeks, I invite you to resist the urge to PUSH through and just “get it done.” As we enter the holidays, it can be easy to go full speed ahead without realizing just how much energy we are expending.
Slow down. Be intentional and deliberate. Honor all the places inside yourself where you find stillness, and equally, all those spaces where you don’t. Be present without pushing and see what unfolds.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to honoring what’s present, I’ve created a special ritual for you to use the Winter Solstice as a portal for your growth. [see below]
All my love,
P.S. In honor of the season of release starting today I am taking my annual Winter Break, and I am looking forward to being back with you after the 1st of the year!
As we enter into the next week, here in the northern hemisphere we are going to be entering the darkest night of the year, the Winter Solstice. The Solstice is a beautiful time in the cycle to pause, to be still, and go into to the barest of bare, so that you can emerge and begin again.
As we naturally descend into winter, take some time leading into the Winter Solstice to reconnect to your essential self by practicing getting quiet. You might consider setting up a special altar–with a candle and some of your favorite objects that help you embody this part of the cycle–or simply finding a space where you can take a few sacred minutes each day (or a few times a day!) for yourself.
As you sit in stillness, I invite you to play with a few of these questions. No need to answer all of them–simply move toward those that resonate or those you feel resistance around, and see what’s present, as a way to honor this, the darkest part of the cycle.
- As I complete the cycle of this year, what do I most want to celebrate and appreciate about myself?
- What have been some of my biggest discoveries about myself this year?
- As you close the year and enter into Winter, what is asking to be released?
- As you complete the year and enter into 2018, what is wanting to be birthed and brought to light?
After you meditate or journal on these questions, you may want to perform a physical act of release and dissolution–such as burning a page from your journaling or putting a pinch of salt into water. As you do so, offer gratitude for all you are releasing and all the ways it has served you in this last cycle.
If you like, you can complete your time inward by continuing to come back to the question: “How can I continue to honor this natural part of the cycle? How can I best slow down, savor, rest, and celebrate as I complete 2017?”
I would LOVE to hear from you, and what is resonating or coming clearer for you as you tune into the power of the cycles during Winter Solstice.