This Thursday evening, December 20th begins the celebration of the Winter Solstice. Many cultures for centuries have had their own traditions, rituals, and festivals to honor this event. Even if you have never participated in an event to mark the shortest day and the longest night of the year, I encourage you to recognize the benefits as we all transition from Fall to Winter. These cyclical seasonal transitions bring much more than a change in light or temperature or natural surroundings. They often offer us an opportunity for transformation or adjusting our perspective.
In my Ayurvedic studies, I have come to learn that Winter is an excellent time for self-reflection, to assess the past year’s events, as well as the harvest of Fall. Through downtime and reflection, we are better equipped to make decisions that will move us forward with grace and relative certainty. We need darkness to invite in these quieter hours to be with our thoughts. We need the cold to keep us home to connect with loved ones and connect to the current state of our personal lives.
2012 has been a challenging year for many. On top of our personal trials, it seems that each day there is yet another challenge presented to us by the news. Perhaps you would like to spend some quiet time reflecting, connecting, balancing, or spending quality time with loved ones at home.
Why don’t you start your own Winter Solstice tradition?
Here are some suggestions:
Tuck in by yourself for the evening with a great cup of cinnamon or ginger tea, calming music, and lots of candlelight.
Make dinner with your family or a loved one. Enjoy it over candlelight and focus on the conversation to practice truly listening to one another. If you practice this with others, you can listen better to yourself during the upcoming season of reflection.
Get on your yoga mat for a gentle restorative practice and a lengthy savasana.
If you have a meditation practice, perhaps finding a quiet place to sit with your favorite mantra or observe your thoughts with compassion.
Begin to read that book you have been wanting to dig into by candlelight while snuggling under a cozy blanket.
You can only gain from accepting Winter’s invitation of inner reflection. Winter wisdom helps us to cultivate clear intentions, revealing our truest selves.