Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Stillpoint in Winter

Part 1. Pausing to reflect on where we are and where we are going.
On the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year, we make the turn into the lighter part of the year. Even though it will not be immediately visible to our naked eye, the light is growing as the orbit of the earth changes again and our energies shift. We will notice the days becoming longer by February 1, Groundhog Day. 

What an appropriate time then, to let go of whatever old fears, habits or behaviors that are holding us back from having the kind of life we want. As we let go of these and give more attention to the thoughts and actions that will lighten up our life, we find our path clearly laid out before us, with opportunities coming to light, and people who will be good for us to be with, clearly illuminated.

Moving from the dark into light is not about good vs evil.  

In the context of the solstices, it is the balancing between yin and yang, with the yin being the rich fertile place that enfolds the seeds of our dreams and gives the future a place to take root. The yang is the projective energy that sends the shoots above ground to reach up and absorb the light. It is both of these energies together that produce our future growth. We cannot have one without the other.

So as you shed whatever it is that you are ready to leave behind, replace that space in your energy field with what you want to grow into next. What do you want to happen between now and the Summer Solstice? How much can we do in six months time? How much can our life change? How much has already changed within the last six months? Are you ready to embrace your new growth and encourage it to grow robustly?

Yes, by all means take time to enjoy holiday celebrations with family and friends and bask in the light of the spirit that comes with these joyous celebrations. Appreciate the people who are part of your life.
During the holidays I also enjoy the quiet times of reflection, the stillpoint in the middle of winter. A perfect time for cleaning out closets and doing a deep cleaning. Maybe try cooking something differently today. Or just enjoying a cup of hot tea and journaling without having to rush because of a crowded schedule. 

Little things prompt reflection for me, like the fact that the busy street now only has a car on it every once in a while. It is so quiet, compared to normal.

I like the way lights twinkle from quite a distance over the snow and fog against the mountains. The lights give it the sense of the skyline being personally painted for you as shimmering lights continue to define the profile of the buildings and mountains.

Where the quiet settles in, you can see the audience sitting down waiting for the next story. This is the invisible audience that is always waiting to see what you do next. They are just as ready to applaud for you as someone else. Spirit guides and ancestors are in this audience.  

Capture the essence of the lights, capture the inspiration and hope they transmit. A quiet moment provides time for a new idea to germinate, then for dreams to come into sharper focus.

Every touch now is a memory. Every touch now is a light. It is the light in the middle of winter, soft, distant, creative and sweet. Like the embers that glow and have enough power to get the fire roaring. The quiet in the night, the stillpoint in the middle of winter, where we find warmth in the seasonal pleasures, the company of friends and the company of inspiration and spirit. 


Part 2. Make Revolutions, Not Resolutions.
It is traditional for people to make New Year's Resolutions, and it is just as traditional that a great many, if not most, of these fall by the wayside after just a few months. Why is that?
It takes more than intentions to make changes. Resolutions often are presented of lists of things that would be a nice idea, but how much will and action is there behind those wishes.
Perhaps it is because we put things on our list for the wrong reasons. For example, if we say that we want to quit smoking because everyone else tells us that it would be good for us, but in fact we really like the taste and feel of it, this resolution will maybe last a few weeks while everyone is encouraging us, then fall by the wayside as we resume smoking.

Now, when a person decides that they really don't feel like smoking any more and it is their own desire to quit, they will. I used to be a smoker myself, and nothing anyone else said about it made any difference until I decided to quit. Then it was over. No patch, no chewing gum, no support group. I just quit and have not smoked again for more than 30 years now.
The same holds true for the other most often mentioned resolutions, losing weight and working out. When we decide that we really will do it, we exert a great amount of will and desire, taking the appropriate actions to change what we eat and how much and get up and exercise.

What is the difference? Our own desire is always more powerful than whatever other people tell us is good for us.
The same holds true for the other most often mentioned resolutions, losing weight and working out. When we decide that we really will do it, we exert a great amount of will and desire, taking the appropriate actions to change what we eat and how much and get up and exercise.

You can easily see this at health clubs. Every January there is a new batch of people with resolutions who join, but then by March some of them have decided that making real change requires persistent efforts and that is easily abandoned for many who are easily distracted from their goals.
When we are ready to actually make the conscious decision and take the actions because we decided to do so, we will be making New Year's Revolutions, and we will make changes happen in our lives. These will be Revolutions, Not Resolutions. Don't waste time with resolutions. Only make revolutions. Make the changes real and permanent this year. Establish new patterns. Create new dimensions for living your life.  

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