Baby it’s cold outside and we’re upon the shortest day of the year, known as the Winter Solstice, or by Pagans as Yule. This day marks the point in the year where, from here on out, the days begin to grow and the Sun makes it’s return. The underlying themes of this glorious Pagan holiday are gratitude, introspection, and planning, and that is exactly what we’ll be reflecting on today.
For this exercise, take three pieces of paper out. On the first, list everything you are grateful for from the past year. Then, on the second, take a personal inventory of how much you’ve grown from the beginning of 2017. Write out a timeline and see if you can mark off your personal growth through the months.
Next, as I explained in my email blast, this is where it get’s interesting.
From your growth’s trajectory, I want you to see if you can derive some values from the direction you’ve been heading. Have you been paying more attention to self care? Have you acted more courageously? Have you only kept those that are loyal close to you?
These characteristics are the things that you hold close, and should serve as your guidepost to intentionally move into 2018.
So from here, flip that paper over and write out your goals for 2018, but try to align them with the values you’ve carved out for yourself.
This is just a taste of the kind of work we’ll be doing in my new group program, starting January 2018, Resolve to Revolutionize. Check it out so you can start your year right, and stay witchy ( *)
For many of us, it’s hard to slow down when it gets cold. But going against nature and what our body needs causes us unnecessary stress (and sometimes even depression.) Use any of these quick tips to honor hibernation season and preserve your strength to kick ass for the long run, instead of burning out entirely.
Know what your body is asking for: Listen, I totally understand that you’ve made a pact with yourself to get up at 5am and work out, but what do you do when you know you’re getting sick? Do you push through it anyways, only to find that you’re sicker for longer after that CrossFit class? Sometimes staying in bed isn’t worth feeling guilty over, and will preserve your health for longer lasting results.
Obligations don’t exist: Holiday parties are fun, sure, but they can fill your social calendar to the point of literal anxiety. You’re allowed to say no, and to stay home in your pjs while you warm by the fire. I’m not saying to completely be the Hermit, but also know when to say “no.”
If you have to, schedule downtime: Now this might be the type A in me talking, but if it isn’t in my planner, I simply won’t do it. If your schedule is jam packed to that point, I suggest scheduling in a movie at home so you KNOW you have to sit down and relax. Write in “bubble bath” at 8pm and don’t bring your phone. Anything to honor the resting period.
Remember gratitude: If you’re so busy with Christmas shopping, holiday parties, work events, etc. that it makes you want to scream, remember to be grateful that you have things going on. You could be one of the humans out there on the street in the snow, and even though it may seem like they’re not doing much, they certainly aren’t relaxing. Be grateful for your busy schedule, and make time for yourself because you have the freedom to do it.
All in all, just remember you’re shooting for longevity, and pushing against your body will not serve you. Mind the seasons, honor rest, and stay witchy ( *)
A big part of being a witch is being receptive to nature, and this past year I have been more aware of the seasons than ever. Growing up in LA, you don’t really have a sense of the seasons because the weather is always great, and I honestly think that was adding to this empty feeling that I had there.
I wasn’t getting the reminders that I so painfully needed.
Two days ago marked the first snowfall here in NYC, and I remembered to go really gentle on myself and use the cue from the weather to slow down and reconnect with my values. Usually during these next three months I have to fight seasonal depression, but this year feels completely different. It feels like honoring myself with a slow pace is exactly what I need.
As with the Hermit, I will be spending more days inside, more days resting, and more days reflecting. With warm sweaters, tea, and love in my heart, I will be remembering what our ancestors would do during the winter solstice. I will honor my animal side and take more naps during hibernation season. I will rest and reflect so that I can blossom in the spring.
The Wheel of Fortune reminds us that things move in cycles, and as with any natural progression, there is a point of stillness. Taking things easy feels right and natural. It is time to recharge our bodies!
And this doesn’t mean I will stop working, or even stop playing. But it does mean my level of consciousness surrounding my body’s adaptability and needs will be heightened. It means there will be no shame in rest.
So remember to listen to your aches and pains. Your sniffles and breath. Because slowing down now will give you longevity later. Stay aware and stay witchy ( *)