Happy Solstice to our SATTVA Family! We are almost at the end of our Seven Days of Sattva open house and week of giveaways, and I wanted to check in and see how this pivotal time in the year has been for you all. If you haven’t had a chance to practice with us this week, it’s not too late! All classes at the studio are free until Sunday December 23rd, and we would so love to see you.
Last night, while your mind and body were resting, our whole planet shifted. When you awoke this morning, you were drawing yourself out of the longest period of darkness of the year. If you felt a bit stiff, slow and maybe even a little foggy, it’s safe to say that this is probably the reason (raucous Christmas parties notwithstanding!).
In a basic sense, the solstice means that we are as far from the sun’s warmth and light as we can be. It is a turning point for earth’s seasons, and on a deeper level, how we respond to darkness. For many, the solstice is a time to celebrate the return of the light. We have survived the time when daylight was limited and are now on our way to longer hours of sunshine, and we celebrate the fact that the days will soon grow longer. This knowledge really does temper the chill in the air that is an inherent part of our long Canadian winters, and gives us a bit of comfort while we carry on in the cold. And of course, it’s a lot of fun to celebrate the light and to start daydreaming of longer, warmer days.
But there is also a deep sweetness in celebrating the dark.
Darkness in all its forms is representative of the unknown, of what we cannot see, and of what we cannot control. I mean this in both in a symbolic and literal sense. As children, the dark is a fearful thing and so many of us carry that fear into adulthood. For the same reasons we celebrate the light, we are often rushing away from the dark. We are simply more at ease with what we can see for ourselves. Light and warmth are far easier on the body and mind, and I think for the most part humans naturally gravitate towards these things. But sometimes we are in such a hurry to welcome back the light that we could be missing out on learning from darkness’ deeper wisdoms. I have a handful of deeply treasured experiences in my life when darkness was the prevailing theme, and leaning into what these moments taught me has allowed for such a deep shift in how I feel about darkness, uncertainty, and the unknown.
Emerging from this year’s solstice, I invite you to explore what time spent in darkness means to you. Cast your mind back through your life’s experiences with darkness, and take a moment to observe what this brings up for you. Honor these feelings, and then set them free. We are coming out of this solstice and into a full moon, the perfect time to clear out the old and make space for what’s next. Nature is creating an ideal opportunity for you to close out this year in gratitude to what came before, and create an inviting space for the gifts of the new year.