The perfect time to pause and reflect is coming: the 2017 Winter Solstice takes place at 9:28 am on December 21st. At this time, the earth is at maximum tilt, with the northern hemisphere tilted far from the sun. It is a pivotal moment: Before the solstice the days continue to shorten, and after the solstice the days begin get longer. After the solstice, the earth begins its journey slowly tilting the other direction until the end of June (Summer Solstice). The two solstices we get each year are two of my favorite days!
Solstice can be translated to “sun stands still” or simply, “stillness.” What a wonderful time to be still ourselves and reflect on where we have been and where we would like to go. Although it will be the longest and darkest day of the year, inherent in that is something equally important… HOPE. There is hope that more sun—more light, opportunity, joy—is inevitable! We know this to be true: the days will literally get brighter. What a beautiful metaphor.
Here are some questions to ask yourself in the few days before and after the solstice. Meditate with these questions in mind, talk it over with a trusted friend, or jot down your thoughts.
Interestingly, New Year’s Eve and the new calendar year occurs shortly after the Winter Solstice. I personally enjoy the New Year holiday for the hope and reflection it brings. However, there is something so natural and logical about perhaps beginning our new year’s resolutions—and engaging in reflection—during the Winter Solstice instead (or you can do both).
Happy Winter Solstice to you and yours! I hope that the stillness provides rest and peace, and I hope that the new year brings plenty of light and opportunity your way.