How to Celebrate Winter Solstice

how to celebrate winter solstice

Happy Winter Solstice friends! This day marks the longest night of the year, and also the slow emergence back to more sunlight. Today is a great day to tune back into nature and bring the energies and wisdom of the natural world into your life. This day of darkness is a great time to go within and spend some quiet time tuning into yourself and your innermost desires.

This may sound a little mystical and “out there”, but it’s really quite simple. Below, I will share some ideas for creating a Winter Solstice ritual and tradition that you can start this year, either on your own, or with friends or family.

Winter Solstice marks the end of darkness and the return of light. So, it makes sense that both light and dark be a part of your solstice ritual.

Here is what you will need:

  • outdoor space
  • candles, flashlight, fire, or holiday lights
  • a way of recording your thoughts, either on paper, or simply by using your voice

The way in which I personally like to celebrate Winter Solstice is by taking a few moments to think about two different aspects:

  1. First, I think about the darkest moments that I’ve had in the past year. I think back on these times, not for the sake of feeling sad and depressed, but rather to bring them into the light. I think back on the dark times and then I think about the lessons that they brought. Once I have the lessons, or gifts from these dark times, I am ready to let them go.
  2. Next, I like to focus on what I am ready to bring in to my life; what I want more of; what I want to be brought to light. I set intentions and make my list of desires.

And that’s it! A Winter Solstice ceremony is really just about these 2 aspects; letting go of the darkness and bringing forth the light, or in simpler terms, letting go of what we do not want, and focusing on what we do want. I like to physically spend time out in the darkness of night, and then bring some element of light into the experience.

There are many ways that you can create your own ritual using this framework, but here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Go for a winter walk with a flashlight and spend some time talking about what you are ready to let go of (darkness) and what you want more of (light).
  • Drive around with your windows open while looking at the Christmas lights and take turns talking about your wants and don’t wants with everyone in the car.
  • Start a fire in your outdoor fire pit. Write down the things that you are ready to let go of and throw them into the fire. Then write down the things that you want brought to light and put them somewhere you can see them everyday.

My personal winter solstice celebration this year is going to be very simple. My husband is working late, so I will be home with my young daughter. We are going to go for a sunset walk by the beach, and then return home to light our Christmas tree along with a candle and talk about what we want more of and less of.

A solstice ritual does not have to be hard or complicated. It’s just a way to tune in to the seasons and use them as a way of helping you to create a more intentional life.

I hope you enjoyed this topic and that you feel inspired to create your own Winter Solstice ritual. If you do decide to celebrate, please comment below and let me know what you do!

Happy Winter Solstice friends! Let there be light! 🙂

Be well,
Ambar

 

What Trees Can Teach Us About Life

5 Life Lessons from a Tree

Ok, I know that the title to this post sounds a little bit out there, but stick with me! 🙂 As humans, we are part of the natural world and are intrinsically connected to nature. However, we often get lost in our minds, don’t get outside enough, and lose sight of that connection.

I’ve been going on a lot of walks with my daughter lately, and have been trying my best to stay present with her and really take in all of the natural world around us. I am often pointing out all of the elements to her: the sky, grass, wind, birds, and trees. There is one tree in particular that we always stop at and admire on our daily walks. It’s a big, sturdy evergreen and we use it as a marker on our walks, always stopping to stand under its shade for a moment and say how beautiful it is. In this regular interaction with the tree, I somehow started thinking about all of the lessons that we can learn from nature, and in particular, from trees, once we allow ourselves to be open to it.

Here are 5 lessons I think we could all learn from trees:

1) Stand tall – Trees are the perfect reminder to stand tall, be proud, and own who we are. Trees don’t compare themselves to other trees, wish that they were different kind of trees, or look around to see what their neighbor trees are doing, they simply stand tall in the knowledge of who they are. In this way, trees teach us to be ourselves and always stand proud in the truth of who we are.

2) Stay grounded – At the same time, trees serve as a reminder to stay grounded. Trees honor their roots and know that all of their important work is done underground. It takes strong roots to grow into a big and mighty tree. This is a great lesson for us to concentrate our efforts on making our happiness an inside job, and being more concerned with how we are growing and developing internally, instead of seeking validation from the outer world.

3) Adapt to change – Perhaps the most important lesson that we can take from trees is to learn to adapt to change. Life is ever-changing, and trees know that in order to survive, they need to be adaptable to their surroundings. They learn to handle whatever challenges are thrown at them by the weather, adapt to many different climates, and bloom where they are planted. This is an incredibly wise lesson that we should all accept into our own lives.

4) Beauty comes with age – Have you ever noticed that the most beautiful trees are the ones that have been around the longest? Trees grow more lovely with each passing year. As trees age and mature, their foundation gets stronger, their trunks get sturdier, their blooms become more bountiful. This is the beauty that comes with age. Older trees have learned to withstand the seasons of life and know how to persevere in order to grow. They are no longer fighting for their survival; they have learned how to grow and are free to continue doing what now comes naturally to them. There is beauty and wisdom that comes with age. This is true for us as human beings just as much as it is for the trees!

5) Reach for the sky – A key part to a tree’s survival is to continue reaching for the sky. The sky provides nourishment from the sun and allows trees to continue growing and reaching higher and higher. Trees don’t place limits on themselves for what they can accomplish or how much they can grow. They simply keep reaching for the sky and trust that it will continue to provide for them. This is something that we can all aspire to; to go for our dreams and trust that we will be provided for.

I hope you find these lessons to be true for you. I encourage you to get outside, enjoy nature, and see if it has any wisdom to share with you. Beauty and truth are all around us in the natural world, we just have to make the time to look for it and stay open and curious to receiving its messages.

Have a beautiful week and make sure to get outside and look around for awhile. 🙂

Be well,
Ambar