“I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness,
the astonishing light of your own being.”
This Saturday marks the Winter Solstice. It’s a day most of us dread as it is the shortest day of our year. However, historically, the Winter Solstice is a day imbued with significance and transformative powers. It’s a time of rebirthing. A time when we can have our own awakening by going deep inside our darkness, deep into our fears and disbeliefs. A time when we can shine the light of awareness onto those shadows and fears with love and compassion. Nothing is more powerful than the light of awareness as it grants us access to OUR power of choice. When we are aware, we can choose our next thought, word, action and attitude.
The word solstice comes from the Latin Sol Stetit meaning the sun stood still. And for many of us, this time of year feels as if the sun stands still. Not only are our days shorter, but it’s colder and we are left feeling overwhelmed with all the holiday preparations. It’s easy to get lost in the darkness. It’s easy to go through the motions of our day unaware. It’s easy to numb our physical, emotional, mental or spiritual pain with drugs, alcohol, food, or even work (yes, it’s just as easy to “occupy” our minds with work we “have to do” in order to avoid the real underlying problems).
In the past, this time of year has always been hard for me. Like the absent sun, I would retreat. Hide. Numb my pain with extra workouts, restricted calories, or sleeping in bed all day. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom and was diagnosed as clinically depressed that I began my healing journey and started to live life on purpose. But healing is a continuous journey. There are no quick fixes for recovery. There is no easy way out of our learned motivations or behaviors that form the very fabric of our everyday lives. In some ways, our issues become stuck in our tissues. That is, until we decide to use the light of awareness and dig deep into our darkness with strength, courage, compassion and love.
The universe constantly sends us clues to our own healing, especially if we’re dealing with chronic physical, mental or emotional pain. This is why bringing the light of awareness to our darkness is so vital. If we pay attention, we’ll see that most of the time (if not always) we have everything we need to mitigate the pain and experience a healing process. And, if it’s something outside our reach, there’s usually a willing hand ready to pull us up. All we need to do is ask. More than anything, the reason we find ourselves “here” or back “here,” the reason we find ourselves stuck, is not because we can’t get out of it (whatever it is we are dealing with). We just haven’t dedicated the time to look within or dig deep.
Sleeping all day again. Skipping any workout that was not one I was teaching. Numbing. Self-hate. Thoughts reminiscent of my disordered eating days. The Universe has been sending me clues left and right recently. For two years I’ve been channeling my power of awareness so I am fully cognizant of these clues. And, I’m aware of my behaviors and patterns because I’ve been here before. I’ve been practicing awareness but what I haven’t been doing is the heart-work. I haven’t actively been going within my darkness to acknowledge the fears and doubt that are resurfacing. I haven’t dug deep to inquire why the change I am experiencing in my life is causing me to question my worth as a fitness instructor, friend, mother, partner; or why it manifests as a need to control my weight. Even when I have felt so consumed in my darkness, I haven’t reached out for help. In reality, I have all the tools I need for healing to take place. I have the power to go inward with my emotions. I have the power to own my voice and ask for help or seek out healing therapy. I just haven’t dedicated the time. Until now.
This week I offer you the opportunity to look at the Winter Solstice as a “home coming.” Whether you feel stuck in some area of your life, are experiencing some form of pain, or just simply want more light and abundance in your life, I invite you to come home to your heart. Take that stuck energy, take that pain, take that desire for more-take your darkness-and transform it into light. The Winter Solstice is a time when we await the return of the light outside ourselves and within. Make this a time when you shine the light of your awareness inward and dig deep.
May you always remember, even on the darkest of days, that you are full of light and love.