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December 22, 2021

Winter Solstice: Shadow Work & The Power of Quiet Contemplation.

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Are we spending time finding ourselves or fooling ourselves?

Winter solstice is not only the longest night and the longest day of darkness, but it also marks the first day of the winter season. 

If we can tap into Earth and her cycles, it’s an optimal time and opportunity to flow with these rhythms. We can witness it in nature as many animals go into their caves to hibernate. We have a chance to mimic these cycles by being quiet and contemplative.

Winter offers a time of looking into our own shadows and retreating into our caves. This is where we find our discernment and listen from this depth of ourselves to develop trust. 

It’s the marriage of discernment, trust, and belief that becomes a trifecta.

This is where we find ourselves, cultivate our personal values, know our worth, understand our place in this world, purpose, and contribution. Like any skill, this takes practice and discipline. When we treat this as a great adventure, we can live a life beyond our dreams before we know it. As within, so without.

Most of us are not living a life we love because we lack this type of discipline. We typically operate from learned behavior; we are habitual creatures. Instead of going against the grain and following our hearts and own inner guidance, we follow trends.

We all want to be seen, heard, and valued. We equate these things to love. “If people see me, the real me, they will see and understand my value. Therefore, they will love me.” 

This seeking of approval causes us to “go with the flow” of what resides outside of us. It’s like being pulled in by the tide because we weren’t paying attention to the rising water and retreating into a place of safety, which is our own ability, power, and value.

We can easily get sucked into the tradition of the hustle and bustle of the season and shopping. Unfortunately, when we do this, it’s also easy to fall into the trap of equating our value to the price or value of the gift given or received.

We cannot take things (that we bought) with us when it’s our time to cross over.

Our legacy and what we leave behind can only be our deeds, actions, and words.

Our job is to be lighthouses. Our job is to continually clean our windows so our light can be seen. Our job is not to run up and down the beach looking for souls to save. Our job is to shine our light, sing our soul song to become auditable and stay firmly planted. And when we become these lighthouses, “our people” can find us.

Are we spreading the seeds of compassion and kindness through the love that brings unity? Which is love and brings unity. Or are we perpetuating the fear and darkness that has kept us separated for thousands of years?

As within, so without.

When we squeeze an orange, what do we get? When life squeezes us, what is coming out? Is it fear? Loneliness? Despair? Anxiety? Anger?

These triggers are all indicators of where our inner work resides; our shadow work. These emotions are the things that live in our caves.

Some questions to ask as these emotions get triggered:

>> What triggered this emotion?

>> Where did it come from?

>> What belief do I have associated with it?

>> Where does that belief come from?

>> Is it mine by default, or is it someone else’s that I learned and bought into, or one I cultivated on my own through personal experience? 

It’s through our willingness to dive deep into these questions and to contemplate (and to be honest with ourselves), where the richness of change can root.

Karma is our now moment.

Our karma is created in every moment (favorable or not). Our choices, made in every moment, plant the seeds we will be reaping in our future.

We cannot get off the wheel of continuing to create a life where we’re not happy and not thriving until we are first willing to look into our shadows and discover what needs to be seen and potentially shifted. This first takes courage, then a willingness to have the discipline required to create the change we desire to live.

Desire is the fire that creates change.

We have to desire a new life more than the familiar comfort of knowing what to expect in our old or current life.

Repetition creates change in behavior, and change in behavior creates new beliefs. New beliefs cultivate new desire, and new desire creates the action (fire) in which the foundation of our new life can be built.

It’s like climbing down the ladder of thought into form.

I invite everyone to flow with this season to retreat and go within, and in doing so, we will be planting the seeds that can grow in the spring, the time of action.

So, during this winter season, we don’t need to focus on the light or how to bring the light in. It’s a time to retreat into the darkness and to face our demons (what we have demonized, condemned, or have chosen not to see). 

I believe we will discover they are not monsters at all; they have been our protectors. I also think we no longer need to be protected. It’s our time to move from “being protected” into “being the protectors.”

Make friends with our perceived monsters, and in doing so, we can bring them into the light.

We cannot heal or shift what we are not willing to see.

During this winter solstice time and January, we can contemplate what we truly want our life to look like—dream or create a goal.

We cannot have what we do not know we want.

If we take this time to listen to our heart’s desires, we can then take these seeds into our time of planting, and into working our plan. This is a perfect way to flow with the seasons into living a fulfilled life we enjoy and within our purpose.

Our planet is visible from space because we are on it. We are light beings; we are the light. We are “hue” mans. Hue meaning, “a shade or degree of light.”

Our light is our power:

>> What hue are you?

>> How bright is your light?

>> Where are you giving your power away?

See it, find it, and snatch it back, then consider paying it forward. We are capable, if we so desire, of helping others out of darkness and into radiating their own light as well. Imagine the light of unity we could create.

In this time of winter and solstice (the shortest day of light and longest night of darkness) is the pause. It can be considered a “zero point.” A point we are capable of realizing we can tip the scales in either direction. We are on the precipice of change. Tomorrow the days begin to get longer. How will we decide to use them?

What’s your truest heart’s desire? Let’s revisit in the spring to see what has taken root.


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Kelly McKinstry  |  Contribution: 5,885

author: Kelly McKinstry

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