In the end of November, with the beginning of the season of Advent, I re-invented my morning meditation time. Knowing that the darkness creeps in and takes over from November through December, I decided to take advantage of the coziness and really let myself soak in the deep mystery + stillness of the long, dark nordic nights that I experience in Sweden.
I mean, seriously, a chance to be even more contemplative and slow… sounds perfect to me.
So, even though my mornings should be hurried + rushed, and even though I am out the door by 7:45 am (in the dark, mind you), I rise at 6am (or as close to that as possible. hehe.). Now, this is not easy for me. And there are some days that I struggle, but I do this so that I can read and write and ponder and meditate. I need this time right now in my life. It’s not that I’m amazing or better or anything, it’s just that I know what works best for me. And, even though I know it’s best for me, it’s still hard some days.
So, I pad around my home in the dark, refusing to turn on any lights at all. I wash my face and then even grab my cup of coffee (which is already made, thank you, coffee timer setting!) in the dark. Then, I light candles, sit on my meditation blanket, open up my moleskin and my daily reading (The Book of Awakening and A Year with Thomas Merton), and let the inspiration flow.
I read, think, scribble, and some days I find myself writing page after page in my moleskin. My soul has been so inspired. So full. Some days more than others, but the discipline and love of this habit is worth sticking with, in my opinion. It has reinvigorated me, re-balanced me, re-grounded me.
To close my meditation time, which usually lasts from 15-30 minutes, I listen to the song of the day from My Mindful December playlist on Spotify. Find the playlist → here.
And as much as I could stay in this cozy, dark, candle-lit moment forever, I know that when the song is over, I must rise and tend to the activities of the day. My day out in the world. The temptation, the desire, is to read and listen and think all day long, but for now in my life, I am called to balance these mystic tendencies with daily, real-life practice.
So, during this season of Advent, I cherish the darkness. My soul yearns for the quiet solitude. The chance to turn deeply inward. And, so far this season, the inspiration gods have been very kind. I have so many ideas and thoughts and things to write + share. It may seem like I don’t have anything to say, due to the infrequency of my blog posts. But, it is rather quite the opposite… I have too much to say. So, I’m trying to keep things slow, letting things settle and sift, listening + being intentional. And, letting whatever rises, rise.
It’s not easy, mind you. I want to write about 5 blog posts a day or put together 3 playlists a day and even jump back into creating photo challenges every single day. But, I am letting my soul guide me.
Just as this blog post was going to be something entirely different, I actually had a whole other plan for it, I am letting my fingers type from my soul. Just allowing it to spill out onto the keyboard. I am doing the same with my days right now… allowing my days to unfold, intentionally seeking to stay as present as possible. With as little stress or pressure as possible. Choosing to live without worry. Without any shoulds or musts. But, seeking a mindful awareness and facing what comes one moment at a time.
In no way is this post a reflection of my past week… or maybe it is. It’s just a reflection of some of the things that I have processed, that have been growing inside of me. Of updating you on how I am spending my soul time these days. Of sharing with you how I focus and concentrate and find inspiration.
How do you slow down and ground yourself? What is your morning or night routine? Ponder these things, and begin to release this year that has been in order to embark on an entirely new journey in the upcoming year. It may be the perfect time for you to begin to find your own soul time – whatever that might look like for you.
This time of year is rich with inspiration + symbolism + transition. How about we slowly, intentionally begin that transition together, right now?