Welcoming Winter with Warmth - Celebrating the Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice is arriving this week on Fri 21 Dec- an annual planetary event that marks the longest night of the year. At the winter solstice, the balance of dark and light tips, and the sun begins a return trip that promises such good things as new life, new growth, increasing warmth, and those bright spring blossoms that always gladden the heart!

People have been celebrating the winter solstice for thousands of years—and yet, while these winter solstice traditions and rituals are diverse and unique, each is centered around the universal theme around light, warmth and renewal. 

I invite you to celebrate this seasonal cycle by creating your own personal rituals to mark the passing of darkness and the coming again of life-giving light. The winter solstice is a time of rebirth, a special window amongst the rush of the festive season to reflect on the year passed and to energise your body and mind and to activate your intentions for the new year ahead.

I will be sharing a special Winter Solstice yoga gathering on Fri 21 Dec, 19:00-21:30 at Highweek Village Hall where together, we will explore and combine dynamic movement to awaken our inner fire (agni) and create our own inner warmth, deep relaxation with restorative yoga, intention setting and a candle gazing meditation, helping to build a path that lights the way through the darkness of winter and guides you into spring.  You can read more about this and sign up here.

Here are a few of my healing rituals that help me to stop, reflect and completely embrace the beauty of winter. Enjoy finding yours that resonate with you.

  1. Invite the light in - lighting candles, especially ones filled with a comforting and seasonal scent, are a wonderful ritual to fill your home with more natural light, warmth and coziness.

  2. Set new intentions - intentions are little stepping stones that lead us like a compass toward our highest potential. An intention is the starting point of a dream - what makes the unconscious conscious. It is the creative power that fulfills our heart’s desires, be it career or relationships, money, personal or spiritual growth. Take the time to reflect on yours and consider how you too, can change direction with the new season and year.

  3. Observe nature - Wrap up warm and get out into the natural world. Observe how it has drawn in, let go of it’s outer layers and is embracing the need to rest and recharge but at the same time, is preparing to welcome in new life. Breathe it all in and attune to this natural rhythm within yourself too.

  4. Use essential oils - as an aromatherapist, essential oils are an important part of my self care rituals. Enjoy a long warm bath, use a room spray or diffuser and anoint pulse points throughout the day to enjoy the benefits and scents of winter oils such as orange, cinnamon, frankincense, pine, patchouli and clove. I have created a specially crafted aromatherapy blend to celebrate this time called WARMTH for you to enjoy.

  5. Enjoy this special time with family and friends - celebrating with those close to you is one of the best ways to nurture your soul. Enjoy nourishing practices together such a yoga, eating seasonal food and getting cosy on the sofa!

Wishing you a wonderful solstice and start to the new year.

With much light and warmth to you and yours,

Becs

How to create your own meditation practice

Many of us are searching for ways to find and feel harmony and balance within ourselves in what can sometimes feel like a constant rush through life. 
I thought it may be helpful to share a few tips for starting meditation - a practice that is proven to have uplifting benefits including improved attention and memory, better ability to respond calmly to situations and more curiosity for yourself and the world around you.    

You may find the idea of a meditation practice unfamiliar or a little daunting. Remember it does not have to be for long - it is more important to find a routine to be still and quiet, whether it be for 5 or 10 minutes a day and building on from there. 

 
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Think  of your meditation as having 3 layers ... 

The first is becoming comfortable and taking your awareness within
The second is about moving your awareness to your inner environment, listening inwardly with contentment
Part three is your transition back into your outer environment after your meditation, continuing to keep a subtle awareness to listening inwardly as you move through your day. 

Be comfortable. Sit on a blanket or cushion so you allow the knees to drop below the hips as this helps to encourage length of the spine. 
Close your eyes, keeping a soft inner gaze. Lift up subtly and soften through the back of the heart space, shoulders and face.

Allow your breath to be spacious with no forced effort. Cultivate steadiness and ease through even inhales and exhales.
The Ujjayi breath is a good option to practice here. 

Just start sitting and breathing - don't overthink it.  It is OK and actually really wonderful to sit with yourself in silence and just listen in to your inner wisdom. Ask your body to teach you and take you on adventures with your deeper essence.
Start with 5 minutes once a day, gradually increasing to 10, 15 and so on.
 
The mind thinks - that is what it does! Remember this when you catch the mind wandering during meditation and allow what comes up to be present with no judgement, no questions.  
Just gently notice the mind has wandered, invite in curiosity and observation and anchor yourself back into the present moment by reconnecting to the sound and flow your breath. 
The more you practice this, the more you may find the mind starting to quieten as you turn your attention away from it's constant fluctuations.

Any time you allow yourself to be fully present, even for a moment, you are performing a sacred act of offering your attention to the mystery of being alive. 

I hope you find these to be helpful and will start or deepen your journey inward. 

My birth story

My birth story

Throughout my pregnancy, I had heard may different stories about birth from friends, colleagues and students. I can honestly say that not many of them were positive or empowering to the mother and were told with animosity and fear of sharing what had happened with the same line to complete the story every time - ''But you will be fine''

Aligning ourselves with the new season of spring

Aligning ourselves with the new season of spring

Is there anything more exciting than the first promise of spring? It’s in this season that life awakens from the cold, dreary days of winter, and the world slowly begins to warm and awaken - life begins its bloom. After the spring equinox arrives on the 20 March, the sun graces us with increasingly longer periods of illumination and we, too, are encouraged to lighten up, renew and awaken.