The days are quickly getting shorter and shorter. Mornings come later, and evenings come before the afternoon has ended. Now is the dark time of the year. The dark time of the year is the perfect time to look inward, and to fall into the comfort of friends, family, loved ones and life’s simple pleasures. The dark time of the year has many things that you can learn from to enhance your own life and deepening your connection to this often overlooked time of year.
1 | Darkness Does Not Last
The dark time of the year does not last long. The Winter Solstice brings with it the beginning of the return of the light. The days will once more get longer, the sun will once more get stronger. Life has it’s own dark times, yet these times will not last forever. They come and go as the seasons come and go. While it may seem like there is no end in sight, one day, the sun will rise once more. The period of light will begin to outweigh the darkness and you too will feel the warmth of the sun once again.
2 | Rest is Needed.
For me the dark time of the year pulls me to rest. There is nothing pleasant about rising before the sun! Rest is necessary. It’s essential in order to function well both emotionally and physically. Let the darkness bring you to find a place of rest. This may be a time of holidays, and events that threat to consume all of your time, it need not be. The holiday season is meant to be enjoyed, not rushed through. This holiday season, reduce your obligations, find times of rest, and allow yourself to recover if only for a moment from the stresses you face day in and day out. Find solace and rest in the darkness.
3 | Turn Inward
Darkness encourages self-reflection. Now is the time to turn inward and face the aspects of yourself you want to change. The promise of a new year, and the return of the light promise rebirth and new actions. Take the time now, under the cloak of darkness to reflect on what you need to do to go in the direction you want to take. This may mean facing difficult or hard problems or painful insight, but in some cases pain is necessary for change to happen. Now is the time to prepare yourself for that change.
4 | Honor the Past
Holiday traditions are links to the past. Links to those who are no longer with us, to memories of a different time. Indulge in these traditions to reaffirm your own link to your past. Honor your ancestors, remember them. Teach your traditions to the next generation, and build your own traditions. Traditions can be a link to the past, but they don’t have to be an unbreakable chain. Your new traditions have just as much value as the old ones do, and just as much meaning to you, as the old ones to those who created them.
5 | Embrace the Present
The holidays of gratitude and light that illuminate the dark time of the year and herald it’s end create memories that will last you a life time. Enjoy the present, enjoy the holidays with those who matter most to you. Let the worries of tomorrow wait until their time comes. Enjoy the here and now, for in all too short of time it too will be a memory.
Though the days may be short and the nights long, the dark time of year is a valuable teacher. By looking to the cycles of nature for guidance you can connect more deeply to the world around you and find insights to guide you through your own life. Let the dark time of year be your teacher and guide, until the light returns.