The longest day, the shortest night


I do like this time of year: layered dressing, the drama of hats, shawls, boots and heavy jewellery. I long for the northern Lights and heavy snow. I suppose it is the extremes of the cold and the glowing embers in the fire, being warm inside and the freezing breath in the crispy mornings, the endless darkness and then the exquisite busts of low sunlight when the clouds part that brings such pleasure to a time that most seem to wish past.

The energy all around is low. The sap in plants and trees has descended, All the leaves have fallen, the longest night is on the 21st and from that moment it all starts ascending again. The spell of darkness is broken and a sense of renewal comes in. The lights of Christmas are linked to this whole cycle. The celebration of the whole seasonal movement starting again.

It is a good time to re-evaluate, to look over the past year and take stock. How was it? What happened? What can I change or do differently? What have I had enough of? What do I want to start to do?
For so many of us it has been an extreme year. A lot of stress, many people experiencing severe illness. There have been big changes in how we think and assume things ought to be and the joys of moving forward, in a world that seems to be drowning in mediocrity, are hard to list. Core values have been profoundly challenged and we have to find a new version of ourselves. This may not be true for all of us, I recognize that, but daily conversations all point to the majority of us feeling very similar; that there is a need to approach life in a different way.

So taking stock, an overview, is a good way forward; it is empowering and life-affirming. It feels pro-active and it is something that each of us can do for ourselves. The Global Warming Crisis so totally overwhelming, all the fighting and arguing is driving all confidence to an all-time low, it is easy to turn away in confusion but on an individual and personal level there is so much we can each do to affect our own environment and those immediately affected by us. Ever just calming ourselves with meditation, breathing techniques, taking up running or something that brings self-esteem, can have a great impact on other family members and friends.

My way forward is to make a list of the major events of the year, positive and negative. Really see what happened, how was it, how did I behave, react and respond. Honestly recognize where I could have done better and then move forward with a clear set of goals in the New Year. What do I want to achieve, change, make, do and see? The consciousness of where have I been and where am I going gives clarity and purpose. It may be time for major changes: stopping a habit, loosing weight, leaving a job or a relationship. If there is emotional honestly and a clear vision then the consequences are less of a shock and the path is easier to follow. I found one of my lists from 1991 whilst clearing this week. It made for interesting reading and I could remember so clearly how I felt and how much I moved on.

If you take no pleasure in the transition to the New Year try doing a meditation starting 6 minutes before the midnight hour approaches and for about 5 minutes after it passes. The experience is rather trippy and a nice change from the usual savage pleasure taken by most on this night. Time opens and there are interesting places in the ethers that become available. I will put up a meditation on the next newsletter if this is something that appeals.