Ok. I admit it. I LOVE the holiday season. I mean really, really love it!
I play Christmas carols and sing along, decorate the house, prepare a big Christmas dinner, snuggle by the fire with my sweetie and kitties, watch Miracle on 34th Street and other oldies but goodies. We went to see A Christmas Carol at the Blackout Theatre Sunday and it was fabulous! Our house is filling with gifts from family far and wide and my inner kid is soooo excited to rip and tear on Christmas morning! I really embrace the cultural holiday traditions I was raised with and they bring comfort and light into my life at this dark time of year.
Yet beneath the cultural festivities, there’s something that touches my heart about celebrating the light during the darkest part of the year. This has been a dark year for me; lots of deep inner work since the summer solstice. In fact, it’s been a long period of marching deeper and deeper into myself. Exploring, or more often, having revealed in an ugly, hitting bottom kind of way, what was no longer truly serving me.
The carnage was great: ways of being in relationship with my husband and community, the work contracts that comprised half of my income, spiritual practices, ways of eating and being in my body – the list goes on. It’s no wonder I haven’t blogged from my heart in a while…I’ve been too busy being with what my unconscious was tossing up to write about it!
So when I think that today, December 21st, is the solstice, the longest, darkest day of the year, I feel both mourning and celebration. Mourning for the solstice celebration I won’t have with my friend Christine (who was THE BEST at calling in the four directions) because she transitioned on October 2nd. Mourning all I’ve let go of and what continues to come up for release.
None of these awarenesses are intellectually new, but the way they are embodied now is the revelation. It’s not even the first time I’ve needed to move from a place of intense contraction to a place of openness and expansion. But it is the first time I’ve done it with a partner who is also doing his work. This first year of marriage has been a doozy. I’m tired, but I am better for it and the relationship is, too.
In the Unity movement, the celebration of Christmas is more about the birth of Christ consciousness within us than about the birth of baby Jesus. Yes, we celebrate the tried and true stories of Christ, but the metaphysical interpretation of these biblical stories makes them personal.
How is the light of consciousness being birthed in me? How am I a truer reflection of the compassion, kindness, and care that Jesus modeled? How do I open up when fear is so present and my being so contracted that I can barely breath? How can I trust, like Mary, that I AM birthing something wonderful and it will be OK?
My answer? FAITH. Faith in something larger than me of which I am a part (thank you Oriah for that phrase). Faith is how the light of consciousness is birthed in me, how I become more compassionate and kind, how I expand when I most want to contract.
During this holiday season, my faith is stronger, more present. It often, oddly, comes from secular celebrations like I described in the first paragraph but, really, WHO CARES? Faith, light and inspiration can come from anywhere; what matters is that they come. That we embrace and express them when they arrive.
So as this solstice dawns, I offer some questions for those of all religions/faiths:
- From where is your faith and light coming?
- How/what is your consciousness birthing this solstice?
- What are you releasing to make room for your newness?
- How are you embracing and expressing your light?
- What does that little kid inside of you REALLY want to do this holiday? Will you do it?