A Bit Outside of Time
Solstice Thoughts in 2023
Today is Solstice. In the northern hemisphere, this is the shortest day of the year. Maximum darkness, minimum light. After this, our days get longer, little by little.
It’s very strange to me that this isn’t the new year!
Mysticism and ancient traditions aside, wouldn’t it be logical that the shortest day was also the final day of the year? Flip that for those below the equator, but it still makes sense, no?
But on our calendars, 10 days remain in 2023. Winter is on us, the holidays are here, and the new year is over a week away. The year is done but not over.
This is a magical time. A restorative time. Or it can be, if you honor it.
Flash back to Solstice 2019. This was over a year into my soul journey and new life. My on-off-on-off-on-off relationship for the whole year was well and truly scorched earth. I’d had a hard time sleeping for months as I went through spiritual uplevelling and a lot of practical change. And, honestly, my heart wore a lot of very fresh scars from quite a few people. Lovers and friends included.
My soul was weary.
That was the first year I really honored Solstice. I decided the final 10 days of the year, I could exist “outside of time.” The old year was over–and I really needed that to be true. But 2020 had not yet begun. And I wasn’t ready for newness yet, either. So, I decided I could close the door on 2019–and not yet open a new one.
I was travelling to Scotland for Christmas with a friend. That trip, like all my Scotland adventures, gave me space and inspiration to just be fully myself. I released the old year, electing to take with me only the joyful moments. The pain, the angst, and the karmic lessons weren’t forgotten. They were just absorbed, honored, and allowed to stay behind. I didn’t try to make plans for 2020. (Obviously, that was a good thing given how 2020 went!) I just existed for those 10 days, outside of time as I’d intended.
It was such a healing experience.
This is my new tradition. Every year since that year has found me in a newer, higher level of growth and being. I am grateful for the trajectory my life has been on recently. I know that not all years will be that way.
So, for the highs and the lows, the joyful years and the struggle-full ones, I intend to take these days to honor it all. Because it is life. It is another year of my “one wild and precious life” (Oliver). Ten little days of reflecting and releasing are a gift.
Also, remembering that these days are “outside of time” means I can slow my thoughts and agenda down. Sadly, I’ve not returned to Scotland since that trip! (2024 goals!) But you needn’t vacation to slow down. And you needn’t park yourself in front of the TV for these days to do so, either. If anything, I encourage you to move your body when and how you choose. Go for a walk/hike/run. Dance with your children.
Do these things regardless of what the calendar says.
Especially now, I gently urge you to do things mindfully. Slow the flip down. You do not need to rush to “just get through the holidays.” No one’s life will be ruined if you’re not up at 4am baking. On the other hand, if you like to bake, and you want to get up early, then go for it!
I’ll quote my third book here: “But whatever you do, be damn sure it’s exactly what you want to do” (McDonald).
What would it look like if you took these 10 days to be “outside of time”? What would you do? What would you need to remember in order to honor that intention? Grab some post-its. Write down your reminders.
Then, just go and BE a little bit.
Happy holidays, readers and friends. From my home to yours, I wish you joy, health, and BEing in these final days of the year!