Monthly Archives: January 2011

Darkest Days

The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year, the longest night, and the official beginning of winter. We are in the darkest and likely coldest days of the year. Sometimes it can feel depressing, but it can also be an opportunity for deep reflection.

Since the summer solstice, the earth has been in the long exhale: first the beginnings of the harvest, then ripening of the bounty, then the dropping and beginning of decay and nurturing what will become new growth in the spring. The winter solstice is the turning point, the beginning of the inhale, and therefore a time for inspiration.

We often think of the darkness in a negative way, in contrast to the light. But the solstices are both just flip sides of the same coin, extremes of the same pulsation.  The darkness represents the stillness, like a snow covered forest in the winter. That quiet place is sometimes viewed as empty, sometimes as full, and truly it is the paradox of both. It is potentiality. Deep in that darkness is a sparkle, the beginnings of a vibration that brings everything into manifestation.

In the darkness we cannot see clearly, and we must develop and rely on other senses like feeling and listening. So in the darkness we can sit quietly, move into the cave of our hearts and simply be, feel, listen to what arises.

During these dark days, we have the opportunity for reflection. We can review the unfolding of our lives.  What are our blessings? What have we accomplished? Where have we gone astray?

As we feel our way into the darkest cave of our hearts, we begin to sense that glimmer of light that is our guide in the darkness, our inspiration.  What wants to be created? What seeds will we want to consider planting for our future?  Where shall we direct our energy? By creating a quiet space for reflection, we begin to connect with a larger pulsation and receive its guidance for how we can more gracefully dance back into the light, as manifestation occurs during the long slow inhale that moves us toward the summer solstice.

Find a quiet place and time for contemplation. Sunrise or sunset can be especially powerful. You may want to light some candles. Have your journal at hand.

Take a comfortable seat. Ask yourself: what have I created this year? What has worked for me? Are there situations in which you could have been more graceful?

Sit and breath, holding these questions in your heart, and when you feel ready, begin to write whatever arises.

You can continue with this next part immediately, or wait for another day.

Closing your eyes, tune into the pulsation of your breath. Hold an appropriate question in your awareness: What’s next? What shall I manifest? How can I serve? What is my heart’s desire?

Allow your awareness to drop into the darkness behind your eyes, feel and listen for what is there. You may notice some glimmer, spark, or pulsation of light.  Allow your awareness to rest on this, or come back to the breath. After a while, allow the glimmer or the breath to speak to you. Let it inspire you. When you feel ready, write down whatever has emerged from the darkness.