A number of many years in the past, I didn’t give winter solstice the time of day.
As an alternative, I frequently attended or hosted summer time solstice events.
These celebrations concerned dancing to ABBA and filling my cup with “solstice juice.”
Throughout that point, work outlined me, and I burned the proverbial candle at each ends. I had a full-time communications job, was an English 101 adjunct professor at an area college, and labored as a contract proofreader for an area publishing firm—all on the similar time. So as to add just a bit extra to my day, I’d rise up at 5 a.m. to push myself on the health club.
I moved from motion to motion with little thought for a way my busyness was affecting me—or these I cared about. A couple of years of this fixed exercise ultimately led to my exhaustion. I used to be bodily, mentally, and emotionally spent. I didn’t acknowledge the individual I had become.
Fortuitously, I’ve grown up since then.
The importance of winter solstice traces again to the Romans, Norsemen, and Incas. Many historic civilizations acknowledged the shortest day of daylight with quite a lot of feasts, fasts, and fires. Our ancestors celebrated this darkish day by illuminating its position in getting ready for a brand new yr, a spring, a renewal.
It’s taken me a very long time, however I now join with what my forebears knew.
The shortest day of the yr (December 21 within the Northern Hemisphere) is marked by the very best degree of yin power (feminine, reflective) and the bottom degree of yang power (masculine, lively) of the yr.
Why ought to we care?
Decelerate and align your private power with the universe:
Many people spend our days in motion mode and sometimes don’t take time to take heed to the delicate indicators our breath offers. I’m a yoga teacher, however nonetheless can fall sufferer to much more doing than being. These final days main as much as and together with the solstice are a great time to align our power with that of the universe.
Slowing down on the finish of the yr could be troublesome. We’ve become wired to drive as a lot as attainable into today. Work events, youngsters’s events, neighborhood events, buying, adorning, baking, wrapping, mailing, delivery, driving, flying—and the listing goes on. These actions aren’t inherently a nasty factor, however when we get caught up within the whirlwind of claiming sure to everybody and all the things, the “fun” can have diminishing returns.
This yr, I’m committing to saying sure to these invites and requests that really fill my spirit. I’ll take pleasure in my yesses with my entire coronary heart. And I’ll decide to saying no to all issues which might be power vampires, that depart me depleted. Importantly, I’ll let go of any guilt about saying no to them.
Think about the teachings of the earlier yr:
Positive, the top of the yr is an effective time for reflection. That’s one of many causes it’s crammed with all these end-of-the-year lists. “Best of” and “Worst of” compilations might be enjoyable, however principally superficial. Remembering nice journeys, time with associates, actions with households, and the whole lot that’s social media worthy does have some worth. However it’s not sufficient.
True reflection isn’t about echoing highlights and lowlights of what got here earlier than. We should additionally ask: What did they imply? What did I study? How do I have to shift or change? I’ll let the stillness of the season’s cooler air quiet the commotion inside and genuinely take heed to my coronary heart.
Collect the power to place develop into motion:
Masculine, lively yang power is important, however it is very important steer this power in a constructive path. On this time of slower, female yin, we can stockpile our power to take genuine motion within the new yr. Some might imagine it’s egocentric to look after oneself, however I’ve come to know it’s one of the simplest ways to organize myself to be really current for others.
The winter solstice helps us to refill our power shops. All year long, we should typically draw on our reserves to maintain going. There are deadlines to satisfy, stories to create, and tasks to finish. If we stay on this yang frame of mind, we will ultimately deplete our reserves. The results could be damaging and even catastrophic to our lives and well being: when we run on fumes, we are extra weak to sickness, melancholy, unhealthy meals cravings, insomnia, stress, and fatigue, to call a couple of.
To refill my tank, I’ll give attention to getting extra sleep, meditating, consuming extra water, and working towards yin yoga—and perhaps even present myself some love by getting a therapeutic massage or taking lengthy baths. The outcome might be that I’m higher for every part and everybody I care about.
Let’s take pleasure in the great thing about the season. Sing carols, drink eggnog, and collect with family members. Do what is actually necessary, however keep in mind to take time for ourselves. Let’s embrace the top of the yr with all that fills our spirit.
This winter solstice, we become new once more.
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