In today’s modern society we find ourselves so connected… through modes of transportation, through technology, through social media… Yet we are also more disconnected than ever. We have more “friends” but know little about what is truly happening in their lives. We are in the presence of those we love but not talking to them... absorbed in a Words with Friends game with a stranger from another part of the world. We have more information at our fingertips than we could have ever imagined, but we spend little time getting in touch with ourselves and learning who we are.
I’ve spent the past few years thinking about all of this and trying to reconnect with who I truly am. I’m spending a lot of time learning how to just be and enjoy my own company. And I’m figuring out how to plug into nature instead of my phone. One of the ways I’m re-balancing my life is through really thinking about the time of year and what messages it has to communicate to me. As I explore these concepts, I’ll be sending you occasional blog posts on these topics in addition to other posts on essential oils, skincare, and health.
With that said, let’s dive into a major seasonal event that is coming up - Winter Solstice!
First things first - What is winter solstice? Well, it’s the longest day of the year - December 21st. Daylight and darkness are equally balanced, and the return of sunlight is eminent. Many religions and cultures around the world and throughout time have celebrated the return of the sun at this time of year. Below are some ideas on how you can incorporate this season into your everyday life, and practice some self care and reflection, in this hectic time of year.
Endings and Fresh Beginnings
As a gardener raised in the South, we know the best time to plant is in the fall. This allows the new plantings to establish strong roots and be prepared for the pending sweltering heat of summer. During the winter, we make sure that all of our plants are free of debris and dead limbs - anything that would slow their growth in the spring.
Think about what you might need to clean out of your life so that you can grow more fully. Is it a habit? Is it a person? Is it a thought pattern? Then, make a plan. What exactly are you going to release and how will you do it? Most importantly, write it down! Look at it frequently in the new year and take the steps you need to achieve your goal.
Stay in the Light
Too often we are busy with our list of “shoulds” this time of year. Take a moment to think about what you can do to take care of yourself this season so you can have space for spontaneity and fun. Sometimes, those traditions we think are written in stone are actually more flexible than we thought! Carve out some time just for you to care for yourself.
Consider starting a gratitude jar! It’s a simple idea, and a great way to reflect on all the good things that have happened to you throughout the year. It is my highlight of the week and a great practice for your entire household. All you need is: a jar, strips of paper, and gratitude! Once a week, write down one thing you are grateful for on your strip of paper. Date it, and put your paper in a jar. On New Year’s Eve 2018, you can have a lovely evening of beautiful memories from the year!
Planting the Seeds for New Life
Have you considered making a vision board full of all you want to bring to life in the new year and beyond? It’s a really easy way to plant those seeds and set clear intentions for your future. Visualization is a powerful practice that is proven to work!
For a vision board you should:
- Think of 6-7 goals you have. These could be short-term goals, like an ideal vacation, or long-term goals, like building healthy relationships. They can be material goals, but they can also include how you want to feel, bonds you want to create, experiences you want to have.
- Make sure you know exactly what you want. These goals should be for you and you - nobody else.
- Be as specific as you can about your goal. What does it look like? Feel like?
- Find images that depict your goals. You might want to clip these from a magazine or find them online.
- Put your images on a board - whether digital or paper. (Explore Pinterest for tons of ideas!)
- Place your board somewhere that you will see it every day. Spend a few moments every day thinking about your goals and how you are going to accomplish them.
If you live in the Denver area and are interested in these topics, join my Meetup “Living in Harmony.” We offer monthly workshops delving into the themes of the season and then practicing through ritual, journaling, meditation, yoga, essential oils, and more!
I wish you all a season filled with joy and love.