By Shilpa

 

“There is a tendency to want to hurry from autumn to spring, to avoid the long dark days that winter brings. Many people do not like constant days bereft of light and months filled with colder temperatures. They struggle with the bleakness of land and the emptiness of trees. Their eyes and hearts seek color. Their spirits tire of tasting the endless gray skies. There is great rejoicing in the thought that light and warmth will soon be filling more and more of each new day.

“But winter darkness has a positive side to it. [Let us] recognize and honor the beauty in the often unwanted season of winter. Let us invite our hearts to be glad for the courage winter proclaims. Let us be grateful for the wisdom winter brings in teaching us about the need for withdrawal as an essential part of renewal. Let us also encourage our spirits as Earth prepares to come forth from this time of withdrawal into a season filled with light.

“The winter solstice celebrates the return of hope to our land as our planet experiences the first slow turn toward greater daylight. Soon we will welcome the return of the sun and the coming of springtime. As we do so, let us remember and embrace the positive, enriching aspects of winter’s darkness. Pause now to sit in silence in the darkness of this space. Let this space be a safe enclosure of creative gestation for you.”

From “A Celebration of Winter Solstice” from The Circle of Life by Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkehr.



 

Solstice self-care
We made a pact last Tuesday to do something restful and fun just for ourselves for the Solstice (we didn’t quite spit on it, but it was serious nonetheless).

Also, remember we all have tools to help us when if things are feeling a bit too overwhelming this festive season, for whatever reason.

1) Our breath  – specifically a long relaxing out-breath – can drain the tension of a moment. If in doubt, breathe out! It can help others too, especially children (‘let’s all take a big belly breath and then pretend we are blowing bubbles…’)

 

2) Grounding – spreading the toes and feeling our feet on the earth. Or the chair beneath us. Let the feeling bring us back to the present moment.


3) Songs – keep singing your favourites. Especially together with others. Sometimes songs can help a feeling flow through us, rather than weighing us down.


 

And time with other amazing women is one of the best things to help keep us well, energised and strong. More of that in singing circles in 2016!

 

 

We’ve been singing this – enjoy!

 

 

‘She who can love both sun and moon
Joyful in both seed and bloom
Sound and silence
Dark and light
has nothing to fear from the long winter’s night’

 

 

(Listen here)

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