Winter Solstice - A Time for Reflection
Theresa Polley
December 6, 2023
January 3, 2024
Self Care

The older (and wiser!) I get, the more I welcome change as I know it’s exactly what I need. I don’t always recognize what needs to change, so I resist. But in the end, change is inevitable like the changing seasons - I find it’s better to surrender than to try to fight it.

Winter Solstice is an opportunity to find stillness and reflection before moving into the new year - our yearly fresh start.. Press pause to approach the new year with a grateful heart and open mind. Winter Solstice is the perfect opportunity to go within – a time of journaling and self reflection - to recognize patterns and redirect your energy for the new year.

You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. ~C. JoyBell C.

We must consciously choose to pursue what nourishes us, while letting go of what depletes us. Just as nature has periods of decay, change and stillness; so do we. Give yourself permission to rest, reset and make peace prioritizing your needs.

Celebrate the Winter Solstice

This year, December 21 marks the Winter Solstice, the first day of Winter and the shortest day of the year. The word solstice comes from the Latin words sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still) – roughly translated as the day that the sun stands still.

Take your cue from the sun, as we move into winter and the solstice approaches and commit to find stillness and time for yourself as the perfect antidote during a time of year that may feel hectic and overwhelming. You deserve it.

A few weeks before Winter Solstice, I begin by intentionally reviewing my journals from years past and congratulating myself on how far I’ve come. I find gratitude for the moments of joy AND the challenges I’ve overcome

Looking back over the past year allows me to recognize where I've spent my time and energy. Journaling allows me to process my thoughts and emotions from this year and prepares me to move into my new year unencumbered and full of hope.

I ask myself these questions:

  • What brought you joy this year? People, books, activities, movies, etc - all the joys.
  • Have you given time and energy to someone or something that is no longer giving you what you need?
  • Make a list of lessons learned - the hard lessons and the gentle reminders.
  • What have you let go of in the past year?
  • What are you still working on letting go of in the new year?
  • What new opportunities and experiences are you looking forward to in the new year?

Honor Yourself and What You Need

  1. Take time for self reflection. If you journal, review your journal from the past year. If you're new to journaling you can start now. Review 2023 - the ups and downs and all things in between. Start in January and walk through your year by reviewing your calendar. Make note of what events on your calendar brought you joy and what merely felt like an obligation.
  2. Sleep better with a Guided Meditation. Yoga Nidra or another guided meditation practiced right before bed will calm your nervous system and slow down the fight or flight response that is so prevalent at this time of year.
  3. Take stock of how you spend your day. Every minute counts. Are your activities causing anxiety or joy? Who are you spending time with - people who lift you up or people who are critical and negative? What are you telling yourself - words of love or words of negativity? Your voice is usually the loudest of them all.
  4. Give yourself permission. A pause from the rush of the holidays and limiting your social obligations so you may spend time with yourself is the exact nourishment that your body, mind and spirit need. This may be the most important of all.

Find What You Need Within

Everything we need is within us. Once we recognize that we really do have the answers and our intuition is always right - we can allow ourselves to grow in our own strength. May your Winter Solstice Practice give you exactly what you need.

Press pause on all you're doing for others and instead prioritize you. Self reflection sets the stage for a fresh start. Gift yourself time to celebrate and honor what you need AND what you want - start with a healing Winter Solstice Practice.

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Theresa Polley

Theresa believes ALL women have the right to live life on their own terms. In 2004, she created Retreat in the Pines to give women a safe space to be their authentic selves without apology while finding the healing and renewal they deserve.

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