Dec 22, 2010

And Then There Was Light; The Day After Winter Solstice

December 22, 2010

  Winter Solstice is such a nurturing reminder to slow down,  cultivate ideas for new seed planting, cloak ourselves, sit in silence, introspect, and be honest. I love to use this as a time to meditate more, be quiet for hours, and to ask nature, my spiritual guides, teachers, and Universal Grace to give me the chance to see more clearly, my blind spots, so that I might grow in personal harvest. This is not always a pleasant process and there are parts to this time of year that are challenging for me in it's shadowy nature. I am often a very Yang/Sun like, outward soul, as I am in front of the public, and am gathering a network at all times, socially concerned and in love with my community. This time of year I get more sensitive, and I can see some of my own personal resistances, or deep grooves of my personality, become exposed. I ask for this each year and wish for it to be so.  It is a time of uncovering and going in, getting comfortable in the dark by softening into what is uncomfortable. There will always be pain and challenge. The key is to cultivate a practice where we do not harden around it more. My inner, personal honesty does evolve the more that I practice this consciously. I know exactly what it is that I want to work on, transmute, shed light upon,  tackle, however you see it, every time this season comes about. I am grateful for this. Each time I offer these disconnected resistances, I feel a bit extracted, dismantled, and pulled a little bit apart. It can leave one feeling quite raw. And I ask for this for the holidays, each time they come!
    Something that I have learned, in this amount of exposure and transparency that I desire, is that I must create offering, and get real. It is not always about bliss, peace and happiness in the moment. It is like homeopathy, we offer our resistance to make the resistance come out, and it will grip on for a short while longer, with even more intensity. Resistance wants one last chance.
That is why this time of year can really be used as a window of opportunity for us all, as we gather, support one another, and create warmth so that no one is left in the dark. It is a chance to have exposure, a micro apocalypse, and to get these things out into the light, and offered up into the light, thus accessing more light that already resides within us. A wonderful Mantra that comes in handy for this... "Svaha"... "I offer it up into the fire", or "moving on".
   After the shortest day of the year, where there is the least amount of light, many ancient cultures and yogis used to believe that the sun was indeed never coming back, due to it's low horizon, closeness, and shortened duration. It was only until the repetition of this cycle, and through noticing and being in deep wise connection, that humans noted that the sun did indeed come back.  That the darkness was not forever, even if it felt like it at the time. Thus, it brought greater value to the sun to see it again. It shone brighter than ever before. This was the day after Winter Solstice, where the darkness was indeed the cure for shaking us up a bit, diving into the mystery, and coming out, exposed as we are, even more resilient, more luminous, more radiant,  and wildly strong, like the element of light/fire, and the life giving quality of the Sun.

   I was just in Hattiesburg, MS at The Yoga Room for a Winter Solstice Celebration of yoga, chanting, meditation, and storytelling. It was a direct premonition of this earth holy day. Just as I was just finishing up talking about darkness, and speaking of the greater profoundness of light after it is dark, a fire broke out in the studio, right before my eyes. For real! It burned the floor and was difficult to put out. It showed us all, in that moment, all 40 of us from the south, the transformative qualities that we all embody. It was a direct, tactile reminder of our courage to go in, know the dark well.... and bring it out into the fire... And then there was light.

   I am so grateful to all courageous souls that want to know the truth, and life authentically to carry this within them. It is a wonderful lesson that I have learned. Even in the ebb and flow of our lives, up/down, in/out, there is always a great center we can access, in rawness or joy, and in either of these cases, we are always protected and nurtured in our center. It doesn't lesson in either case, because it comes from within, free of any conditions at all. May we honor the sun and the moon, the dark and light within us all. It is vital on the abundant pilgrimage that we are on. Everything is of great worth. From the vantage point of our center of balance, like the unusual eclipse we just had, we will always appreciate and notice the holiness of which we are a part.

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