“The winter solstice happens in nature around us. But it also happens inside of us, in our souls. […] In the dark place of our soul, we carry secret wishes, pains, frustrations, loneliness, fears, regrets, worries. Darkness is not something to be afraid of. Sometimes we go to the dark place of our soul, where we can find safety and comfort. In the the dark place in our soul we can find rest and rejuvenation. In the dark place of our soul we can find balance. And when we have rested, and been comforted, and restored, we can return from the dark place in our soul to the world of light and new possibilities.” – John Halstead
I finished my holiday gift gathering last week.
This week, I rested. I didn’t feel the pressing need for busy-work. I didn’t fret about my to do list. I listened to the call of the season and went within.
This week wasn’t the easiest for me. I felt waves of dark emotions bubble up to be addressed. But I did not turn them away. In fact, I invited them to come closer.
I prayed and wrote and took more time for silence.
I meditated and went deeper with my yoga.
The gift of this winter darkness, of this silence, is to have the space to do this so that we might emerge renewed. We hold the spirit of new birth, of light, and new beginnings within us. But everything is born from darkness.
So many people hate the cold and dark of these days for this very reason – they don’t want to address these emotions, this dark part of themselves that is less than perfect. It is difficult to hear the issues that we have yet to address.
But to become whole people, we must!
And today, on the solstice, with the knowledge that light is returning, it is amazing how many a-ha moments I’ve begun to have. The questions I’ve poured out to the universe this week are beginning to find their answers in this time of stillness where the promise of rebirth is palpable.
I know as the daylight returns that the answers to my questions will be illuminated more still.
In times past, I would have let this time of year lead me into a state of depression. It’s easy to get carried away with negative thinking and to believe that it is personal and that the bad feelings will always remain.
However, if we remove ourselves from the situation and begin to understand that our emotional and spiritual states echo closely the rhythms of the natural world, we can see this darkness as a time for important soul work that ebbs and flows within the other moments of our lives and with the seasons.
With this perspective, the darkness is easier to bear and there is still space to observe all of the beauty that remains around us. It’s always there if we look!
My favorite part about this week has been receiving the gift of creating new traditions with my family.
I’ve celebrated so many wonderful Christmas traditions over the years and I hope to continue many of them with my daughter. But there are so many new things that we will create in our own family, many of them incorporating our more nature-based understanding of spirituality. It’s truly exciting to think of the possibilities!
Tonight, after a soul-filled mid-day retreat with the ever-inspiring Mara Glatzel (seriously, you should consider getting her weekly love notes), I am continuing to reflect on the amazing things that have transpired this year. It will be something to continue journeying with as we keep celebrating the holiday season and see ourselves going toward the new year.
I wish you all to find the light within your darkest night.
Warm solstice blessings!
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