Winter Solstice

From here on out, the days are getting longer — literally. Yesterday Cultivating Time posted this wonderful piece, “Acknowledging the Winter Solstice”. I’m a bit embarrassed to say I had completely overlooked it being the solstice until reading that post, but it served as a great reminder to take time to reflect on changes in nature and in our lives.

The Winter Solstice is the day when the northern hemisphere is as far as it can be from the sun, causing the fewest daylight hours out of any day during the year. Hence from now until the Summer Solstice, the number of daylight hours will grow. Beyond that, my knowledge of the scientific and cultural history of the solstices is rudimentary, at best. But I want this post to be about the spirit behind the Winter Solstice — one of renewal and change.

In the post I linked above, the following questions are posed: (I’m quoting directly — all credit goes to Cultivating Time and I have received permission to quote this!)

Some reflective questions for the Winter Solstice –

  • What are you grateful for this year?
  • What do we need to acknowledge and let go off?
  • What have we learnt and achieved this year?
  • What do we want to embrace and take into the new year?
  • How do we want to live in the coming year?
  • In what ways would we like to grow and develop?
  • What do we want to be about?
  • What are we trying to do here?
  • What do we want to work on?
  • What steps do we need to take to keep ourselves well?”

I love, love, love these questions.

I mean, who wouldn’t benefit from reflecting on these? I know I sure as heck will benefit!

So, here goes. (Omitting a fair bit of personal detail, of course! ;-))

  1. This year, I have a lot to be grateful for. A fantastic new job, my health, some exceptional adventures. Mostly though, I am grateful beyond words for Dear Boyfriend.
  2. Over the course of the year I have made a lot of progress in acknowledging mistakes I have made, but what I really need to focus on now is letting go of those mistakes and, in particular, letting go of the fear they still leave in me.
  3. This year I have learned that happiness is an inside job. I had heard it a million times but didn’t internalize it until recently. Having learned this, I have achieved a great deal more satisfaction and gratitude.
  4. I want to embrace the fear of the unknown going into the new year. As a teeny tiny massive control freak, the unknown really freaks me out. But it’s kinda inevitable. Lol. So might as well try to enjoy the unknown, eh?
  5. In the coming year, I want to live with more patience and forgiveness, both for myself and others. I tend to operate with high expectations for everyone (definitely including myself), so being more patient and understanding will go a long way.
  6. This is a tough one. I’m pretty much where I want to be professionally, but I’m sure the question about how we’d like to grow and develop could have other interpretations. I’ll have to sit on this one…
  7. What do I want to be about? I want to be about making others smile, whether it’s through being my goofy self and making them laugh, or giving them a compliment, or helping them feel less alone. Every time I can put a smile on someone’s face, I’d say that’s a success.
  8. Oh gosh, this is a deep question. What are we trying to do here? Easy answer: Write a nifty blog! Deeper, more serious answer addressing the actual question: Love. I know it sounds oh so trite, but ultimately love is what I want to do here on earth. Love my boyfriend, love my family, love my coworkers,  love my friends, love my frienemies, love strangers, love the people I absolutely can’t stand to be around, even love the ones who have hurt me most. Oh, and love myself. Can’t forget that one 😉
  9. I want to work on my novel this coming year to the point that it is nearly finished by year end 2016. I also want to work on my running speed work in the hopes of beating my PRs in all distances.
  10. I think the number one think I need to do to keep myself well is start getting enough sleep. That probably means no cell phones or books in bed, even though those are my guilty bedtime pleasures.

So, on this longest night of the year, I’d love to know what others out there in Blog Land are reflecting on. Happy solstice to all!

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