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The Darkest Week of the Year

This is the darkest week of the year. Next Saturday is the winter solstice. I have always been drawn to this week, even more so than the summer solstice.  

A day of darkness.  

A day of reflection.

It is also a day of hope. It is the shortest day of the year, which means it will only get lighter after this day.

Things will only get more bright and more illuminated.

But this week we are hunkering down. Many of us begin and end our days in the dark. As you know, I am a huge believer in rituals and the winter solstice provides a great time to create new or engage in old rituals.

This week I encourage you to take some time to pause, to reflect on your life. Take some time to gather in those whom you love and who love you and celebrate the darkness. Share a meal, light a fire, and engage in soulful quiet conversation. Share your fears, your dreams, your “wish list,” and feel the love and hope of the season.

From the dark comes the light.  

Embrace it.  

Because it is in our darkest times that we gain wisdom, empathy, strength, and conviction for the brighter times.

Wishing you and yours a peaceful solstice.

“So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome, Yule!!”

– Susan Cooper, “The Shortest Day” 


New on The Happier Approach Podcast

In this week’s episode, I’m introducing you to your BFF. As opposed to our Monger, that mean voice that tells us we’re not good enough, our BFF always has our back. She enables us to rebel against the voice of our Monger and when we get tired of our Monger criticizing us, we bring in our BFF for a little self-compassion.

But listening to our BFF can be risky. She loves false self-compassion and uses it as a way to give us an excuse to just do whatever we want. She is very good at finding us justification and someone else to blame. So listen in to find out where our BFF shows up in our lives and how to find the middle ground between soldiering on through the cruelty of our Monger and the false self-compassion of our BFF. Check it out on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or over here.