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Your Personal Winter Solstice

I have always loved the changing of the seasons.

We can be technologically advanced, complex human beings, but we are really animals inside. Our bodies are wired to receive information from the outside world, the natural world and to adapt accordingly. Our brains, particularly the pineal glands, are affected by the length of the days as well as the strength or weakness of the sunlight we are exposed to. We are even affected by the moon and how much time we spending gazing into her depths.

The changing of the seasons is a good time to connect with ourselves and take inventory on where we are, how life is going and what our next step may be. We can forget to take this time out to look inside with the busy-ness of everyday. Family life, work schedules, caring for aging parents, dealing with climate change and environmental crisis, handling the issues of midlife and menopause can keep us occupied and focused on the issues close at hand. It is beneficial to take time apart from these daily concerns to gain some perspective on the bigger picture.   

Four times each and every year the seasons change. We can take this as our cue to tune into the natural world, observe what changes the trees, birds, animals, sky and land are going through. Then we can look inward and observe our own process. Find that activity that stirs your heart and spirit –  spending time in meditation, journaling, in prayer, expressing through art, walking in nature, doing a cleanse, dancing, singing.

You may want to use questions to learn more about what is going on inside. What themes are prevalent for you during this time? What ideas continue to come into your mind in waking hours or through dreams? What are you dissatisfied with? What brings you peace? How is your body feeling? How is your energy? What moods predominate? 

As you gather this information you can create a plan to move ahead and make changes that you would like to integrate into your life or just continue to ponder. The more you learn the more you know about yourself. This does not mean you need to make immediate changes and recreate your entire life. You can do so if you choose but you can also just sit with the information until it feels right for you for take the next step.

We are about to enter into winter, the darkest time of the year, the time of hibernation and intuition. The Winter Solstice is the longest night and the shortest day, and many religious celebrations recognize this as a time of deep spiritual significance. Whatever your beliefs are you can take this time to delve into your own darkness and find that rich, fertile soil of your soul. You can plant whatever you want to grow and eventually harvest into this soil but first you must prepare the ground. Spending time with yourself prepares the ground, tills the soil and allows for the growth and new life that Spring will eventually bring.

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