Saturday, December 19, 2009

Winter Solstice Message

What is the Winter Solstice?

The winter solstice is upon us today and while I hadn't planned on sending a solstice message, I felt called to this morning. Winter solstice is technically the shortest day of the year and the time when the energy shifts from the gradual expansion of nights and shortening of days. The actual timing of the start of the shift is around lunchtime (I believe it's 12:47pm EST to be exact and 9:47am for those on the west coast) on the east coast this Monday the 21st so you may wish to say a prayer during this time.

For more on the mercury retrograde also occurring now, click here.

Flow of Darkness to Light

As I sit here, watching the snow blanket the earth outside my window, I'm reminded of the flow of the season. Somehow being snowed in so close to the solstice seems completely appropriate. To be forced, gently by nature, to take the day off and feel the quiet ensue with the endless snow. A flow that unfortunately, many of us fight. This flow, if we look more closely at the meaning of this winter solstice, is the flow of not only of movement to stillness, but also an exploration of the metaphysical change from darkness to light that we are welcomed into in the winter months.
So often, we fight darkness of any kind, trying to cling to what we think is light. Part of this is because we often think of darkness as difficulty or heaviness. Yet this limits our experience of life. Darkness is not bad just as light isn't good. Everything is and has it's place in the cycle of life.

When we fight any aspect of this nature of dark and light, we fight a part of ourselves as well. Trying to hold up light all the time can become exhausting and perfectionistic. Learning to flow through challenges is key. There are many ways to do this.

For additional empowering articles, click here.

Learning from the Struggle
I wonder if (and many of my clients are smiling at these three words I speak so often), as one option for flowing through struggle, we could instead of fighting the challenges, learn the lessons within our struggle. When the 'darkness' comes in, be it as an internal or external challenge, we could look to it as a teacher and ask from it what it offers us. Does the darkness offer a time of more solitude and quiet space? Have we been working so hard we lost our joy or fighting so hard for something we think we need we haven't looked around us at new opportunities? Are we out of balance and spending so much time on one area of our life that we forget the abundance in other areas? Do we need to rest more right now or do we need to use the nighttime for creation of something completely new? Could we use some help on our journey and do we need to learn how to find assistance?

Gift of Hibernation and Expanding Energies

Let us not forget as well that that this time of year is one of hibernation for many species and one of reflection for human beings. Allow yourself to use this earth invitation to go deeper within and take some time for quiet reflection.
Along with this solstice, people can feel that there have been some interesting energies flowing the past several months. We are moving toward a more expanded time of existence. Any time there is a deep change like this, people will begin to experience new psychological, physical, spiritual and interpersonal ideas and events that may at times be unsettling.

Many have felt out of control with all that is going on, not understanding that we are all connected to the changes occurring and may feel them without knowing how to explain it. Yet unsettling isn't 'bad', it's new. We may need a new map for what is occurring now and that is perfectly ok. To flow means to allow for flexibility in our existence, making new maps as we go sometimes. This is actually what living is, we just forget sometimes and try to make things 'easier' with limits and distractions. The flow of life, while not as certain, is actually easier once we get the hang of it. Kind of a little spiritual secret, like meditation, that can only be understood through the experience.

Yin/Yang and Personal Joy
At this time of year, the darkness is critical to the new expansion of light. The yin/ yang system at work once again reminding us that without the darkness to release and renew us, there is no light. So often we create such an attachment to what we perceive as the light that we burn ourselves out. We crave to feel good in the light, almost becoming addicted to it. Yet it is the balance of both doing and non-doing that allows us to truly feel bliss and to feel connected to our lives and one another. Living in the flow means being less attached to feeling good momentarily, and more aligned with being who we are as that is where the true contentment comes in. Aligning our values, our truths, our deeper needs and our energies with our path while listening to the lessons of our lives and taking intentional action when necessary to fulfill our goals/needs. That is the path to joy.

Thoughts on Practice

I encourage each of you to use this solstice for personal reflection and restorative rest. Spend some time watching the snow for no reason, sitting in a chair and writing in a journal. Breathing. Living without needing to be something or do something. This is part of the flow, part of life. Living in doing all the time needs the balance of non-doing. As I like to say, take a snow day - or even a 'snow morning'. We all need them and deserve them as human beings living our lives fully. Not every moment needs to be pushed into creation, sometimes, the most valuable moments are those of allowing creation to occur all around us.
The next newsletter will be out shortly with some exciting astrocurrents and holistic/spiritual/empowerment offerings for 2010!

If you would like to be added to the newsletter list, let me know!

Wishing you light, joy and self-love in each moment.

Happy holidays,

Jenifer Shapiro
The Empowerment Centre, LLC