My Annual Winter Solstice Message: What Plants Can Teach Us About Living Without Fear - Yule want to read this ;)

Warm Winter Greetings,

photo by Mr. Seb on flickr - Creative Commons 2013For many years now, on Winter Solstice, I send y'all some of my musings and ponderings about the significance of the Dark Time in the solar cycle. Truth be told, I get more response to these (let's just call them) ramblings than most other emails. And positive reinforcement works on me too, so here we are again :)Did you know that children physically grow most during the night? It's easy to imagine why this would be true. They're resting (hopefully) and so their energy isn't caught up in play and exploration of the world around them. Their little bodies can focus on building muscles, bones and everything else.But have you ever considered that we adults also grow most in the darkness?I'm not talking about the darkness at the end of each day, but the darkness at the end of each year. And I'm aware that this metaphor only works for the Northern Hemisphere right now, but bear with me and I think you folks experiencing Summer right now can also get something out of this.Winter is the night of the year. That is to say, if you look at the whole year as you would look at a single day, Winter is the time for rest and stillness.One of the things that the Chinese 5 Elements teaches about Winter is that it's associated with the Water element. And Water is the element that holds your Fear. Which makes sense when you consider that humans have only two innate fears: loud noises and Darkness.So, when I say that we adults can also grow during this dark season, it's because it's actually incredibly nourishing to explore your fears (other than the two that you were born with).In the long night of winter, people used to explore their fears while living through the Dark. Sure they had more practical fears, "Will there be enough food to survive until Spring?" But the Wise Ones would go deeper, they would use the living metaphor to explore their own fears.5-Element-BalanceIt's a sad reality that so many people suffer so greatly at this time of year. It's such a stark contrast with the kind hearted spirit of "peace and joy" that much of the world strives to touch and feel in their hearts. Does it seem that every celebration is about Light, Hope and Joy right now? That's not a coincidence, it's Winter expressing Itself. These are remedies to Fear (and its cousin, hopelessness).We each still experience, unconsciously though it may be, the Living Energy of the Season.So, my gift to you for Winter Solstice 2014 is the encouragement to explore your fear. Try to synch yourself with Winter's energy and teaching. Find stillness within (even if it's only for moment). And consider what you fear most. You're not trying to get rid of your fears, but see them, accept that they're there whether you want them to be or not.Invite your fears to come in out of the cold. This is the time of year to huddle around the fire together.You may have a tendency to do this alone, please DON'T. Find someone that you trust with the raw tenderness of your heart, ask for a really long hug and share. This will help shine a warm light onto the darkness of your fears.And if you're worried that you might get lost in this fear and darkness, find something that fills you Gratitude and anchor yourself with it.  (and I mean feeling it so deeply it brings out the Healing Waters of your tears.)May your heart feel the warmth of connection with others and with Divine, on this longest night of the year.strength & wisdom.garliqPS. Here's a video that I thought I was gonna talk about when I started writing this email. Alan Watts uses plants to do some teaching that opens my heart. It'll be especially helpful if you're pushing yourself through some struggle.

Secret of Life by Alan WattsThe Secret of Life - by Alan Watts

PPS.  I just had to share this image.  It consistently makes me laugh.

using a device