Turning Toward the Light

This is a very dark time of the year, literally as we near the Winter Solstice, marking the longest night of the year and metaphorically, for me, as we enter this holiday season. I have always looked forward to this time of year with the anticipation of a child as it has been an opportunity to connect to my family with an abundance of traditions, time, food and celebration­‑truly reliving my own childhood. I see now how much of my joy I had yoked to my children being “together” and continuing so many “traditions.” This year, the change I have been dreading has finally come, our house that in the past, felt ripe with the anticipation of the season is now empty of the children and much quieter with just Jerry and I. Our youngest child won’t be able to come home for Christmas but will instead join us for New Years. Everything has changed, the ground beneath my feet feel unsteady, I don’t know what is in front of me and when I think of the past, the grief is overwhelming. As I stand in this field of darkness, I find comfort in Meister Eckhart’s words, “Truly, it is in the darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then the light is nearest to all of us.”

Today, I am finding the courage to turn towards the light. We are going to find a living Christmas tree, a new tradition for our family, to bring in light to our home in a smaller gentler way. I will play the holiday music that stirs my soul and allow the tears to come as a reminder of how deeply I love. I will plan a few special holiday events to celebrate this season of friendship and family, making new memories and maybe also, in the process, new traditions. Our yoga practice this month will focus on healing restorative poses that open our hearts, ground our bodies and nurture our souls. We will practice a slow nurturing breath, gentle gaze up to allow the warm light to pour in and plenty of quiet to fill our hearts with compassion and loving-kindness. Here are a few of my favorite quotes that help me find my inner light:

“The dark does not destroy the light….it defines it.”
“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”
“Deep in their roots all flowers keep the light.”
“People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out; but, when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

Namaste (my inner light sees and bows to your inner light),

Deanna

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