By Sara Thyr, ND
Photo by ItzaFineDay, via flickr, used under the Creative Commons License.
I took one of the little snowmen chatchkis to place on the alter at the Solstice Circle I went to on Sunday. I have mixed feelings about him, but such deep appreciation for the spirit in which it was given. And the spirit of celebration, which my mother always fostered this time of year. I appreciate that sometimes the gifts that we unwrap are not always the sum total of what we really get.
The Solstice is an important day of the year for me. I crave the long days, so the Winter Solstice always feels like I can start getting excited about spring again. I know. It’s the middle of what most of us experience as winter. (Similarly, the Summer Solstice always makes me a little sad, even though we are at the apex of long days.)
The Winter Solstice is considered the strongest point of the four main power points of the year. We naturally let go - in our bodies, minds and hearts - that which we don’t want to carry with us into the next cycle of increase. This was an interesting concept to learn at the circle, as I had already begun purging some things in my life - which I really dug into on the Solstice. I felt I had given myself a powerful gift of starting this next part of the year clinging onto less unnecessary baggage.
I ran into a patient who I’d not seen for a long time at a holiday party recently. As we were chatting, she went expressed how much I had helped her sleep. She was very grateful. Her husband is grateful. On an evening that was all about merriment and holiday gifts, I received the best one…appreciation for passing along naturopathic medicine to one who needed it.
What can you gift yourself during this time of year? What idea or habit do you long to leave here in this natural time of removal, moving into spring lighter, gentler, happier? Perhaps it is time to eliminate old mental imprinting that you have been running on from past decades.
I have never been big on New Year’s Resolutions. It’s always felt ripe for setting myself up for failure. Taking time to notice the movement of the seasons - to really feel them and to be a part of them, letting go when that is appropriate, feels more natural to me.
At the end of my yoga class on the Solstice, we did a chant in Sanskrit which I’d like to carry with me into this next phase: May everyone feel peace and happiness. May my actions contribute to the peace and happiness of everyone in the world.
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