Today, Wednesday, December 21, 2016 is the shortest day of the year. Did you realize that?
For those of us who love the sun and bright days, the good news Is that after today the days begin to get longer again!
I have over my life come to connect with this day, known as Winter Solstice, as a time for reflection and so I want to share the process of how I make this connection below, in case it is of any interest or benefit to you!
This day has the most darkness. Darkness to me is a contemplative, inner healing opportunity for us: mentally, physically and energetically. This darkness is a natural time of silence, letting go and saying “No”. An opportunity to deliberately choose solitude. Intentionally choosing some quality time with yourself, being attentive to what is going on inside of yourself. When was the last time you did something like that?
But rather than the rest and rejuvenation that choosing solitude in the darkness would offer, this day comes at a time of year, that for many of us, is filled with hustle and bustle; challenges and extroversion greater than at any other time of the year!
The opportunity to cultivate our solitude and quiet is especially challenging in this day and age. As the restorative darkness descends we are tempted by TV, phones, computers, tablets and iPads to be drawn back to the light! Back into limitedness of our consciousness, rather than the answers of our limitless subconscious!
So I am going to offer the process that I use historically on this Winter Solstice (or if I have a social engagement on the exact night; on any other evening of the time between the 21st of December and the end of the year) to help me take a rejuvenating restorative journey inside.
As the darkness descends, I indulge myself in a warm bath. The water is drawn to the temperature that just stings my skin as I enter the water. I usually plan to spend 20 to 40 minutes in the water without any technology. I light candles for a very soft light. As I enter the water, I begin to breath slower and deeper than I normally would. I think of music that is soothing to me ( I occasionally have music playing in the background, but I usually just play it in my head) I start by counting my blessings and everything that I can think of that I appreciate about my life, the relationships, the circumstances, the opportunities I have had, my possessions, all of it !
Then I ask myself a simple question: What would I like to leave behind in my life? (It is usually comes to me as some habit or way that I am thinking about myself or others.)
I just ask gently and wait to see what answer comes. I don’t always get an answer right away, but usually sometime during the bath, an idea or ah-ha comes to me. I thank myself for that idea.
Then I think of what will be better for me in 2017 (or whatever the next year is) without that issue. As ideas come, I smile for each one…and I imagine placing each smile in my heart where it can be nourished in love and grow into my life.
When bath time is up (I usually don’t time it anymore, but I did at the beginning) I get out of the bath and dry off. I write down on a slip of paper what I realize I want to leave behind in my life and I burn it in the candle, safely and then blow the candle out. I have a smile on my face, knowing that every day is now getting longer and longer. I look forward to 6 months from now when the days are the longest and it is light until 9 pm!
Hope you offer yourself this gift of solitude! Let me know!
May this Winter Solstice bring you Peace!