Nurturing Power and Wisdom
As you well know, Winter Solstice happens amidst a time of going to parties, celebrating with others and being social.
In the yoga traditions, it begins a time of going in, connecting with our inner world and being quiet.
The Winter Solstice ritual invites us to follow what is happening in nature: as it gets colder and birds go south, it gets quieter outside.
Nature is gestating below the surfaces.
We all understand the need to slow down now and then. For instance, we know if we work nonstop for a few weeks without resting, we will probably get burned out and catch a cold.
On a more long-term level, if we go all the way through the year without spending some of winter being more internally-focused – following the natural rhythm in our own lives – we might find we don’t have enough energy flowing through us by spring to manifest the kind of year we want to have.
When we follow a natural rhythm, we often find our true nature appearing more clearly; and we enjoy easier access to our power, wisdom, and co-creativity.
Winter Solstice – A Tradition in Your Family?
As a mom, I sometimes realize I’m creating patterns and traditions for my family without even realizing it.
I’m working hard to consciously create a quiet time in our home during this time.
Here are some tips that have helped me in the past:
Winter Solstice Rituals
The ancient practice called “Holy Nights Ritual”, or Navaratri, literally means “nine nights”, and goes from Winter Solstice almost to New Years. It is a time to celebrate feminine energy, or the Mother Goddess, in our lives.
To practice this find time each day to go inside – literally. Be in your house with no plans. Enjoy the quiet and take some time to relax.
Feminine energy is receptive and generative. To align with it, we should choose activities that help us listen inward. That way, we can begin to notice what is exciting us, what is trying to come through for next year, and what we are feeling drawn toward focusing on. During this time, we create space for whatever it is to take form, rather than jumping into action.
To fully create a gestational space for goodness in our lives, commit to listening inward. Try to get the food shopping done on one day, and plan on having the rest of the week to be mostly at home.
Incorporate these activities, and others you feel drawn toward:
- Look up a good, nourishing soup recipe, light a candle, and make it for your family.
- Meditate. 5 minutes a day can change everything. You don’t have to know how. Just sit, doing your best to simply allow whatever arises in your thoughts, your awareness, your feelings and your sensations to be there. Sit without judgement, without trying to fix anything or make anything happen. If you already have a practice, double it.
- If you do notice the germ of an idea, don’t try to figure out what form it will take or jump up and write it down. Stay with the impulse of pure desire moving through. Nourish it. See if you can give it time to gestate, like a baby in your belly, and wait until next year to give it time to become itself.
- Do a simple yoga practice where you listen to your body and move how it wants to. Here’s a place to start.
- Journal, especially after meditating. What is coming through?
- Invite someone you adore over for tea. This can be an internal activity if we create a loving, supportive “we space” and honestly share what’s arising for us.
- Go for long walks around trees.
- Sit. Do nothing. Stare at a candle or out the window.
- Create a feminine foot bath: put rose petals and a drop of rose essential oil in some warm water and soak it in.
If you have kid, you can support them by doing a visioning project, like cutting out pictures in magazines that reflect what they want in the next year. I do this project every year before throwing all our magazines into the recycling.
Or take them into nature for a hike. Ask them to tell you what they hear as they listen to trees. Let them think you’re weird. They will still remember.
Winter Solstice Rituals Help Us Evolve
Then, in spring, when the first poppies come up, read your journal pages.
You will be AMAZED at how aligned your little seedling of a vision was with what is actually beginning to appear in your life.
You and others will be astounded at the amount of energy you have in spring, because you took time in winter to relax, unplug, and nurture your deepest Self during Winter Solstice.
Feminine Energy is About Relationship
Instead of New Year’s resolutions, let’s support each other in nurturing mystery seeds that will begin to sprout and grow and flourish as the year progresses. Whether you do yoga often or not, just the fact that you are reading this means we are spiritual sisters.
Together, we can help our culture become more connected, more conscious, and more receptive to the co-creative power moving through us.