Inviting Sacred Stillness on Winter Solstice
Well we did it. We've nearly made it through one of the most collectively challenging years on record. What a doozy of a year!
And here you are. Still curious about weaving the magic and medicine of healing connection into your life. This year has allowed many of us to weed out what's not important to laser focus on what is.
What did you clear away this year? What released and transformed?
We're almost finished emptying out, almost at the bottom of the expanding darkness, lingering in the last moments of exhale for the year before we momentarily pause on Winter Solstice (Solstice comes from the Latin words for "Sun" and "Stand Still"), which arrives on Monday Dec. 21st.
This is also the day of the "Great Conjunction" many astrologers are buzzing about. It marks the initiation of a new 200 year cycle. So I ask you, how is it you'd like to transition into this next cycle? What is it that you'd like to leave behind before moving ahead into a new paradigm for yourself?
This emptying out is extremely important before we can rush ahead with our intentions and dreams for the next cycle.
We must empty before we can be filled. We must pause and integrate in order for our experiences to turn into wisdom.
Spend some time on Solstice and the days surrounding contemplating this past year, giving yourself space to integrate and really be still.
This may be the first year in a long while that we're not bombarded with holiday gatherings and festivities. While it is something to grieve, it is also an opportunity to spend this time more aligned with the Earth's invitation to us.
Stillness is one of the greatest medicines of Winter Solstice. A medicine that most of us surely need. A break from the busying, distracting, achieving and scrolling.
I recently saw a post on Instagram from @soyouwannatalkabout that describes the 5 types of rest to allow yourself. They include physical, mental, social, emotional, and creative. Which of these types of rest do you allow yourself? Which of these is hardest for you to allow? We can physically rest but be mentally spinning. We can socially rest but be non-stop creating. Which of these rests is your life longing for?
Regardless of the answer, at Solstice time move more slowly in all capacities. Do less. Observe yourself more. Try to be with stillness and much as possible, if only noticing how it makes it way into your life in unexpected moments. Waiting in a line. Stopped at a stoplight. Going for a bathroom break. While you're eating your meals. Let yourself bask in the gift of the pause.
Between every single breath we also have the opportunity to pause.
At the end of each exhale, before the inhale, notice how your breath takes a moment to pause. If you'd like, play with expanding this interlude at the end of each breath, allowing a moment of rest. This pause at the end of the exhale is where we are in the yearly cycle at Winter Solstice. A pause that is necessary before the creative cycle can once again be initiated.
I've created both a ritual outline and a guided audio meditation for my Patrons this month on exploring the stillness before the inhale. If you'd like to explore this practice more feel free to check it out.
And I invite you to elongate any and all moments of pause and stillness for yourself over the next few days. Revel in the spaciousness that can be found even in the midst of movement. And then, and only then, can we move into this next year, or 200 years, with intention and clarity.
If you're curious to learn about more ways to attune to this sacred day at the end of the yearly cycle, check out my latest video, "Ways to Celebrate Winter Solstice with Ritual and Plant Medicine".