Are you exhausted? Maybe here’s why, Dear One…
For the hundreds of thousands of years of human existence — as hunter gatherers or agrarian peoples — this time of less daylight during the winter brought rest. Before electricity made it possible to ignore the yearly cycles of light and darkness, it’s likely that our ancestors spent much more of the winter asleep. Ah ha!
But we have a multitude of flashy distractions to help us deny or ignore our own evolutionary need for quiet and rest. Human evolution can’t possibly have caught up with the speed of our modern technological advances.
With all that light, we can’t help but be drawn outward toward all that must be done. We indulge our fascination with the endless possibilities for work and play, always occupied, always busy doing, doing, doing.
We are a culture addicted to doing. If we’re not catching up on work, these dark evenings are likely to find us exhausted, scrolling through social media or watching Netflix.
When you’re not running at breakneck speed or collapsed in distracted recovery the subtle messages that draw you back to our own wisdom will want to emerge. Only we’d rather avoid them, right? Something like, “I just can’t take this anymore!” or “There’s got to be a change!” or “I want to give up!”
Maybe that’s why we stay so busy. Amped up on caffeine to get through our long list of have to’s, we block the deeper primordial ancient impulse calling us back to quiet and rest.
Beyond just our bodies’ need to harmonize with our surroundings, if we allow it, this time of year offers a chance to tune in and listen for a deeper calling from our essence. And settling in to listen for the longing beneath all our doing opens us to the Wisdom this time can reveal.
But what December usually brings is parties and staying up late. Then we can’t help but be distracted from going inward to nourish ourselves with what we most naturally crave. Usually we don’t even feel the longing. Instead we call it depression.
I’ve been wondering lately if SAD — Seasonal Affective Disorder — is less about the lack of light in our lives near the Winter Solstice and more about how we don’t attend to our very real human need — body and soul — for downtime.
But maybe this year, it could be different.
As we move day by day into the December darkness and the approaching Winter Solstice on 21 December, I invite you – maybe for just a few minutes each day – to let yourself off the hook of all that over-doing, and receive the gift of spaciousness and revelation that this growing darkness has to offer you.
As much as we may try to distance ourselves within the comfort of our homes, we are undeniably a part of nature and it’s cycles. During the few weeks before and after the Winter Solstice there is less than one minute’s change in the amount of light and darkness.
At this darkest part of the year I invite you to experience your body’s natural alignment with its surroundings, with the natural world that you are undeniably a part of.
So I invite you to take 4 minutes right now to take this short relaxing journey with me …
I encourage you to let the simple pleasure of a few quiet minutes be something you might like to infuse into many of your evenings as we draw closer to the Winter Solstice on Wednesday, December 21st.
And, if you are within an easy commute from my home in the Berkshires, why not consider joining me and a small group of women who will be gathering together for a Retreat Day to rest and explore the wisdom of this pivotal point of the wheel of the year? Click here for full details and to register to join us.
With so much love,