Today is the December 21, the Winter Solstice. For us in the northern hemisphere this is the shortest day of the year, least light, most darkness. This day marks the start of Winter, the season of dormancy, darkness and cold. But it also represents the coming of lighter, longer days. This is something we can celebrate!
There are many traditions and cultural influences around this time of year. The Solstice and celebration of light influenced the timing of Christmas (the date chosen to offset the pagan celebrations). In ancient Rome the festival of Saturnalia began on December 17 and was characterized by a suspension of discipline and reversal of the usual order. Even wars were interrupted. The Germanic people marked their seasonal festivals with fires, dancing and sacrifices. The fires of winter Solstice were thought to promote the return of the sun (and the tradition of burning the Yule log also became widespread practice in Europe). In Poland, prior to Christianity, people practiced forgiveness and sharing food. Other cultures involve ritual baths for purification, singing, changing, torchlight processions, dancing and festive eating.
Coming of Light
The main component of Winter Solstice is light. Fires lit the home, candles were placed around. We welcome the return of longer days full of light. The festivals kept up people’s spirits in hopes that the sun would return, and the days would lengthen again.
The best way to commemorate the Winter Solstice is to slow down. This is really the best time to this. The year is ending, the harvest brought in, the days are shorter, life becomes dormant. Seeds don’t grow until the days get longer and warmer. This is time to rest and recuperate. You can do this by going to be earlier, sleeping later, not taking on so much. We are actually programmed to do this? Are you listening to the ques in your body?
This is also a time of reflection. What did we learn from this last year? What can we do differently in the coming year? How can we accept and move on? What do we need to ‘put to rest’? All of this points to the end of a cycle, completion, before the new cycle (Spring) begins.
As we say goodbye to this current year, this is a great time to take and consider these questions. Then there’s creating what’s next, and that happens often at the beginning of the New Year for most people. But in the cycle of life, really pre-Spring (February/March) is really the best time for this development. So now, learn from the past, reflect on what could be, so when we get to pre-Spring you are ready to go!
Winterize your Wellness Program
In preparation of helping you rest and enjoy this Winter, I am offering a Winterize your Wellness 5-series program starting in January. If you are longing for more relaxation and ways to be healthier while feeling good about yourself (or maybe you’re trying to figure out what is next and best for your future), this is your program! Here you will learn to lessen your stress, gain clarity on your direction, and perhaps increase your energy so that you can be doing what you most want in your life.
Winterize your Wellness Series – Creating a Healthy and Happy New Year Program
Thursdays January 7, 14, 21, 28, and Feb. 4 at 5:30p – 7p (via Zoom)
$149 for the whole series until January 2, $197 after. Series includes 90 minute sessions filled great techniques and coaching. You also receive email support, additional tools for implementation, plus a 20 minute private coaching session.
Contact me for more information or to sign up. I look forward to helping you have a healthy and happy Winter!