Taking time out this Christmas with the Winter Solstice
Winter Solstice, simultaneously the shortest day and the longest night of the year, falls annually on the 21st of December. For three magical days, the world seems to stand still, offering us a moment to feel frozen in time, while providing us with a precious opportunity to appreciate the natural world while encased in a time cocoon, bearing witness to its natural rebirth and awakening all at once.
With Christmas fast approaching, it can be all too easy to get swept up in the festive frenzy of gift exchanging amidst high expectations, and for us to lose sight of the true reasons for celebrating the season. This can be the perfect chance to give thanks, be still and enjoy being at one with nature. These suggested celebrations of Winter Solstice are not rooted in any religion or creed, they simply aim to help us to recognise the wonder of nature while cultivating a deeper connection to life and all the things that matter most to us.
1) Make space for the new
The primary intention of many Winter Solstice celebrations is to honour both the dark and the light, while harmoniously trading the old in favour of the new, ultimately allowing space for fresh beginnings to come into your life. With this shift in energy comes an opportunity to also modify the energy around you – be it a simple task of cleaning out a room, or taking the time to meditate, remember that positive vibes can only flow when it’s not blocked by chaos or negativity. Empty your mind, and let your breathing deepen. Enjoy being in the moment, without any expectations or demands on yourself.
2) Challenge yourself to a day without technology
Recharge, without plugging in. Consider literally disconnecting all artificial light fixtures and electricity for the entire day and night by removing all telephones, televisions, video consoles and computers from touch, sound and sight in order to spend some time being “unconnected”. Reclaiming some of the time technology has stolen from us offers up a chance to redeem and indulge our senses with much-needed rest, and to truly recharge our internal batteries.
3) Give thanks and bring nature into the home
Encourage respect and reverence for nature by spending time outside, being mindful and thankful for wonders that we take so often for granted. Plant the seeds (literally or figuratively) for a more intuitive and simpler lifestyle by bringing fallen branches or foliage into your living space as part of home decoration. Homemade natural decorations not only have the ability to bring innocent joy to the whole family and to encourage creativity among children and adults, it also avoids the harmful disposable culture of plastic decorations. Taking time to appreciate the wonders of nature can be both energising and uplifting, like a deep, restorative inhalation and exhalation for the body and soul.
4) Set your intentions for the coming year
As the season of stillness and rest, winter is the perfect time for us to withdraw and to delve into our inner worlds, to identify our dreams and to set personal intentions for the year ahead. It is common to wish cold winter days away and to look forward to warmer seasons ahead, but try to follow nature’s lead and accept the peace that it brings. Trees are still and bare, icy winds hang unperturbed and animals fall into deep slumber. Enjoy this calmness while it surrounds you, and use this change of energy to get ready for the year ahead, filled with aspirations and intentions for the coming year.
We hope you all enjoy this festive season and take some time to relax, whether you are celebrating Christmas or now!