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Winter Solstice Meditation with Louise

The winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. It’s a pivotal moment in the annual celestial cycle symbolising the changing of the seasons and the promise of the return of the brighter, longer days. As a season, winter gives us full permission to embrace the darkness because the solstice provides hope and faith that the warmth and light will return.

At this winter solstice, Mercury is also in retrograde, which is reminding us again to slow down and reflect on the year that has passed. It's very tempting to rush around and over schedule ourselves at this time of year, but I invite you to pause and take some time this solstice to be completely present with the season.

Here are some things you can do to celebrate the winter solstice:

Light some candles: Embrace the symbolism of light conquering darkness (Twinkly Christmas lights also work well!)

Connect with nature: Bring a bit of nature indoors by decorating your home with evergreen plants like holly and mistletoe and pine. (Tinsel optional :))

Journal: Take time to reflect on the past year and set some intentions for the year ahead for personal growth and renewal.

Gaze at the stars: The long night means more time to marvel at the stars and admire the beauty of the moon.

Practice meditation: Surrender to the stillness that winter encourages us to find and allow yourself to feel part of the shift that is about to take place in nature. Reflect on your desires for the year ahead and let go of anything you wish to leave behind. See meditation script below.

Winter solstice meditation:

Find a comfortable position either sitting, or lying down.

Close your eyes and gently bring your awareness to your breathing.

Spend a few moments here, observing your breath as it enters and leaves your body.  There is no need to change your breathing in any way. Simply become aware of it, as though noticing it for the very first time.

I invite you now to connect to the energy of the earth. Visualise roots growing from the soles of your feet, or tailbone, whichever parts of you are connected with the ground, down to the centre of the earth, around which you wind your roots and your awareness. 

Notice how you are pulled a bit tighter in your seat.

Sit quietly for a few moments, taking several breaths that are slow, sweet and deep. Allow your body to relax and experience the sensation of being completely supported by the earth on which you sit.

Notice how your body feels, the quality of your mind, the feeling in your heart.

As a season, winter gives us full permission to embrace the darkness because the solstice provides hope and faith that the warmth and light will return.

From the darkness of the womb, a baby is born into a world of light.

During the dark, long nights of autumn and winter, the Earth shifts and gives us the steady return of sunlit days and warm seasons.

Darkness presents the opportunity to explore deeply within our bodies, hearts and minds. 

In our winter hibernation, we can sit quietly, turning our awareness inward, learning and revealing what we might shed to make space for new beginnings in the light of the new year ahead.

This is a wonderful time to honour renewal and rebirth by embracing the darkness so that we can experience and enjoy the light!

Be present for the return of the light. 

Turn inward and become aware of what is about to take place in nature, so that you can allow yourself to feel a part of the shift.

Within the darkness, nature moves quietly towards spring. The winter solstice involves planning and designing for the year ahead.

As the sun stands still, so can we rest in the stillness between the end of one cycle and the beginning of the next.

This is a time to reflect and assimilate all of the wisdom, thoughts and feelings that have been cultivated in the dark and bring them into the light.

The light within me illuminates my goals, aspirations and dreams.

Now let’s turn our attention to the year that has past. All the moments of joy, love, happiness and growth, and all the challenges, failures, and mistakes. All of the things that made 2023 the year that it was for you. Try not to judge these memories or get caught up in the storylines. Simply bringing them to mind, observing them and acknowledging them. Whatever they were, it’s okay.

As we enter the new year, Let’s take this opportunity to let go of anything we’d like to leave behind. It may be an emotion, a state of mind, a habit, a relationship, experience, whatever it may be. What would you like to leave behind?

And as we breathe in we can say to ourselves thank you for this year 

And as we breath out we can let go of whatever it is we want to leave behind. 

Breathing in… with gratitude - thank you for this year

Breathing out… letting go of whatever we want to leave behind

And now, as we continue to reflect on the year that has past, we can take the opportunity to decide what we would like to keep. What would you like to take with you in to 2024? Again, it may be a feeling, a state of mind, a positive experience, a moment of learning or personal growth, a memory.

Taking a few moments here to reflect on whatever it is that you’ll be taking with you from the past year, to the new year as you breathe

And now, as we look to the year ahead and all of the possibilities, opportunities and experiences yet to come, what new thing would you like to cultivate or bring to this new year? Allow your heart to reveal what you’d like to metaphorically give birth to, renew or awaken within yourself during the brighter days ahead.

It might be a sense of gratitude or a new mind set, it might be more love and compassion for yourself, forgiveness. It might be a new goal, habit or skill. 

Whatever it is, hold it in mind as you breath it in to your body. Let it fill your whole body along with the breath.

The light within me illuminates my goals, aspirations and dreams.

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