The Exchange

On this day, the Winter Solstice, the darkness abounds. It creeps past the edges of the night and seeps into the corners of the waking day. It envelopes us with its lustrous robes and invites heaviness and depth of soul.

Seemingly in reaction and most definitely in stark contrast, our holiday season can fight the darkness with its flurry of sensory input. It can overwhelm our analyzing / categorizing / discerning brains with a plethora of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures. Combine sensory overload with our culture’s push for “MUST. MAKE. THIS. CHRISTMAS. THING. PERFECT!!! !!!” and it can quickly become one humongous boulder to push up the hill of December.

And we all know there is more. And there is less.

The joy of the season lies not in the doing but in the feeling. Truly the feeling of what is happening. And if we are moving too fast or doing too much, we have no time to absorb the feeling.

Children know the feeling. They lack the desire to control the season and instead lean into its surges.

These surges are in fact the very sensations in your body that translate into joy (light and open) and mourning (heavy and closed). And they come in intense doses during this time of year. To feel this life is to be. And to be is to live with faith, love and trust that there is more than our small vision of perfection. There is more than our constructs of tasks and accomplishments and events. There is a broader and all encompassing perfection of feeling that invites and embraces both sadness AND joy in their rawest forms. And that releases the mindstuff of shame for our feelings in return for the gift of humility and self compassion for our feelings.

Love yourself as you love your child or your pet or your parent or nature – with infinite compassion and unconditional acceptance. In choosing to slow down and allowing the waves of feeling to crash and lap within us, may we discover Christmas – and life – anew.

Be ever so well,

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