Self Care For The Winter Solstice And The New Year
Here we are in December, the darkest time of year. The Winter Solstice is the most Yin time of the year. Nature is asking us to slow down and reflect on the past so we can move gracefully into the future. As I started preparing myself for the Solstice, I felt compelled to share with you how I process this pivotal and transformative time of the year. Today, I’ll share with you my thought process, actions, and self care practices that promote a spiritual connection to the greater cycles of nature and my life.
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Clear Your Space
This is the time of year to clean out the clutter in order to find your lost sacred things, the objects that have been put away for a long time. Or, those special things that have been spread out around your home or office and placed in the wrong place. It’s time to reconnect with items that you’re not actively using, and decide if they should stay or be released?
Take your time to clear, clean, dust, and declutter those spaces and those objects. Move things around, wipe them down, polish them, and wash them. It’s important to release some items that have real world value too. This helps to clear your body, mind, and soul.
Real Life Examples
Even though I’ve stopped attending births, I still had an office filled with enough midwifery supplies to run a home birth practice. I had books and equipment that could be really helpful to other people. So, I donated a ton of books to the local thrift stores. And gave away or sold at a good price, useful midwifery equipment to student midwives. This was a win win situation, the future midwives have what they need to serve the birth community and it opened up new space in my office for the next chapter in my life and career.
Here is another smaller example, but it still feels important to mention. I have a cedar chest that holds a lot of my special items from The Red Tent ceremonies. In the chest, I found an old cut glass prism that used to hang in my window years ago. This prism has been in the darkness years. The other day, I found it, wiped it off, and hung it in the living room window. That action is symbolic of rediscovering our lost abilities. That prism could not cast it’s rainbows in the dark. It needs to be in the light for it’s abilities to work. In the right conditions and proper alignment, it’s abilities are activated, the light amplifies them, and living room mirror multiplies them.
In other words, dusting off and moving a simple object reveals, amplifies, and multiplies its abilities. That is what we are doing as we master our lives. We reveal, amplify, and multiply our abilities. All we need are the right conditions. Sometimes we have to look in the dirty dark places to find our lost treasures.
That’s what this Winter Solstice is asking us to do. It’s asking us to got to those dark and forgotten places of our lives to reveal our gifts. Reveal it, revere it, heal it, amplify and multiply it, share it, merge with it, let it move and guide you. Listen in the darkness with all your heart, body, and soul. This, becomes your wisdom of your body.
Remember Your Roots, Ancestors, and Lineage
Another huge aspect of this time of year is the need to look back and see where we came from and how we got here. It’s time to remember our roots.
Here’s another real life example. Based on our expected life span, and when anthropologists believe humans first existed, we’ve had approximately 2,300 mothers. That means that our mothers, mothers, mother..... goes back about 2,300 generations. I know you could imagine being in a room of 2,300 people. And get this, all of those generations except ours, our mothers, and maybe our grand mothers lived to survive. They did not have choices like we have now. They did not choose who they were married to, if they were going to have children or not, or how they were going to be educated. They lived to have children and to take care of the family. They lived to survive.
We are the products of that blood line. We are the results of their choices, actions and quest for a better life. Modern women are in an unprecedented time that our fore mothers have never experienced. We are able to choose the type of relationships we want to have. We can choose if we are going to have children, and our type of education. Women are making more empowering decisions and are more financially secure than ever before in recorded history.
Acknowledging our foremothers and thanking them for the sacrifices they made to teach us is important to not only heal our past but our future. We are at the front of the line. We have 2,300 mothers behind us. We are the first ones facing the future, facing the unknown. Of course it’s scary. No one has ever done this before. There is not a framework set up for it. That’s why self actualized women are literally creating their own destiny. The choices we make today can perpetuate the struggle and the suffering of our fore mothers, or they can heal ourselves, and our lineage and heal our children.
We are also a part of the lineage of wisdom keepers. For example, as a midwife, herbalist, and martial artist, I have a long list of mentors and teachers who gave up so much in order to teach me. This time of year asks us to send them gratitude and healing for their sacrifices and commitment to the healing arts. Because of their teachings their legacy continues.
Here’s a real world example of how we honor our lineage. At the end of my Qigong classes, we bow to our teachers, our teachers, teachers and the teacher within. I love this practice because it honors and respects our lineage of wisdom keepers and our own inner knowing.
Celebrating, Releasing, and Becoming
The Solstice and the end of the year provides us the opportunity to take an honest look at our past year or, in this case, the past decade. Let’s look at what we can celebrate, release and become. We have to look backwards in order to move forwards.
Celebrating Our Selves
Celebrating our biggest accomplishments, acknowledging and asking ourselves what are we the most proud of in our lives is an important practice. Our list of wins and accomplishments over this past decade is quite long! We’ve done so much that we can be proud of!
Here are a few of my proud moments of this past decade both personally and professionally:
- I have had the privilege of attending hundreds of home births as a Licensed Midwife
- Birth Song Botanicals has helped thousands of women breastfeed
- Birth Song Botanicals started as a hobby in 2009 and is now sold worldwide in 2019
- I’ve become a 2nd degree black belt in Tang Soo Do and now teach Tai Chi and Qigong
- My family is happy and healthy
I’m curious about your life what are some of your biggest wins? What are you the most proud of? Let us know in the comments!
Learning From Our Mistakes
When we acknowledge our wins we also have to reflect on our biggest lessons and mistakes. Even though these experiences may leave an un pleasant feeling in your heart, they are the waste products that needs to be released and let go of. What makes the best garden soil? Manure. The waste products become the best mulch for our new life affirming experiences to grow in.
Here Are A Few Of My Mistakes:
- Getting involved with internet scoundrels
- Signing auto renewing contracts
- Not choosing to spend time with my family and picking work over self care
- Believing my own self limiting beliefs
How about you? What were your big life lessons this past decade?
Who We’re Becoming
As I mentioned earlier, we are becoming the result of the 2,300 foremothers who passed on their legacy. What we are becoming is unprecedented. What we are becoming can be career and life style related or it can be something a little different.
Let’s talk about what could be different. What I’m referring too is on a soul level. Who we are becoming is not a perfect person. For example, I’ve heard this time and time again. In order to attract your soulmate you have to work through all your relationship problems before you can attract love into your life. To me that is, like saying you are not lovable until you don’t have any problems.
Or, if you are striving for success in the business world, unless you are high achiever, well polished, independent career woman you will not be successful.
That says your value is in your performance. Your self worth is in your job.
Yes, we all want a career that is in alignment with our core values. And one that serves and supports others, while making the world a better place. It takes a person who understands their value to do that type of work in the world. However, if you are not doing that right now, you are still valuable.
So, let me ask you, who are you becoming? Where do you find your self worth?
Nourishing Self Care Practices For The Winter Solstice
Doing this type of life affirming work takes a lot of energy and it stirs up emotions. My biggest suggestions to take excellent care of yourself are:
- Drink lots of water
- Get moving, stretch, breathe, practice qigong, take a hike
- Brew nourishing herbal teas
- Bathing in cleansing and restorative herb baths
- Eat healthy greens and take Chlorophyll
- Journal, share with a friend, laugh, cry, and sing
- Light candles, have a ceremony, ring bells, or build a fire
These are all great ways to support the cleansing and releasing process and help restore and nourish your body.
This time of the year can be confusing and artificially busy for us as we prepare for the holidays. I hope you get the opportunity to carve out the time it takes to fully clear your space, honor your lineage, celebrate your wins, learn from your lessons, and allow yourself to embrace the woman you are becoming. This important work supports you to move gracefully, and fearlessly into the next chapter of your life.
Until next time my friends, drink deep and always walk in beauty!
Happy Winter Solstice and Holidays!
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