With the solstice happening in a few days, winter will be officially here. We may already be feeling those winter feels with the chill in the air and recent rains, which have been a gift. On Tuesday, we will touch down into the longest night and come out on the other side gaining a little more light each day.
For millennia various cultures have engaged in ceremonies and celebrations on the solstices and equinoxes. These transitional periods are a natural time to recognize the cycles of life and how they relate to the fundamental aspects of living ‒ food, family and work. Here in the northern hemisphere summer and fall bring abundant harvests. In the spring there is an explosion of life. Flowers burst out and newborn, spotted fawns go bounding in the grass. In winter, the energy is that of cooling down and reduced activity. In nature there is dormancy and hibernation.
As we, too, are a part of nature, we may experience our own form of hibernation ‒ seeking out more quiet time, wanting to stay indoors (particularly during inclement weather), craving more comfort food, curling up with a cozy blanket on the couch, or hiding out to work on crafts or creative projects.
I like to use this time around the winter solstice to write. I feel my energy turn inward; there seems to be a heightened desire to listen to the words and messages that come through the quiet.
This solstice, which falls on 12.21.21, we pass the threshold to increasing light. We can use this time as an opportunity to reconnect with our own light. Our light never fully goes away, of course, but we might notice a significant difference in our energy level in summer versus winter. Also, our mood might dim or feel brighter at different times.
In yoga class I often referred to this inner light. We utilized various yoga asanas and breathing techniques to free up more of this light and energy, or focus it towards a particular goal.
Recently I was learning about how the human body, even physically, emits light. With highly sensitive instruments which are able to detect light at the level of a single photon, scientists can measure the amount of light coming from one's body. What is also interesting is experiments have demonstrated that some individuals are able to increase the amount of light their bodies release using visualization, intention and focus. We can shine more brightly inside and out.
What might it look like to beam our light in everyday life?
Feeling strong and able to meet challenges
Having a positive outlook
Working toward goals
Supporting and encouraging others
Putting energy toward self care
This year I put up some holiday decorations at our house. There is an evergreen wreath on the front door, some white and sparkly silver wooden snowflakes hanging in the living room, and on the fireplace two small stockings, one with an embroidered "K" and one with a "T" for my honey. There is a garland across the mantle and some candles. Finally, there are lights, just a few. I have a small, lighted tree that looks like a birch, and some lights entwined in the garland. I love having just those lights on in the living room, seeing how they pierce the darkness and cast a warm glow. They put a smile on my face and remind me of the light that glows in you and me.