winter solstice pause

Meteor trail over San Francisco Bay at sunset of winter solstide.

Today is the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere – the darkest day of the darkest week of the year.

It is the moment before the balance shifts and light begins to overtake darkness.

There is a brief moment of change, a pause, as the sun changes direction from decrease to increase.

This darkest day of the darkest week beckons us to pause.

 

What does any great athlete do before they…

…. dive into the water

…. throw the discus

…. grab the rings

They pause.

What are they thinking about?

Nothing — absolutely nothing.

They clear their minds.

That’s what the solstice beckons us to do.

Just stop and be present.

Go a little more slowly. Be a little gentler.

Wait a moment before you think about what to do next, how to solve the problem on your mind or your goals for the new year.

In a moment the darkness will begin to recede and light will begin to increase. Hope and desire will increase. Then it will be time to reflect on the past and set goals to guide us forward.

But first, take a moment to simply pause.

This is the special moment of between – the moment that separates what was from what can be.

This is my annual tribute to the winter solstice. I hope you can take some time between the festivities of the holidays to relax, be present, and think about nothing.

Photo credit: L James Johnson

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