Happy solstice! Somewhere around today, plus or minus a day depending on where you're reading from, the days are at their longest or their shortest for the year. Being in the northern hemisphere, for me it's the longest day. Sunset is around 10pm, and sunrise not far after 5am. Did you know the term "solstice" comes from the Latin solstitium and actually refers to the sun standing still? If one traces the movements of the sun through the sky each day, noting where it sets in relation to the equator, it's as if the sun will not move closer nor father away for a few days. And then, it reverses. The days soon start becoming shorter or longer again, as the sun begins its journey back toward the opposing tropic. The ancients used to spend much more time looking up into the skies as compared to what we do today. The sky was critically important for orienting oneself correctly with all aspects of life. I get I'm probably sounding like a broken record on this, but here is your latest reminder to prioritise pausing, and maybe even looking up. Of taking a moment to remember this field of incredible information we're plugged into. We have our smart phones and watches and gadgets that remind us if we are moving enough and breathing well and some even telling us our blood sugar at regular intervals. But that's not the information I'm referring to. I'm talking subtle energies. If everything is training (and I'd assert it is), then by leaning further and further into these modern technologies, I can't help but wonder if are we not training ourselves to disconnect from the innate wisdom of ourselves, of our planet. These two things are not too dissimilar if you really think about it, though I'll save the deep mystery teachings for another time...! I recently got back from a week exploring the beautiful country of Portugal, including many glorious beaches that remind me of my home in Australia. I was completely taken by the landscape. Rugged cliffs, beautiful panoramas, cool ocean waters. Simply having a bunch of consecutive days where my feet were on the earth and my eyes receiving many hours of natural, unfiltered sunlight, I felt the pace of everything in my body slow down. My inner pace oriented to something much more comfortable. Contrast huh?! Much like that of the sun and how it relates differently with the two hemispheres as the years cycle through. Spring and summer are for growth and eventually harvest. It's hot and lots is happening. Busyness. Autumn and winter are for stockpiling and hibernating. Slowing down, going in. I wonder, how much attention are you paying to your internal summers and winters, and to the height of the sun in your internal sky? A little less poetically: are you in touch with what you need right now? In a world that will take whatever we can give it 24/7, this is so, so important. As important as looking up was for the ancient civilisations. I have to admit, when I returned from my trip and my work week started I was tempted to slip into overwhelm at how long my to-do list had grown. But then I caught myself and decided to respond differently. I spent just a short time planning things out and making sure I had communicated well with relevant stakeholders, planned in some recharge and enjoy time in between commitments, and now I get to move into this next phase with a healthy mindset and confident I can serve at a high level. The level I require of myself. I am sure I'm going to slip in and out of that mindset as life keeps asking, "...a little more? What about this? And this too...?" It's my responsibility to keep dancing that dance sustainably, adjusting the sails accordingly. I'm here for it. Just as it's up to you to know what time it is for you. Is it a time for planting or harvesting? For collecting or throwing away? For living or dying (with respect to parts of you, not in the real sense)? Weeping or rejoicing? For love or hate? Silence or speaking up? All of this contrast is part of this human experience. It's all valid. And it's nothing new. Everything is contrast and cycles and we're constantly navigating these polarities, even if we don't acknowledge them as such. Just as the sun dances with the horizon in different places. But it's all part of a bigger happening. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. - Ecclesiastes 1:9 The mystery of the sun deepens... The solstice may just provide to you an opportunity to stop, to stand still a few days, and to reorient your direction with something that feels more aligned. Will you make use of it? If now is a time for awareness, or even action-taking, and you'd like a witness to your declaration, I invite you to share that with me by reply. For now, may you have all the resources you need for any change in direction that's calling you this week.
Not yet subscribed? Click the image below to make sure my latest personal development perspectives are arriving in your inbox.