Darkness is here . . . tonight is the longest night of the year, tomorrow is the shortest day.
How are you finding yourself relating to the “dead” quiet, dark, stillness of winter approaching?
Do you find yourself shunning this beautiful invitation to look deeper into yourself, to sit with whatever is underneath the surface, to embrace the cold, to hit the “pause” button and grow your roots a bit more deeply?
Or maybe you find yourself getting frustrated with the shorter days, dreading the cold, resisting with all your might nature’s generous beckoning to be still and quiet.
I know I have definitely found myself in this place in years past.
And I also was stuck in depression, which I now know to be in part due to my resisting the “winter of my own soul”.
It can be such a beautiful practice to honor the shortest day and longest night by pretending you are living before the age of electricity.
What would you be doing?
How would you be honoring yourself in the rhythm of nature’s wisdom?
Here are some of my own practices and ideas on celebrating the Winter Solstice in a way that is fulfilling and will love you up and nourish you in a whole new way.
Enjoy the dark, still, quiet.
Receive Nature. At some point on this day, go on a little pilgrimage outside and really tune into winter. You can visit a barren forest or tree, a frozen lake, or sit in a snow-covered garden. If you are somewhere temperate or warm (like me here in California), then stand on the earth with bare feet.
Create a Fire. Build a fire or burn a candle all day and into the night. Write down everything you are ready to release. What is it that really doesn’t serve you or your greater truth and purpose? Burn this in the fire, or place under the candle until you are ready to burn it. Watch what no longer serves literally transform in front of your eyes as it burns.
Embrace the Darkness. Once the sun goes down, keep all the lights off, then light candles. Spend the rest of the evening in candlelight ONLY.
Enjoy a Solstice Gathering where you pass a piece of winter citrus fruit (orange, Clementine, mandarin), having each person peel off a section of the skin as they share what they would like to “peel away” from their life. Then each of you can eat a section while sharing what intention you are planting into the cold winter earth.
Be silent and still. Turn everything off – computer, TV, phones . .. EVERYTHING. Read, journal, meditate, take a long bath, enjoy a restorative yoga practice . .. and allow the emotions to come up. For many, silence can be scary and perhaps stir up some sadness. Feel into how this sadness flows through you. Notice that it does move when you don’t push it down and distract yourself. Allow whatever comes up to be a teacher and tool for transformation.
Go to bed. The long darkness is such a gorgeous opportunity to nourish yourself deeply by taking a long winter nap. If you combine this ritual with embracing the darkness, and not turning any lights on, it will be easy to turn in at 8pm (or earlier). *This ritual can be just as good, if not better, as a day at the spa (and it’s FREE!).