A Light in the Dark

Here we are, in the darkest days of the year, running head first toward the day with the least light, being invited on every level of our being to move slower, to be more deliberate, and to rest more. As we approach winter solstice and the holiday season, it’s easy to find ourselves getting caught up in old patterns and ways of thinking, the call to hibernate and close ourselves off and protect our energy is ever present.


But, what the world needs most in these darkest of days is your light. This season is the perfect time to seek and draw out the light within ourselves and share it with others.


What activities or practices do you do to keep your light shining bright when it’s all too easy not to? Here are a few of my favorites:


  1. Fire. For me, there’s almost nothing more heartening than enjoying the presence of a glowing fire in the home. Using special fragrant wood like pinon adds an extra touch that just can’t be beat and can transport your mind to other places and times.


  1. Candles. If you don’t have access to a fireplace or woodstove at the moment, lighting candles is another way to bring flame and light into your home. Yummy nontoxic candles can change the entire atmosphere of a place and tallow and beeswax candles actually charge the ions in the air, removing stagnant particles and replacing them with fresh ones. Balsam fir and pine are two of my favorite scents this time of year.


  1. Moments with the sun. You’ve seen your cat do this and it’s so obvious it’s easy to overlook, but in days like these in which we only have a few blessed hours with the sun, every time it catches my face, I try to make a point to close my eyes and soak it up for several moments, breathing and connecting with the source that nourishes us all and brings light and warmth like nothing else. This applies when I’m indoors too, not just outside scurrying from car to wherever I’m going.


  1. A good book. This is the perfect season to start a practice of turning off all screens and devices at a given hour and crawl into bed a little earlier and spend some time each night reading a good book. I like to read books that fit into the seasonal experience. Right now, it’s Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, set high up in the Alps brrr!


  1. Eat right. With holidays and parties and get-togethers galore this time of year, it can be all too easy to get swept up in a whirlwind of alcohol, sweets, and puff pastries. I find some of this is okay for me (everyone wants to indulge during feast times!), but that I can quickly overdo it and one indulgence here and there can quickly become a habit that sends my blood sugar and mood and energy levels on a soaring roller coaster and makes it hard for me to be present with my loved ones. To make sure I stay somewhat grounded throughout these times, I make a point to eat a high protein and high fat diet, so I eat lots of steak, bone broth, and I smother everything in duck fat or beef tallow. When my body is running on protein and fat, I don’t feel the need to indulge so much in sweets and breads because I’m so much more satiated.


Those were a few of my top tips for keeping it cozy during this busy and challenging season and now I’d love to hear from you. How do you keep the embers glowing this time of year?

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