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Solstice Hope December 21, 2014

Filed under: CranioSacral,Gratitude — Reflections Integrative Therapy @ 1:44 pm
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It’s drizzling this Solstice morning, a constant leak from the low hanging clouds. I awoke this morning to no celebratory sunrise, but rather to the drip of another Sunday morning, the brilliant moss covered trees feeding from the sky. And while it has been some days since I have seen the sun, I am aware that this day is a sacred one in which we begin our steady march back into the days of longer light. It is slow to come, I know this. It seems more as if we are just now making our nests in the heart of this dark winter, preparing our bodies for the long nights. But that is the thing about movement, about the rhythms of nature; sometimes it is so gradual that you cannot even feel it happening. The long breath of the universe, in and out.

It is the expansion and contraction that is at the core of each of us. The inward curling and the outward reaching, the flexion and extension, the in breath and the out, the systolic and diastolic, the curling and uncurling of our hearts and the way in which this movement pulses through our bodies. And at the turning point in each, there is a pause. A moment of holding the breath before an exhale, the rest before the contraction, the gathering of potency before the uncurling. It is both where we gather our strength and where we rest our bones.

And so this day, as we turn back toward the light, I am feeling the pause. Resting into this moment, one foot in darkness and the other in light. The moment contains both the deepest rest and the most vibrant awakeness. It is an awareness of what has been and what is to come, it is pregnant with mourning and anticipation, relief and trepidation, certainty and uncertainty. It is the moment between moments. The embodiment of possibility.

At the core of the pause rests one simple idea: hope. Hope that the in-breath will come, hope that the light will return, hope for rest, hope for inspiration, hope that anything is possible next. It is that moment between moments when all we have is hope.

And so on this day, when we turn back toward the light, I invite you to offer gratitude for the dark, for the struggles and challenges and heartbreaks that have littered your path, knowing that despite the turning point there will surely be more darkness to come. But just as likely is the possibility for light to come, for goodness and ease and celebration. The ever-present expansion and contraction of our existence. But today, today I will meet you there in the pause. And in that moment between moments, we will rest in hope.

 

Dreaming in darkness December 24, 2011

Filed under: CranioSacral,Massage Therapy — Reflections Integrative Therapy @ 6:55 pm
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This song came on during my flight this morning and this line struck me:

“If the night isn’t dark enough the moon won’t glow.”

It’s Christmas in the airport, a hub of travel traffic, a cross-section of the country (or at least those within the socioeconomic strata that can afford air travel, or even to live away from family), and I am making my way to the East Coast from Colorado. Trading bluebird mountain skies for the rich chill of the Atlantic in December.

Solstice was Wednesday night and so while that marks the official start of winter, it also means that from here on out the days start getting longer again. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the darkness and light of this time of year. It feels like there’s so much emphasis on celebrating and gathering and…consuming (let’s face it, shopping could well be considered the most pervasive coping mechanism we as a culture have developed), in part to make the light all the brighter in the midst of the darkest nights of the year.

But why? What is it about darkness that we try to avoid, try to soften with so much light? Is it the introspection that darkness invites? What do we find in those quiet parts of ourselves that don’t often get our attention during the rest of the year? Why is it only in darkness that we give ourselves permission for that self-exploration? Perhaps it’s security, in that darkness it’s harder to see the parts of ourselves we keep hidden. But, I think it’s more than that. And I think it demands a re-framing of how we interact with darkness. I think there is comfort in the darkness. I think it speaks to the dualities that we embody, a world of both/and rather than either/or. There is room for all of it, for the light and the dark. And at the risk of being cliché, they need one another. Just as any duality that we embody needs one another, darkness and light depend on each other in essence for their very existence. And within us all, there is room for both. The possibility of light makes delving into darkness a little less scary, and the presence of darkness allows for a turn inward – a move towards an inward process of self-exploration – before stepping back out into the light It reminds us of the impermanence and cyclical nature of existence. Darkness gives way to light; light gives way to darkness, and on and on. Every day in fact.

And so with Christmas, my intention going into this week with family and friends is to rest into darkness and marvel at the light, holding gratitude for both. In navigating the tricky territory of grief and allowing myself to move through loss, it feels important to keep a candle burning to help guide me out of the darkness, but not illuminate too much. There are lessons to be learned in the darkness, rich teachings and comfort even to be found in those moments when sight is dulled and instead the perception that comes from feeling must step to the foreground. There are learnings in even the darkest places of ourselves.

Wednesday night, as the snow came down, I stood on my porch marveling at the illumination of the sky. It’s that night sky that gets nearly as bright as daylight when it snows because of the snow reflecting off of the ground light. I stood outside as the moment of Solstice came and went and realized that this was the longest, darkest night of the year, yet here I was able to clearly make out all of my neighbors homes and yards. And it dawned on me, maybe darkness doesn’t always look dark. Perhaps in those places we are expecting to be the darkest, we actually find the most illumination.

 

 
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