I’m no longer afraid of my shadow, because I realize it means I’m moving towards the light.
And even amidst these days growing ever shorter, and the nights ever longer in the Northern Hemisphere, especially since the end of DST in the US, I’m not afraid of the dark. Because, taking inspiration from the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, I know that I can empower myself to serve as a lamp in the darkness and be my own light through these shadowy, darker periods.
Elizabeth Gilbert agrees:
"There are times when everything seems cloaked in darkness. You long for the light, but don't know where to find it. But what if you are the light? What if you are the very agent of illumination that a dark situation begs for?
When life feels especially grim, or when I feel particularly powerless in the face of the world's troubles…..I think, 'What can I do, right now, to be the light?' No matter who you are or where you are, or how mundane or tough your situation may seem, I believe you can illuminate your world. In fact, I believe this is the only way the world can ever be illuminated, one bright act of grace at a time, all the way to the river."
So, bring on the Winter Solstice – knowing that on this shortest day and longest night of the year – that we will very soon be passing through to the other side, of ever increasing light and illumination.
The more we allow ourselves the time and space to illuminate our wisdom within, the more clearly we can help illuminate pathways away from suffering and despair, and towards more possibilities for more peace, ease, joy, connection and compassion in the year ahead.