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Winter Solstice

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I Am NEW! Solstice 2018

HAPPY SOLSTICE!

HAPPY SOLSTICE!

All of heaven and all of earth coordinate at the Winter Solstice. Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story)*

Winter Solstice is the time of natural transformation, newness that comes forth with or without our awareness. Winter Solstice is the time when our receptivity is heightened in consciousness. Is it any wonder that with fewer hours of daylight, we are drawn inside into our homes, perhaps under the covers, and definitely drawn to be inside ourselves at this time of year?

Solstice is the birthday of the Planet and was celebrated as such with reverence and respect in ancient times by our ancestors who lived in close harmony with the Planet’s rhythms.

Solstice is the time of completion and of new beginnings. The old cycle (year) is done. We are presented with the opportunity to declare completion and move on with awareness of the seed of newness that is planted inside. A new ‘you’ with its potential to bring wondrous change in the cycle ahead is ready, provided you are willing to claim it.

In keeping with my understanding of ancient traditions, I take time at Solstice to create a personal ‘silent night’, a time harmonize my rhythms to those of the Planet, to with love and gratitude let go of everything from the year behind, and to acknowledge the seed of newness inside.  And, I invite you to take a few moments or even a few hours to create your own and to acknowledge and embrace the potential of the newness in you.

Start by harmonizing with nature. If you are blessed as I am to live in nature’s beauty, take a walk. Observe and honor the rhythms of nature, whether the slow steady growth of a tree or the daily cycles of ocean tides. If nature is not outside your door, then sit quietly and imagine your favorite place in nature. Feel yourself in that place. Allow those rhythms to bring you the quiet peace of the season.

Next, create an atmosphere and attitude of gratefulness and let go of everything that has come to you in the cycle ending. Your aim is to empty and prepare a space for the new. Thus, let go of not only what doesn’t serve or suit you, of those things you consider ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’, but of everything: every attitude, your wants and desires, your fears, your hopes, your stories about the events of the year ending, the people in your life.

Finally, when you are ready (perhaps after only a few moments, perhaps a few hours), evoke the sound of newness with the declaration “I am new”.  This is the place where heaven and earth come together in you, as you. The new you is ready to meet, greet and receive the gifts of the new cycle. 

May the blessings of your unique newness follow you into and throughout the year ahead!

*My understanding and celebration of Solstice, while it is my own interpretation, comes primarily from the work of Gregge Tiffen. You can learn more about Gregge’s work at www.g-systems.com. And, you can purchase from his collected works, including his telling of Winter Solstice – The Christmas Story, on www.amazon.com

May the joys of the season light your way!

May the joys of the season light your way!

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Prelude To Solstice - 2018

Winter’s Pure Beauty

Winter’s Pure Beauty

All of heaven and all of earth coordinate at the Winter Solstice.Regardless of all the stories and traditions, this is a personal event of your life. It is the time that has been set up for you and Heaven to be with each other without interference. Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story

 It’s all too easy to find ourselves hooked in the hustle and bustle of seasonal activities and ‘wrapping things up for the year’.  We’ve forgotten that which we know deep inside: this is our time to recalibrate from the inside out.  And, to do so we must empty, release, let go and recognize the wisdom that done is done.

 All too often we fear being empty – even for a brief moment in time. Emptiness seems like a strange word to ascribe to the season of winter holidays with their bright lights, joyful sounds, and festivities to match.  And, yet, giving yourself the gift of emptying is an important part of being prepared to receive the new that is sure to come as the sun begins her journey back to the north.  After all, the full glass cannot receive more wine.

 In the Christmas Story, we are told that the inn was full. And, yet a receptive place for the birth was found. So it is for each of us.

 We too need to empty and make ourselves receptive to the new.  Solstice is a time to declare one cycle complete, making way for another to begin. It is a time to embrace the realm of spirit and turn our backs on the material world, if only for a brief time. It is a time to bless and release all who have crossed your path in this cycle, knowing that those who are meant to return will be there in the new one.

 And, perhaps most important of all, it is time to let go of who we were in the cycle that is completing.  The ‘you’ of that cycle is complete as well. And a new you of your design and making awaits.

 As our planet prepares to celebrate her birthday, let us honor her by taking time to reflect this gift of the time when heaven and nature sing as one. May we each sing along in our own unique and harmonious way.

I find this excerpt from Gregge Tiffen’s ‘Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story’ a beautiful reminder of the choices I can make now and moment to moment, before my time of winter solitude, and beyond winter into the spring. May it support you as well to ease into the sacredness of this time.

Prelude*

There is nothing I can give you which you have not got; but there is much, very much, that while I cannot give it, you can take.

No Heaven can come to us, unless our hearts find rest in today.

Take Heaven

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.

Take Peace

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see, and to see, we have only to look, I beseech you,

Look!

In the quiet there is tranquility. May your life move and radiate in that unity and your heart sing the hymn of peace to all mankind.

And so, at this time I greet you not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with prayer that for now and forever the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.

* Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story)

Winter Blessings from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Winter Blessings from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

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The Season for Nurturing and Nourishment

Sunset Over Blanca Peak on a Snowy Day

Sunset Over Blanca Peak on a Snowy Day

Nourishment is real faith. ...faith in yourself … If you are ever going to get this faith healthy and growing so it’s with you all year long, then you need to nourish it. Nourishment is your awareness in the continuity of life and in the efficacy of the Universe that you can believe in. … It’s the faith that you are what you are that brings about miracles.  Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: Sacred Passageways – December, 2011) 

Several days ago, I received a weekly post that began to frame my reflections for this sacred winter season.  “… aware experience” it read, “that can give each of us in our own way the body, mind and spirit knowledge to know what is worth nurturing and what can intentionally be put into compost to decompose and fertilize new growth at another time (emphasis mine).” (from the 11th week of the 11th year/series of PS 52 written by Patrece on behalf of P Systems – www.p-systems.com).

I’d received a catalyst in the form of a question to frame my own personal ‘seasonal reflections’, along with a reminder that there is no waste in the Universe. Thoughts, beliefs, habits which we release as no longer needed can be lovingly discarded to decompose over time, for they too will recompose in their own time.

Honoring this time leading up to and including the Winter Solstice in just a couple weeks, I find joy in creating a festive, yet peaceful place here at home in which to settle in and call forth questions that will lead me to identify what I want to nurture and nourish in the year ahead as well as that which no longer serves me.

  • What is faith to me?

  • What do my thoughts, words and deeds say about where I place my faith?

  • How deep is my faith in the continuity of life and the efficacy of the Universe?

  • What will support me to understand and deepen, as well as use my faith more fully?

  • What is sacred to me?

  • What is the best in me that I aim to nourish and nurture in the coming year?

Going deep within is one of winter’s gifts that is all too often rushed or even forgotten in the hectic seasonal pace set by the world. Without a clear intention to honor the season, we can find ourselves replacing this time designed by nature for nourishment and nurturing with busy-ness and mundane goal setting.  But humanity and our precious planet, along with our own well-being, need us to pause for the restoration, self-reflection, and faith on which growth, expansion, and self-satisfaction rest.  May we each in our own way do just that.

To whatever it might mean to you, in reality or symbolically, give yourself a period of time as a gift to yourself in which your faith is renewed. This gift is not faith in others or in the world around you but in yourself as the continuum of good operating in your life at all times under all circumstances. This is no myth!  Gregge Tiffen

Cool Hand Luke knows how to slow down in winter!

Cool Hand Luke knows how to slow down in winter!

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Emptiness At Solstice - 2017

Winter Warmth

Winter Warmth

I bring you Solstice Greetings this day with my Solstice post from 2016. Take time to empty and prepare for the new this season …

 What I would exhort you to, what I would give as a gift to you, what I would lay down a soul for, would be for your awareness to recognize that this is a personal event for your life. It is the time that has been set up on this planet for you and Heaven to be with each other without interference. Gregge Tiffen (The Winter Solstice: Giving To Yourself – December, 2007)*

Emptiness seems like a strange word to ascribe to the season of winter holidays with their bright lights, joyful sounds, and festivities to match.  And, yet, giving yourself the gift of emptying is an important part of being prepared to receive the new that is sure to come as the sun begins her journey back to the north.  After all, the full glass cannot receive more wine.

In the Christmas Story, we are told that the inn was full. And, yet a receptive place for the birth was found. So it is for each of us.

We too need to empty and make ourselves receptive to the new.  Solstice is a time to declare one cycle complete, making way for another to begin. It is a time to embrace the realm of spirit and turn our backs on the material world, if only for a brief time. It is a time to bless and release all who have crossed your path in this cycle, knowing that those who are meant to return will be there in the new one.

And, perhaps most important of all, it is time to let go of who we were in the cycle that is completing.  The ‘you’ of that cycle is complete as well. And a new you of your design and making awaits.

As our planet prepares to celebrate her birthday, let us honor her by taking time to reflect this gift of the time when heaven and nature sing as one. May we each sing along in our own unique and harmonious way.

* The Winter Solstice has become my personal spiritual holiday over the years. You can read more about that here - http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/the-gift-of-solstice

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Prelude to Solstice 2017

Curious Buck in the Evening Light

Curious Buck in the Evening Light

This post was originally published 10 Dec 2015 and is being shared in the spirit of the season as I travel and take a winter break.  This year rather than feeling pushed by last minute demands, I’m on the road to visit family and taking a break from weekly writing. Although the events are different this year, I take with me the desire to honor the season and create my own prelude to the Winter Solstice.

All of heaven and all of earth coordinate at the Winter Solstice. Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story)

This week amidst a community controversy in which the board that I chair is being challenged, I’ve felt out of sync with the season and out of sorts with myself.  I want to stop. I want to stop not just for a few minutes to catch my breath, center myself and move on to the next task or conversation, but I want to STOP and BE the winter. Quiet. Still. Peaceful.

My time for that will come. I feel her on the horizon. Until then, there are ‘miles to go before I sleep’ in these last days of autumn before that moment when heaven and earth synchronize at the Winter Solstice. I know without a doubt that I will be there.

I know too that I alone am responsible for choosing how I walk through the tasks along those miles. I choose calm, confident, clear, kind as my foundation. These are grounded in love.  My choice is simple; implementation, not always easy. Often when I’m challenged, fear interrupts and invites me to its prickly path of tension, harshness, unkind words spoken and not. Too much of the world is on that path. I don’t want to be a part of that crowd.

And, so I pause. Make time for a long morning walk with Luke to visit a favorite spot along the creek. I ignore the ringing phone and resist the temptation to see what new jab is posted on Facebook. I pick up Gregge’s booklet Winter Solstice. I find this message, perfect to remind me of the choices I can make now and moment to moment, before my time of winter solitude, and beyond winter into the spring:

Prelude*

There is nothing I can give you which you have not got; but there is much, very much, that while I cannot give it, you can take.

No Heaven can come to us, unless our hearts find rest in today.

Take Heaven

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.

Take Peace

The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see, and to see, we have only to look, I beseech you,

Look!

In the quiet there is tranquility. May your life move and radiate in that unity and your heart sing the hymn of peace to all mankind.

And so, at this time I greet you not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with prayer that for now and forever the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.

* Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story)

Will There Be Snow by Solstice?

Will There Be Snow by Solstice?

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Magical Morning Moments

Morning Magic over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Morning Magic over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

A cycle that is finished is finished. What is done is done. You cannot go back and change one element of it.  Gregge Tiffen (The Winter Solstice: Giving To Yourself – December, 2007)

This morning just as I was about to settle in with my tea, journal, and a nice fire going, I glanced outside and saw the beginning of a brilliant pink sky. It gently invited me out to see the beauty unfold and to feel the chill of a 20 degree morning in the air.  So, camera in hand, out I went to watch the show.

Such pink and orange morning moments don’t last long. Their cycle is short. Like our children and our cuddly puppies who all too quickly grow up, the sky transforms into a mature day, open to discover whether it will be clear or if clouds will form to bring forth needed moisture to the earth below.

Raven flies high as the color begins to fade, a reminder of magic, shapeshifting, and creation in its many forms.  Raven’s cycle of power (Ted Andrews, Animal Speak) is the Winter Solstice.  I’ve already begun to think about the Solstice.  I wonder how I will celebrate the end of this cycle. I ask myself what remains undone in this cycle that seeks completion before the cycle is done.

I know the importance of recognizing that ‘what is done IS done’. I cherish the truth in that.

As one cycle ends, another is sure to begin as it has throughout all time. And, that’s a post for another day.

Morning Magic in the Woods

Morning Magic in the Woods

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The Twinkling of An Eye

Solstice 2016 - The Light is Returning      The gift you give yourself is to be open and to make space for acceptance.  Gregge Tiffen  ( The Winter Solstice: Giving To Yourself,  December, 2007)     ‘Twas blog day before Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza and more  And, all through the house  I’m the only one stirring  There best be no mouse.     Luke is asleeping  And right at my feet.  What is today’s message?  Let’s be short and sweet!     It came without clatter  Of hooves on the roof  A friendly reminder  That needs no proof.     Amidst the hustle and bustle  You may find yourself in  Take time for yourself  Time to go within.     For in the season of giving  We often forget  The importance of receiving  But, please do not fret.     A few minutes at most  With a hot cup of tea  Will serve to remind you  About receptivity.     For giver and gift  Need YOU to receive  That is the cycle  So, please do believe.     Take this reminder  Wherever you go  With a twinkle in your eyes  Like the Santa you know. 

Solstice 2016 - The Light is Returning

The gift you give yourself is to be open and to make space for acceptance. Gregge Tiffen (The Winter Solstice: Giving To Yourself, December, 2007)

 

‘Twas blog day before Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza and more

And, all through the house

I’m the only one stirring

There best be no mouse.

 

Luke is asleeping

And right at my feet.

What is today’s message?

Let’s be short and sweet!

 

It came without clatter

Of hooves on the roof

A friendly reminder

That needs no proof.

 

Amidst the hustle and bustle

You may find yourself in

Take time for yourself

Time to go within.

 

For in the season of giving

We often forget

The importance of receiving

But, please do not fret.

 

A few minutes at most

With a hot cup of tea

Will serve to remind you

About receptivity.

 

For giver and gift

Need YOU to receive

That is the cycle

So, please do believe.

 

Take this reminder

Wherever you go

With a twinkle in your eyes

Like the Santa you know. 

Snow Dusted Dunes - Solstice, 2016

Snow Dusted Dunes - Solstice, 2016

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Emptiness At Solstice

Magical, Mystical, Pre-dawn Moon

Magical, Mystical, Pre-dawn Moon

What I would exhort you to, what I would give as a gift to you, what I would lay down a soul for, would be for your awareness to recognize that this is a personal event for your life. It is the time that has been set up on this planet for you and Heaven to be with each other without interference. Gregge Tiffen (The Winter Solstice: Giving To Yourself – December, 2007)*

Emptiness seems like a strange word to ascribe to the season of winter holidays with their bright lights, joyful sounds, and festivities to match.  And, yet, giving yourself the gift of emptying is an important part of being prepared to receive the new that is sure to come as the sun begins her journey back to the north.  After all, the full glass cannot receive more wine.

In the Christmas Story, we are told that the inn was full. And, yet a receptive place for the birth was found. So it is for each of us.

We too need to empty and make ourselves receptive to the new.  Solstice is a time to declare one cycle complete, making way for another to begin. It is a time to embrace the realm of spirit and turn our backs on the material world, if only for a brief time. It is a time to bless and release all who have crossed your path in this cycle, knowing that those who are meant to return will be there in the new one.

And, perhaps most important of all, it is time to let go of who we were in the cycle that is completing.  The ‘you’ of that cycle is complete as well. And a new you of your design and making awaits.

As our planet prepares to celebrate her birthday, let us honor her by taking time to reflect this gift of the time when heaven and nature sing as one. May we each sing along in our own unique and harmonious way.

* The Winter Solstice has become my personal spiritual holiday over the years. You can read more about that here - http://cindyreinhardt.com/blog/the-gift-of-solstice

Magical, Mystical Moon at Sunrise

Magical, Mystical Moon at Sunrise

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A Holiday Wish

Walking in the Snowy Woods ...

Walking in the Snowy Woods ...

May the greetings of Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, and Blessed Solstice be a salutation not spoken lightly in passing to others as much as it is a greeting first to you, then to Heaven, then to both of you together in the ultimate form of Joy!  Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: The Christmas Story)

Words are few this Christmas Eve morning as the dawn breaks to a fresh blanket of snow here in the woods.  My heart is full from sitting in the silence of Solstice, hiking with Luke, time with friends, and time for just me. 

I feel deeply blessed to be alive at this time and curiously concerned about how I and we will be with the future as it unfolds.  But that is for the new year just around the corner, not for this day.

Today, I simply wish you this ...

May the peace and balance of this Solstice time be with you through all the days to come.

Solstice Tea

Solstice Tea

May you know the harmony of this time when all of heaven and all of earth coordinate.

And Heaven and Nature SING!

And Heaven and Nature SING!

May your life be filled with joy.

These are a few of my favorite things!

These are a few of my favorite things!

And, May you know the blessings of this holy season throughout the coming year!  

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Receive the Gift of Solstice

It's Beginning to Look (&Feel) a Lot Like Winter!

It's Beginning to Look (&Feel) a Lot Like Winter!

What I would exhort you to, what I would give as a gift to you, what I would lay down a soul for, would be for your awareness to recognize that this is a personal event for your life. It is the time that has been set up on this planet for you and Heaven to be with each other without interference.

May the reindeers pull your sleigh filled with new awareness across the rooftops and into the fertile green valleys of a truly new season.  Gregge Tiffen (Winter Solstice: Giving To Yourself)

Each year I seem to discover that my sense of the potential for reNEWal in this season deepens.  I savor this time when ‘all of heaven and all of earth coordinate’ for my benefit as a very personal ‘me to me’, ‘me to Thee’ and ‘Thee to me’ experience.

This season, the events leading up to Solstice brought me the gift of looking at my attitudes, up close and personal. Some serve me. Others do not. The later will not be invited to the new me, the one that emerges from the release at Solstice. They are not who I am and do not serve how I want to participate in the world.

I’ve called on last week’s post, Prelude to Solstice, several times this week as I walked through the local controversy, creating responses and proposing a way forward.  ‘Take Heaven.’  ‘Take Peace.’  ‘Look.’  Yesterday a friend reminded me to include grace.  In a flash, I realized that she had been working overtime. I know that ‘the day will break and the shadows flee away.’  Grace brings that knowing.

Early Morning Coziness

Early Morning Coziness

I feel good about how I’m addressing the situation (and great about the team I work with). I’m not so pleased with the energy that’s been required and with those moments when I simply felt overwhelmed. Luke and the beauty of nature brought me back to balance.

I’m comfortable not knowing the outcome and how the public will respond. I totally trust its perfection – whether it’s an outcome I prefer or not.

As I put this experience, as well as business (and busy-ness too!) aside, I invite (really I implore) you to embrace the personal, individual nature of this season.  Take some time just for you.  Take homage at heaven and earth coming together. Feel the presence of nature.

And, let go. Release attitudes, be they good or bad. Release the people in your life, all of them – those that are meant to shall return.  Release hopes, dreams, fears, goals, regrets. Let go of EVERYthing.

It is only the empty goblet that can receive the next sweet taste of the abundance that life will most surely bring.

My Goblet is Ready

My Goblet is Ready

I wish you boundless blessings in this sacred season and in all the days ahead!

I wish you boundless blessings in this sacred season and in all the days ahead!

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