Dec 20 2008

The Winter Solstice – Return of Light Marks the Beginning of the Winter Season


It’s hard not to get pulled along by the riptide of holiday business this time of year. Shopping, partying, wrapping, and gifting keep your attention focused outside on external obligations. The whole season can easily pass with barely a thought to the impact of the season on your inner nature.

However, this is a very potent time to nourish your aliveness, to deepen your human experience, and to truly know your value in the world. Here’s a reminder of the depth of inner transformation available to you at this time of year to add to your outer holiday cheer.

All of the holiday traditions invite us to reflect on the symbols of darkness and light and their impact on being human. As human consciousness evolves over time, our understanding and interpretation of these symbols deepens.

Like maturing children, each year more of us have the capacity for understanding the holidays in ways that grow beyond self-centered fantasy and superstition to how we can bring greater joy and aliveness into the world we share with all other beings.

Rather than the simple joy we can deliver by giving a festively wrapped gift, the greatest bliss we can add to the world requires more from us than a trip to the store, shiny paper, scissors, and tape.

Our greatest gift to the world comes from our experiential understanding of the darkness and light of our own consciousness. The best of who we are comes to the world by the challenging process of facing our own darkness, what we don’t know, what we assume to be true. By facing what is dark and unknown to us, we increase our own light.

We trust that the darkness of winter is a necessary part of nature’s cycle of life. Like fruit seeds need the darkness of soil to take root in the world, so too the new in us takes root in the darkness of winter.

As the days get darker and darker, centuries of proof that the season will change, the sun will return, and the days will become longer allow us to have faith that this year will be no different. We can relax and embrace the darkness, even to celebrate it with lights made more beautiful by the blackness. It doesn’t even feel like faith, we know we can trust the return of the light, the return of the sun.

But not so with our inner darkness. It is hard to have faith that something good will come from allowing ourselves to be in that place of not knowing. Most of us don’t have faith, let alone trust that allows us to embrace the dark’s transformative potential.

Nonetheless, this time of year holds the promise and opportunity to learn that the same energy that returns the sun to us, will also bring light to our darkest, innermost places. If we allow ourselves to embrace our not knowing and remain open to the same Source that returns the sun to us each year and each morning, we too will birth something new.

Whatever is difficult, unknown, hellish, or undone for you this season, know that it is not that way to punish you, to prove your badness, or to defeat you. What is dark for you holds the seed of new birth, new light – your expanded consciousness.

It is the tending of this tender seed – acknowledging, nourishing, and allowing it to grow in the light of your compassionate awareness – that will bring you fruit in time. That fruit, that shiny new thing is what we really want under all the pretty wrapping this year.

To give yourself the greatest gift of the season, take time to explore your challenges, frustrations, and dreams. In journaling or sacred conversation, make space to listen to your heart’s deepest desire and your soul’s greatest longing. Honor your depth with words and images. Create a simple collage that speaks to the seeds in you this season. Water them with daily attention while intending for the most optimal, abundant, and loving outcome for you and all those touched by your light. This season, may your loving presence to your own challenges blossom into blessings for the world.

By Dr Rebecca Coleman

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