Every December, I scour the internet finding the perfect reflection tool to prepare me for the next year. I love to take stock of my year and set goals for the future. There is something special about responding to a simple prompt and taking the time to slow down. I’ve been drawn to the winter solstice for several years now and always think I should do something special to mark the occasion. It is the longest day of the year! We are about to slowly grow in daylight, minute by minute.
We are in the great pause, a reminder that all life deserves rest before trying again.
Normally, I feel the passage of time really quickly. I have a lot of anxiety and fears about the future, so I struggle when it seems like time is passing too quickly. I want it to feel just right. I don’t want it to rush!
A few years ago, I was managing a local farmers market and harvesting on farms usually during the summer. One year, I started farming earlier than normal…maybe April or May, and I kept harvesting into October or November.
I realized that working at a pace that matched the earth’s was incredibly grounding for me. I appreciated the necessity of patience and hopefulness. Everything happened in due time. I couldn’t force anything to grow or sprout or root before it was ready. There was a time for everything and I had to adjust my own pace.
I felt so much more grounded that year. I’m sure all of the extra physical activity, more time with community, and fresh produce helped too, but I’m specifically referring to my sense of time. My anxiety and constant need to rush and control things simply had no purchase.
Seasonal Living as a Mindset
Since that experience, I’ve held onto the seasons and nature as a guide. We are animals of the earth. Our bodies know how to live according to the seasons. We hold this primal knowledge. We know that this is a time to slow down and rest. We are sleepier in the winter. We typically achieve less in the winter. We need more time to just undo the too-muchness of life.
In the farming world, the winter is the off-season. This is when you gather enough momentum to go through another year of harvests and markets.
Although my job only partially operates within the rhythm of nature (school breaks), I am still able to use nature as my guide. I notice the same fields and forests on each commute. I imagine myself in the forest and ask what I would see.
The logical, “well, actually” part of my brain wants to think about mycelium and bacteria and argue that what appears to be slowing down may still be very busy. But then I think of the mushrooms near me. Although there are still quite a few growing right now, once it freezes, we won’t find many at all. Everything is slowing down.
So, I think I should slow down too. I have absolutely no one I need to impress right now. My goal is only to focus on recovering from the challenges of the year, of the pandemic, of all the business of life.
Winter Solstice Reflection Guide – a Free Download
To support this process, I put together a Winter Solstice Reflection Guide. This is a free PDF with prompts to help you process 2021 and plan for 2022. Use this time to dig into your roots and make sure you’re planted in healthy soil. Give yourself a direction for new growth.
You can access the Winter Solstice Reflection Guide by clicking the graphic below!
Are you celebrating the winter solstice? If so, how? Be sure to share your ideas in the comments!