Wrapping-up 2020: Pause, reflect, and take a breath

As the days grow shorter in the northern hemisphere, we move towards the solstice, winter, and the end of this most challenging year. It is our natural time to descend, to go deep inside. Life has taught us many things in this past year. Now it is time to go inside and reflect.

One important lesson of this year has been reconstructing our sacred space, both internally and externally.  The importance of tending our bodies and souls—and finally being given the time to do so.

In ancient times we were aligned with the seasons. We naturally did this; we went inside in the winter and retreated to our sacred space. In modern times we have been taught to power through, overcome all obstacles, and make things happen, never stop, forge ahead. Technology may have supplied us with machines to push us through, but have our bodies and souls forgotten that internal rhythm?

The death, or fallow phase, should not be frightening or inconvenient; it is necessary for the cycle. It is time to rest and rejuvenate—to process what has happened in the past year and contemplate what seeds we want to plant once spring arrives.

Intuitively we know that we do not have to bend to that programming. We know that we need to reconnect to our natural rhythm—realign with the seasons’ cosmic dance. The body and soul need a period of rest, just like the fields.

So now that the universe has conspired with you to give you that opening, what will you do? Will you find a way to forge ahead against all that is happening around you, or will you pause, take a breath, take a moment to take it all in, reflect, and contemplate?

To me, that is the purpose of new year’s resolutions. They are not an opportunity to give ourselves more to do or unrealistic expectations, but as a practice of intention after a long time looking back at the past year in contemplation. After separating the wheat from the chaff, what seeds would you like to plant in the new phase? How would you like to move into the new year?

As always, I would recommend journaling—first about last year and what you learned and how you grew, and then about the new year and how you can support yourself through those things that didn’t go smoothly or turn out exactly as you had hoped. Then take the time over the winter months to read, learn new skills, contemplate, and rest so that when springtime comes, you are refreshed, centered, and ready to jump in with both feet!


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