Solstice guidance for dark times

In the northern hemisphere, we are about to enter the darkest day of the year: Solstice.  This day brings the opportunity for introspection and the release of what has outlived its usefulness.  We use the darkness to enter silence and holiness, review what has come to pass, and plant the seeds for the coming year.  We look forward to the return of the Sun.

It is fitting that final news of the US election has come this week, fast on the heels of the horrors of Aleppo and the German market attack. So many of us feel helpless yet long to do something, and I’ve been asked by my allies to offer these five touchstones, with thanks to Spirit for helping me find the words:

– Renew your commitment to reducing your carbon footprint. Reduce or eliminate the purchase of petroleum products, reuse, recycle, compost, choose organic wherever possible, and in all ways exercise reciprocity and love for Mother Earth.  This has always been important, and now more than ever will also impact the global status quo.  Vote with your dollar.  Pause before purchasing. Support that which supports the Earth and all our relations.

– Stay informed. I don’t watch tv news because I find it selective and irritating, but I make sure I’m aware of what’s happening in the world.  Read reliable information, making sure it’s journalistic rather than editorial.  We are most effective as citizens when we understand what’s really going on, even if it makes us uncomfortable.  Stay with that discomfort and let it motivate you into discourse and action.

– Gather with friends, strangers, and community.  Volunteer, host a gathering, go to a cultural event, strike up a conversation with someone new, sign up for a workshop… It can be easy to isolate or avoid eye contact when the atmosphere is heavy, but that’s exactly the time to reach out.  In general, we have all become estranged and disconnected; now is our chance to consciously connect again, to see the other as a brother. 

– Don’t fear. Much of what has happened in the world has been the result of fear-mongering, manipulation, and inflammatory rhetoric. The energy of fear feeds on itself; it’s a shadow that seeks out more of the same.  It eats anxiety, greed, and ignorance in order to grow.  Let’s put it on a diet!  Choose to be courageous and build resilience like a muscle.  See the fear – acknowledgement is important – but choose to be a little braver every day.

– To help you cultivate this courage, stay with your personal practices.  Yoga, meditation, prayer, art: whatever it is for you, do more of it now. Keep practicing with your own mind, refining your thoughts and creating your life from a place of love and discernment.  When fear arises, know that you are strong enough to handle it, and that there is help and support if you need it.  Healing sessions can help address acute or chronic fears and help clear stuck or heavy energy.  You are beautiful, capable, strong, and you have within you an enormous well of resilience.  You can choose to root yourself in nourishing practices; this is within your power to do starting right now.  From your gentle discipline, inspiration and new ideas may arise.

We were born for this time.  We would not be here now if we didn’t have what we needed to thrive, collaborate, and heal together. We can make it through the shadow and come out the other side even better than before.  That is the message of Solstice: in the darkness, we do the work.  And then the Light comes back.

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