Winter Solstice Water Solace
The solstice is almost here, a time to look back upon the year and feel gratitude for all of the blessings and challenges that we have had. The solstice is a celebration of the return of the light, the birth of the sun after the darkness. It is also an opportunity to celebrate winter, and we are definitely in winter. A good portion of the country has had some “actual” cold weather and snow. . . yes, snow, even in the south. Thank goodness! Personally, I love winter, though I know many, many people who don’t. Growing up in Texas, it’s a season that you don’t truly get to experience. That's why I appreciate it so much.
The Water Element
In Chinese 5 Element theory, winter is associated with the Water Element. The Water Element is about renewal, resources, stillness, and consolidating power and potency. Winter is a time when most plant life on the surface of the planet dies or goes underground. Most trees have lost their leaves and are left with bare branches and trunks. It is a time of coming into alignment with what is essential. There are no more harvests, and all the food that has been saved and stored has to last until spring comes. Winter is an important time for resting, moving inward, conserving and consolidating the resources. Until the somewhat recent advent of electricity, this is what people did. . . because if you didn’t, you could die. That’s the stark reality. Winter is not a time of action.
We no longer have this relationship with winter as a culture. Winter happens to coincide with the holiday season, which for many people is the busiest time of year. There are tons of holiday parties to attend, traveling to see family, shopping, and the excessive spending of money and energy. It is energetically the opposite of what we would be doing if we were living in harmony with the natural cycles of nature. Funny, huh?!? Ahem, uh consumerism, corporate greed. . . . okay, never mind, I’m not going to go there. Anyway, it can be hard to disconnect from that frenzy of excitement and the energy of going and doing. It can be challenging to pause and rest.
Pause, Rest and Reset
Simple advice, right? I find it easier said than done. Cut back on the coffee, allow yourself to be tired (just so you know, I’m saying this to myself too). Take naps if you need them without shame and judgement. I’ll say it again, winter is not a time of action, it is a time of stillness. Your self worth is not dependent on what you accomplish in this season. Treat rest as an accomplishment. With the days being so short, there is an abundance of darkness, let that darkness nourish you. Soak it up. You can thank me later. Recharge your battery now and have more energy for the new year. It is preventative medicine at its finest and it doesn’t cost a thing. I’m not saying to let your inner fire go out, it is important to keep it burning so you can get through the winter because without warmth, there is no life. Allow yourself to be comforted by the darkness and stillness of Winter, to find solace in the Water Element, and you will come to know potency, vitality and longevity.