Before electric lights and heaters, the long cold dark of winter knit itself into endlessness at winter solstice. People had to face that dark with fear or with faith. Winter holy days began being celebrated to bolster our faith in the darkest part of the year, and celebrate the return of the sun’s life-giving energy.
People gave gifts of light and warmth as a reminder that the sun’s light and warmth had not abandoned us, and would return again.
Winter is also a time to turn inward, and seek the light within ourselves. In quiet reflection, we can realign with our intentions, release what is not serving us, and renew the peace within our own hearts.
Our own inner peace is the greatest gift we have to offer the world!
Our current cultures are not in sync with these natural rhythms, so it’s easy to feel out of balance. At a time of year when we naturally want to slow down, the modern pace is often overwhelmingly chaotic, and confusing. We often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do all the things, buy all the gifts, create perfect gatherings, carry out all the traditions.
What if we simply choose to do ONLY what brings light to our heart? How will that change how our holidays feel?
How about this yardstick: If it feels stressful or “have-to” – mark it OFF the fucking list, and forget about it! If doing it, or imagining doing it, makes you feel warm and fuzzy, and light hearted – do it! Do it again! Do it as often as you can!
Winter holy days are meant to feel like a return to lightness and hope. If you dread the approach of holiday festivities, give yourself permission NOT to participate! Give yourself space to create something new that nourishes your soul. Bravely begin new traditions that lighten YOUR spirit, bolster YOUR faith, and return YOU to the light – whatever that may be.
We each have the power to create a holiday that truly ignites our spirit, if we give ourselves permission to do so.
Wishing you love & light at solstice and always!