Today 12.21.21 at 7:58 am PST we enter into the shortest day and longest night of the year within the Northern Hemisphere. December 21st, the Winter Solstice is the start of a season within a season, and I encourage you to offer yourself to the deep inner stillness in this window of time from December 21st through January 6th. From the Winter Solstice to Epiphany. A season of Reflection, quiet, mindful moments, and the slowing down within your body, mind, and heart. The lack of daylight is summoning you to listen to what your body and mind really need so you can integrate all that the year has brought to the surface for you.
Solstice to Epiphany- a Season within a Season
It is a symbolic transition as we sit in the belly of night and make the journey back towards the light. Recognize the rhythms of the season of darkness, even with the lack of physical light. The challenging elements, the slower tempo, and our resistance to surrender. New Year’s need not be about Resolutions, but about Reflection of the year that has passed and setting Intentions, you hold for the upcoming year. Resolutions fuel what we lack, but Intentions create what we desire. It is an effective growth strategy to look back with a kind heart and eyes to see where you have been and turn toward the light and energy of the new year.
Solstice-Reflect, Remember, Release & Renew
As the calendar year comes to a close and you offer Reflection a seat at your inner table, consider these prompts for your journal:
- What gifts did I receive during 2021?
- i.e., perspectives, lessons, learnings
- What no longer serves who I am anymore?
- i.e., what have you outgrown or are ready to let go of?
- What 3 things do I want to remember from 2021 that brought me joy?
Reflection of the year closing is often a multi-day, multi-hour process, not in long bouts of time in stillness or waiting for the right thing to show up for you. Instead, it is in the ordinary moments found brushing your teeth, doing dishes, or sitting quietly aware. It is what is on your heart, judgment aside. Through Reflection, you develop an awareness of the intentions for the new year.
I do recommend creating space for each process. For example, Reflection and Intention in that order to feel into how Reflection creates the inner space for your intentions in the New Year.
The energy of the New Year welcomes a shift, a change, a new way of being. I also like to start a new journal during this time. In the new journal, I write my intentions for the new year ahead. Keep in mind that the season of Solstice to Epiphany is a loose timeframe around what works for you in terms of Reflection. It may be shorter or extend longer. Feel into what is right for you.
Epiphany-a revelation or manifestation; also a Christan holy day.
After deep stillness and Reflection, and the energy that is ushered in on the New Year, your intentions turn to revelations or epiphanies. It is a natural cycle that we must honor as we slow down to listen to the rhythm within us and around us.
To live with Intention is to align with what matters most to you. It means that you are conscious of and remember these things. So, what experience do you want to have for the year ahead as you journey forward?
Also, keep in mind that whatever ritual you create to find Intention in your life is necessary and authentic for you. If journaling is not your thing, take one question a day and marinate in the ideas and feelings it brings up for you. Play with what feels helpful and joy-filled. A movement toward our best selves.
Some ideas to walk with as you create space around what is intentional for you:
- What is my intention for the new year, one word?
- How do I want to feel as I walk through my life this year?
- What guiding truths, will guide my journey over the next year?
- How do I live from a space of gratitude in my daily life? What can I foster?
- How can I incorporate more self-care into my life?
- How can I create space for creativity in the next year?
- What brings me joy? How can I honor that each day?
- How can I support my body, mind, and spirit each day?
- What do I need to let go of in my life? How can I get real with people, experiences, and beliefs?
- What’s something I’ve always dreamed about? Can this be the year it happens?
Be Still and Know-Sedona, Arizona
In 2015 I traveled solo to Sedona, Arizona, for a one-day writing retreat and 3 days of communing with my soul and inner landscape as I explored the outer landscape of this magnificent place. While there, I participated in a medicine walk:
Medicine Walk -An exploration taken in nature and a pilgrimage into yourSelf. Within this journey, the signs and symbols of the natural world offer a pure reflection of your inward path.
I remained open to what came forth as I traversed along the red rock pathways lined with twisted Junipers, Agave plants in full bloom, and the rising sun. Then, in the moment of no expectations and remaining fully open, in the vast open space of nature, at 5:30 am, I audibly heard, “Be Still and Know I am One with God.” That message cracked me open profoundly and became a living virtue for me each day of my life since. Stillness is and always will be a foundation for my inner truth.
Inviting stillness into your awareness as a tool for your own Reflection and evolution is an opportunity to pause and let whatever happens within the stillness take root. We are entering a dark night of our soul and our physical environment. Have you noticed how quiet Winter is? You don’t hear the palpations of the earth that are present in Spring, Summer, and Fall. There is a deep stillness within Winter that invites all of us to its doorstep, yet many of us fight the feeling, fight the energy, fight the cold. We must learn to step into the hibernation energy of Winter.
It is only in the deep stillness of Winter when we begin to understand the longing for the return of the light.