The other night I tried to walk from the car to an unfamiliar house I was visiting, in the dark. It was pitch black. My eyes couldn’t adjust enough to see the path. I looked up at the night sky instead and felt safer under a canopy of familiar stars. How reassuring it was to see Orion’s Belt and the gleaming North Star.
For billions of years, they have provided guidance and light to dinosaurs, our ancestors and now, lucky us. Constant companions we often forget about.
I know for many this time of year is a cauldron of bubbling mixed emotions—everything just feels a little heightened. How do we navigate all that is going on around us and within us, without becoming overwhelmed, numb, or depleted, and ‘going dark’? Here in the north The darkness of December and it’s long cold nights call for longer, deeper slumber.
If you can, allow it.
This is a time for hibernation, our animal instinct and natural rhythms call for it. We tend to override this wisdom and push, push, push through it to keep up, creating false expectations and then feeling anxious or judging ourselves.
My holiday wish for all of us is some quality time with restorative sleep, meaningful self-care and connecting with others in your own community and the broader collective.
Personally, this has been a very painful and draining year. It has also been a year of sharing deep love, tenderness and profound connection. Stretching my resilience and reinventing ‘what does true joy mean in sorrow ?’. Holding peace in one hand and grief in another, and recognizing the aliveness of their co-existence.
Grieving several close deaths and the strain of caregiving added to the usual heavy list of demands found my creative sparks, stamina and verve were waning. With significant loss also comes great recalibration and reflection.
To navigate it all, I knew to pull back, schedule more downtime, although this too was a challenge, and ride it out with patience and tenderness for the toll it takes.
I share this not for sympathy; I am capable and know my limits. Rather, in truth, confirming we are all navigating the human experience. I am no different.
In the right balance by minding one’s boundaries, serving others through the travails provides a certain light and greater hope. It can be a soothing balm to support others through their own challenges. It helps align with gratitude for this wondrous life experience as fuel, no matter the hardship one is facing.
This also demonstrates the interconnectedness of humanity. We are all dealing with joys and sorrow intermingled, and we heal in connection with others.
Our own light guides the way when we fan the flame with gentle nourishment, rather than snuff our spark by trying too hard.
You know the magic of starting a fire and the thrill when it takes and you hear the first crackle?
Fire and warmth bring hope. They bring comfort in the dark and cold. They are a primordial thread to the beginning of human time.
A single candlelight can be a beautiful alternative and throws a lot of light.
A surprising amount. Absolutely enough to guide you through a dark night of the soul, or down the path back home again, weaving hope with grace through the darkness.
Post solstice, we now turn toward the growing light, ever so slowly, and trust that it is indeed the natural order of things.
In Joy and Peace,