Tending the Light

The energy is ramping up. Do you feel it? Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you can’t escape the intensity of the hustle and bustle going on all around us. Just going to the grocery store requires extra effort and time during this holiday season. I’ve talked to a lot of people lately who tell me that they are experiencing melancholy, sadness, and unexplained grief right now. “It’s the holidays." they say, "They just seem to bring that out.”

While that may very well be true, it’s not enough for me to leave it at that. I want to know why, in the midst of the joy, we feel sad. I want to know why I can be at a party, happy to be there among friends and yet feel melancholy.

I can’t help but feel that the reason this is happening is because we are going against our nature. The energy we’re all expressing right now is really the opposite of what our bodies and hearts are intended and drawn to do.

Just as the earth is contracting and settling into herself for this dark, cold time of the year, we yearn to do the same. Yet the cultural norm at this time of year is to expand and be out there: Holiday parties, shopping, concerts, shows, celebrating with friends.

Going against our nature, denying what we need for our emotional well-being, has a way of dampening our internal light. I believe that’s part of what’s making us sad – not enough time to be quiet, take stock, soak it in, slow down.

But it’s more than that. The grief that comes up at this time of year, be it for old wounds that haven’t yet healed or for new ones that have recently pierced the heart, is meant to be expressed. And what better time to do that than the quiet time of winter? But we’re not being quiet! We’re running around like the proverbial chicken. The tension this creates can make us cranky, confused, and frustrated.

The tree will come down, the wrapping will be tossed, and the cookies will be all eaten, but at the end of this holiday season, our hearts will be clamoring for the quiet time to do our work. That work may be grief work. It may be allowing for the creative stirrings of our next project. It may be time to review the past year and plan for the coming year. Whatever we need to do during the dark of winter, it is in service to the light within us.

To keep myself centered and grounded this month, I light a candle every morning, first thing. This candle serves as a symbol of the light within me, begging for expression, and the light within everyone with whom I will come in contact with that day. It’s a small act and it doesn’t take much time, but it’s impact is huge. Lighting the candle every morning ignites my sense of calm, connection and hope.


An Invitation

 What about you? What is a small thing you can do to be in alignment with your natural desires right now? What can you do in just five minutes to restore your sense of peace?