A few birthdays ago, a friend gave me a letterboard. More recently, I decorated my house for Christmas and changed the sign to read “Merry & Bright,” as seen in this photo. I didn’t think much about choosing the phrase. It seemed like an appropriate – maybe even cute – addition to a light-up signboard, and that was about it.
This morning, I passed the sign in the kitchen and thought more about the actual words. When was the last time I felt merry or bright? I’m not sure. When was the last time other people would have experienced me as either of those things? Good question. And then another question: What am I going to do about it?
In various forms, I’ve been holding that question for quite a while. I have some ideas about how to answer it, but haven’t managed to put any of them fully into action. I’m reminded of the phrase, “Knowing is half the battle – but only half.”
I’m also reminded of an email I received from my cousin’s business account. He practices a few types of therapy and alternative medicine, and recently sent this message to email subscribers:
There are certain things we can only see and certain messages we can only receive in the darkness, and we are being given this blessed opportunity this month.
The winter solstice is a time of quiet energy, where you get the opportunity to look within yourself and focus on what YOU want and need. It’s a time to set goals and intentions for the coming year, to examine and let go of your past, and to make changes within yourself. The solstice is essentially tied to a personal awakening.
The spiritual and energetic significance of the winter solstice is multi-layered, but the most direct relevance is that it symbolizes the birth of the sun. Out of the darkness, what do you want to birth in the upcoming year? What do you need to let go of to do this?
What you can do during the solstice to align with these energies:
* Be active during the sun-times. Take a walk outside and connect to nature.
* Bring in some fire energy. Take a few moments when darkness falls to unplug and become quiet. After some time, light some candles or your fireplace and feel the warm glow of flame fill the room and warm your soul.
* Journal. Reflect on what you would like to carry into the new year and what you would like to let go of. If you have a fire going, you may feel pulled to burn what no longer serves you.
* Gather with friends and family. Share your light with those around you.
He also invited readers to join a special solstice workshop in Calgary. Whether or not that’s of interest to you, I hope there’s something in his message that resonates.
As for me, it’s a good reminder that it might be my job to re-learn how to make merry, but in the meantime…the space around me will literally be brighter in the next few weeks. Next weekend is winter solstice for the northern hemisphere, and by the end of the month we’ll have five extra minutes of daylight. Maybe all I need to do – at least for now – is notice. Five minutes may not be much, but a lot can happen in five minutes.