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Monthly Archives: June 2016

June 21, 2016

Find the Light in the Darkness – 3 rituals for Winter solstice

My local village holds a lantern festival each winter solstice, and we gather as a community to wonder at the charming hand made lanterns as friends and neighbours wind through the misty night.

This year had me reflecting on the soul-full messages of solstice, winter and the dark night of the soul. The darkness of the night surrenders to those who carry a light – it doesn’t matter whether they carry a masterpiece or a child’s painted jar and a torch… it is each person adding to a multitude of others who are willing to step up, with their light and a smile. We mark this night, the longest of the year, not only for its darkness – but for the knowledge that it is the turning point to brighter days ahead.

If you find yourself trying to fan your inner flame through a dark night of the soul, I offer these small rituals in support:

1. Surrender your shadow, claim your light.
In front of a cosy home fire or candles, with soulful music playing, take out your journal and write with no censorship. Write the secrets you feel ashamed to speak of, the confession of those parts you don’t admit to. Scribble your tears, fears and anger. Let your emotions run freely in ink… unleash your burdens on the page.
When everything is released, burn the pages (safely!), and as you watch them burn, say “I release my shadows to the light”.
On a fresh page, write a letter from the best part of you to the You that shows up every day doing your best. Acknowledge your efforts, your heart, and your courage. You may like to keep this letter to remind you.

2. Candlelight dancing.
Light candles and take a moment to watch the flames. Reflect on the shadows and darkness you have been finding it hard to face. Choose a song to signify your experience of this long night and allow yourself to move and express all that you have been holding in. If you can’t dance; shake, stamp and shout. Get every cell involved… no one can see you!
When your energy has shifted, play “your song”: the one that reminds you of your light, your brightness. Play it loud, dance it out. Let every note infuse your body.

3. Say “thank you”.
Most of us have heard of having a gratitude practice, but sometimes in a dark night it can be hard to really feel it. At these times I like to shift the focus from reaching in, to that of reaching out. I ask myself, “Who can I thank, acknowledge or send a loving thought to today?”. I sit down and write a card or note to one dear person, to let them know what I love about them. That elusive feeling is always the one I am left with – gratitude.

Now, I would love to hear from you! Let me know if you try any of the above rituals and how they go for you. Tell me your favourite go-to for finding the light during the dark nights. Happy Solstice, friends xo