the summer solstice: magic + light + energy = time to follow your bliss

it’s nine in the evening as i write this, and the solstice is upon us.

monday-sunset-june

monday’s sunset

today, in the northern hemisphere, we are celebrating the longest day of the year. the day that is the culmination of all of the light-gathering that has been occurring since the winter solstice back  in december. every day since then, we have been marching forward to this very moment. this moment when light and warmth and heat are the most powerful + abundant.

we celebrate being alive. being aware. and where we have come from since our last solstice.

tuesday-sunset-june.

tuesday’s sunset

what did you imagine for your life back in december? whether you were celebrating the solstice back then or not, it was the end of 2014, and with that ending, i am certain that we all said a few prayers or had a few dreams and wishes for the new year that was upon us. what were yours? do you remember?

if you were reading my blog back then, then you might have even joined me in picking a word for 2015 – a word to light your way, to inspire you + to guide you. what was your word? have you thought about it? have you used it? is it still relevant?

 if you didn’t pick a word, then what would your word be now – for the last 6 months of 2015 that lie ahead of us? what do you want or need to focus on?

wednesday-sunset-june.

wednesday’s sunset

as part of my summer solstice celebration today, i have gone back to my journal and my blog posts at the end of 2014. i have reread the things that i wrote, and brought up the old feelings and hopes that i had locked deep inside me as i wondered what 2015 would bring me as i chose my word for 2015: empowered.

here’s some of what i wrote last december about choosing the word empowered.

“for 2015 i am focusing on the power that is within me to push me to follow through with many things that i need + want in my life. the word feels just perfect to me. ultimately it is simply a kick in the ass. a movement from being to doing. and yet, all of my action comes from a deeply grounded place within me. it feels like a balanced word. a balance from the power that i can draw from the well of my soul, that thrusts me forward. it’s a word that reminds me that there are things to do and a life to live and it’s time to make shit happen. no holding back. i am fearless. powerful. ready. disciplined. that right… i’m empowered.”

in many ways, i have been embracing + living out my word. but, in many ways, i also have much, much more to do.

however, when i slow down just enough to really think about it… though i may not have burst on the scene of 2015 with guns blazing, like i thought i would. and, even if it has taken me some time to “find myself” again, now that i am back in sweden. i realize that it needed to take me a while to settle in.

but, here’s the critical part: in all of those processes over the past 6 months, i have found myself now at a crossroads, a jumping off point. it’s as if i can just now see that the first 6 months were the groundwork i needed to do in order to launch into my active cycle of empowerment for the second part of the year. i’ve been building the power within, and now it’s time for it all to burst out and push me forward.

thursday-sunset-june.

thursday’s sunset

it’s time to fly, baby!

and you know what? it really is time for us to fly. that’s what the summer solstice is all about. what we’ve been holding close to our hearts for the past six months is aching to be released into the here and now. the energy has been building, and today, when the sun is high + the day is long + the light is oh so bright, today, is the culmination and gathering of all of that energy.

midsummer-sunset-june.

friday’s sunset: midsummer’s eve in sweden (not take at my apartment. we are at a party)

the word solstice means the standing of the sun and it is also time for us to stop, be still, listen to our inner voice, remember past promises to ourselves and make preparations for the road ahead. on the solstice we have the luxury of being still and gathering all of that energy. at the winter solstice, we cast our dreams out into the universe, inspired by the magic of the winter darkness. since then everything has been on its journey outward towards manifestation, the journey towards light. with the summer solstice the process of everything turning inward begins once more. now is when our intentions are set to propel us towards our dreams.

today, during the summer solstice, we are at our brightest, most filled with magic and light and energy. as i read somewhere else, “the soil of our soul is ripe for manifesting”. now is the time, friends to live with our true purpose. to embrace fully our own true path.

we are filled with energy, excitement, expectation, and positivity. if we don’t quite feel that way today, the feeling will come. everything in the universe is conspiring with us to help us follow our bliss. right now, as if the light + power of midsummer were not enough, the moon is becoming is increasing in size, towards its next full moon.

saturday-sunset-june.

saturday’s sunset

the bottom line, friends, it’s time for some freaking awesome action.

have you had a change on your mind lately? has your soul been whispering to you of your dreams? this is it. this is the time to begin to act on it all. have courage. believe. trust. and leap into the great, unbelievable unknown.

we are all bursting at the seams in one way or another… it’s all of that energy that’s been building up since the winter solstice. it is ready to be released. you are ready. i am ready. today is the day that we start marching forward into making our dreams into a reality. we really can start to live our bliss. it’s time to break free from all of our fears and struggles and embrace that freedom that is calling our name. nothing is impossible. anything is possible. the life that we have been created to live is right there in front of us…

summer-solstice-sunset-sweden-2sunday’s sunset: the summer solstice!

so, accept + celebrate the journey that you are on. take some time today to reflect now where you have been since the winter’s solstice. and set your intentions for where you want to go.

by all means get outside if you can. bask in the sunlight, enjoy the long day. let that energy rush through you, preparing you for the next part of your journey.

i, personally, just went outside to take the above photo, and sat on a bench for about 10 minutes, just breathing in the air. a stranger walked by me and went into my building, greeting me with an infection, joyful “hello!” – not a super common thing, for swedes to just randomly stalk to strangers. but, with the sunset + his hello + all of this energy, i just felt as if i was overwhelmed with joy + excitement in the simplicity of the beauty of the moment.

go and celebrate this solstice, my friends, knowing that who you are + where you are, are perfectly aligned, with the universe. everything is set. we’ve been journeying to this moment since december (and since our whole lives). the light has filled us and we are bursting with anticipation. it’s time to claim the life that we want to live. to claim our own unique purpose in life.

and to shine like the sun.

a blessed solstice to you all!

onwards + upwards! xo

all of the sunset photos are taken by me this week as we journeyed toward the summer solstice today. i wanted to record the late sunsets that we enjoy here in sweden, where the sun does not set until about 11pm. the light has most definitely affected me and energized me. magic + love! woo hoo!

A Prayer to the Sun

The sun is high above us
shining down upon the land and sea,
making things grow and bloom.
Great and powerful sun,
we honor you this day
and thank you for your gifts.
Ra, Helios, Sol Invictus, Aten, Svarog,
you are known by many names.
You are the light over the crops,
the heat that warms the earth,
the hope that springs eternal,
the bringer of life.
We welcome you, and we honor you this day,
celebrating your light,
as we begin our journey once more
into the darkness.

prayer from here.

bokeh-christmas-tree

meditation mondays: as faithful as the light

did you feel it? did you see it? did you notice that the sun rose just a tad bit earlier today? the dark half of the year is over for those of us who live in the northern hemisphere, and the season of light is upon us. isn’t it just amazing how year after year after year we dread and endure the dark + cold. and then, year after year after year, nature does her thing and brings the light back, making the days ever so slightly longer as each one passes.

whether you celebrate nature or christmas or hanukkah or kwanzaa or some other religion or nothing at all, this is a powerful time of the year. we cannot deny what we see, what happens to our days, how the earth is faithful to her patterns. for me, personally, the celebration of christmas, is a beautiful metaphor for the same things that we see in nature. light comes, new life begins and grows, and then dies. darkness takes over, and just when all hope is lost, we remember that the light will return again. always. it is a faithful cycle – this christian story and the story of nature herself. ultimately it is all a story of hope. it is the story of what the world is supposed to be, and how, in the end, love always wins.

winter-solstice-morning-dark

i woke early this morning, in the darkness, and decided to watch the sun rise. i had a cup of coffee and the living room all to myself, as everyone else still slept soundly. i just love these long, dark december mornings alone. and even though i was inside and it was completely cloudy outside, making it not the most spectacular sunrise i’ve ever seen, the light still arrived. and it was beautiful.

as i watched and waited, i listened to my song for the day from my december photo challenge: oh come all ye faithful. {you can listen to the song –> here} as i listened, the word “faithful” kept tugging at me, as if it was a message to me. mixed with the message of gathering to adore the newborn christ child, there was something deeper i felt. a call to my soul.

every year i choose a word to guide me through out the year. this year, the word has been paradise, somewhere along the way, it became the word wild. i’ve been spending the past week working on discovering my word for 2015 – and i came up with empowered. it felt so big, and whole, and complete. balanced, i suppose. empowered and inspired, and empowered to act. i know that i need a balance of being + doing in 2015. i need a kick in the ass, and i feel it will be a very practical, nose-to-the-grindstone kind of year. but, that feels very focused and good to me. of course, it will all be supported by my mediation practices. so, yeah, empowered feels quite nice… powerful + inspired.

but, today, this word faithful seemed to spark something in me. and i wondered, is that a better word for me?

sunrise-solstice-christmas-tree

as i watched the sun + the light return faithfully to the earth, i began to feel that faithfulness is exactly what i need in 2015. the sun, the moon, the stars, all of nature are faithful to their calling to bring forth their light. the christ child is born + remains faithful to his calling to share a message of love and hope for all people – regardless. perhaps, focusing on being faithful – faithful to my authentic self + to my calling to be the light  – is exactly what i need…

i’m going to think about it some more. and just let this holiday week, with its celebration of light + love come as it will. i’ll let the word faithful roll around in my head and perhaps take hold of my soul. and, then i will decide.

for now, though, the light has returned to faithfully inspire and warm and remind us that we, too, are children of the light. it’s time to bask in its glory.

light + love to you all. xx

candle-balcony-winter-solstice

the magic of the longest night + a family ’round the table

i’ve been preparing for the winter solstice for days, even weeks, anticipating it with excitement, thinking + pondering + feeling + reading all of the signs in my life. listening to my soul. observing nature. slowing down + letting the dark mornings i’ve spent alone before the sun rises wrap around me like a warm blanket. today, however, the solstice is finally upon us northern hemisphere dwellers. the night has finally come.

and it is the longest night of the year. which, by itself, sounds like a drawn out tortuous day of darkness + boredom. in reality, however, it is a day of beauty and celebration. a day of warmth and hope and energy and light. how interesting is that? the longest, darkest night of the year brings us light + hope. but, it’s true, i believe. though the daylight hours are short, and the night seems to go on forever, with the darkness engulfing us, it is only because it is the longest night that we make the turn toward light. beginning tomorrow, the light returns to this part of the earth. from here on out, until the summer solstice, the days are longer and the sun shines a minute or two more each and every day. this day, that seems so hopeless, is actually filled with possibility. a day for dreaming dreams and setting intentions. a day for leaving behind all of the things of the previous year, harnessing the energy that the light brings, and celebrating the newness that comes with a new year.

of course, in order to endure this dark time of year, it is necessary to create as much coziness as possible. it’s the perfect time to light candles and string up twinkle lights. to warm ourselves with toasty drinks of mulled wine + cider. to decorate our homes with greenery, lest we forget that underneath all of the cold + snow + dark, life still exists. and even though we are inside during most of this time of the year, if we gather together, we can feel the glow of love, the energy of life, moving between us. and, if we dare to stand or sit outside in the middle of the darkness for just a minute, if we find the courage to embrace the darkness, then we learn how much the dark has to teach us, and we understand the beauty of the night.

i have celebrated this winter solstice very simply. i began the day by taking part in our little family advent candle lighting ritual. an little moment meant to acknowledge that we are still journeying toward christmas, that we are still seeking love and light.

advent-4th-sunday-

and then, after doing some errands (and christmas shopping on my own!), lina and i prepared a dinner for our parents. yes, the joy of this season, one that i did not realize would be quite as moving as it is, is that we are celebrating this holiday with both of our parents. it is so amazing. we picked up loan’s parents at the airport last night, and spent our first day together today – just resting and relaxing, so they could get over some jet lag. but, we decided to invite my parents over for dinner.

the six of us gathered around our dining table, eating food + drinking wine/beer, reacquainting ourselves with each other, laughing, joking, and sharing the simple pleasures of a family gathering. i had no idea how much this would affect me, how emotional i would be to be able to celebrate and share this time with each other.

family-dinner-xmas

family table solstice christmas

after dinner, i snuck away for a few minutes by myself on the balcony. this was going to be the heart of my solitary solstice celebration. i took a candle out, wrapped myself in a big blanket, and grabbed my journal + a pen. i must have sat outside in the near-freezing temperature for about 30 minutes. the air was cold, but i was warm. i sat and thought. i wrote, and i gazed at the light of the candle, flickering in the darkness. i fell the hope of a new season, a new year, new opportunities. i jotted down something that i knew i needed to leave behind now. i gave up and left some old patterns of thinking and ways of being. and i harnessed the energy inside me that will carry me throughout this next phase in my life.

balcony-solstice-lights

candle-balcony-solstice

now, the apartment is quiet. i’m back inside, warm and toasty. the tree is lit and a christmas movie plays in the background. everyone else is in bed. there is a wonderful sense of rest + calm in my home. and i know, that when the sun rises tomorrow, the light will have returned. yes, it is very, very dark now – in the middle of the nigh – but, i feel at peace. i feel present and alive and ready. but, i am not in a hurry. i’ll let the darkness be as it is right now – and i’ll simply be aware + embrace it.

tomorrow, the light returns again.

 

light + love xx