Setting Intentions with the Winter Solstice

yoga Daventry

The winter solstice is a time to reflect on the past and make plans for moving forward into the new year. It is a time when nature has a lot to teach us if we take the time to listen and observe.  Think about how animals choose to hibernate at this time of the year. Having spent the autumn preparing their food stores and their homes, they retreat to their warm caves and burrows and allow themselves the time to rest and recharge. The trees shed their leaves to conserve their energies in preparation for the coming spring and their time of renewal. Our predecessors knew the value of getting together with friends and family, feasting and resting over the winter months. They would embrace the darkness as a time to gather round the fire and share stories of their year, knowing the lighter days were soon to return.

As modern day human beings, we often disregard the lessons we could take from nature and our ancestors and instead, choose to rush around and become even more busy over the festive season. We fill our days with the harshness of artificially lit shopping centres and consume rich or processed foods. We may even finds ourselves drinking more alcohol as a way to numb our already overloaded senses. Not surprisingly, we can face burn out at this time of year. Yoga, meditation and self-reflection are wonderful ways for us to embrace the older ways and find contact with our souls again.

Before we get too wrapped up in the festivities of Christmas, use the solstice and the days proceeding it to really reflect upon the ups and downs of the past year. All too often we wallow in the negatives or conversely, try and ignore them in the hopes that we can also ignore how we really feel. It’s important to acknowledge the trials we have faced, the situations, people, or relationships that may have caused us to feel anger, frustration, sadness or fear. It is difficult; but we need to be able to sit with those feelings because the very act of making them conscious is cathartic, allowing us to move forward and allowing us to heal.

As we experience these feelings and acknowledge them, breathe deeply. Recognise that these are feelings which are perfectly acceptable to have but that these feelings do not have control or power over us unless we let them. In every challenge there is an opportunity for growth, so extract the lesson from each situation and make that what you take from these experiences.

When we let something go, we make room for something new to enter our lives. Once we have released any emotional baggage, self-sabotaging behaviours, and have cleared the physical and emotional space, we are able to consciously start creating the kind of future we want.

Remember that typically, many new year’s resolutions come from a place of scarcity or lack - giving up something or denying ourselves. Instead, think about setting intentions that will allow you to manifest the truth and inspirations of your higher self. Don't disregard anything that may seem like wishful thinking; when we align ourselves with our own inner truths we are able to really hear what our souls want.