The winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year, for us in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the time when the sun is at its most southward point from the earth’s equator. The time when darkness is at its peak. Tuning into how this plays out in nature provides an opportunity to observe how this plays out in our lives.
In Chinese medicine, yin is at its peak in the middle of winter. Yin energy resembles the dark, stillness, the moon, going inward, flowing like water and traditionally viewed as divine femine power. What we cannot see in the dark, we must feel.
While the long dark days can bring up darkness in oneself, the celebration of the solstice focuses on the rebirth of the light. From today forward, the light begins to grow as the dark begins to wane. The dominant yin energy slowly transforms into dominant yang energy. Yang energy resembles the light, motion, the sun, taking action, feeling ignited like fire and traditionally viewed as divine masculine power.
The time of the new year asks us what we want to create moving forward, utilizing the slowly growing yang energy. While yin is still close to its peak, the hibernation energy is still very much with us.
If you are a person who struggles to take things slowly, and you are constantly on the go, remember that in order to avoid feeling depleted, everything must be in balance. Try cultivating some of that “go, go, go” energy into a more restorative energy. Meditation, walks in nature, yin yoga and acupuncture are some ways to go about this.
If you are a person who feels like more of an innate hibernator, try putting some energy towards taking steps forward in planning what you want to create. Now is a good time to get out your 3- year, 5 -year, even 10 -year plan and check in with them.
You have autonomy. Are you engaged with your goals and taking the actions needed to create the life you want? Or, are you practicing patience while waiting for clarity to be revealed? There is no right or wrong. While yin is at its peak, seeds of intention should be planted for what you want to nourish and grow. This way, you will be ready to step into your more action- oriented self as the restorative winter energy slowly melts away.
Whether you identify as a person who has difficulty relaxing, or a person who has difficulty taking action, or anywhere in between, the time of the winter solstice is a time to reset, re- ground and rebuild. The goal of vital health comes from a balanced life. Wishing you all a beautiful winter solstice and a Happy New Year.