stillness in solstice snow

A few days ago, it snowed in my hometown. Since this is a rare occasion, my city was thrown into complete chaos. Streets weren’t plowed, buses stopped running, people were slipping and sliding everywhere…I made it halfway to work and gave up, turning around and heading straight home. (Most of my colleagues did the same thing.)

Given that it was the first day of Mercury Retrograde, and Winter Solstice was approaching, I relished the opportunity to stay cozy indoors, enjoying the peace and silence of a random Monday off.

snow sure makes the mountains look pretty

snow sure makes the mountains look pretty

The previous weekend, I’d gone to a party where I met the one person who actually enjoyed 2016. Everyone else I know is happy to see this year go. It’s been a time of major life changes, wake-up calls, and dispelling of illusions all around. A hugely pivotal year, yes. But not necessarily the most pleasant.

What have I gleaned from 2016? That 2017 will not be about straining or efforting to make things happen. I want to enjoy what I have created so far, trusting that I’ve made appropriate decisions for myself, and knowing that there’s nothing to fix. I want to relax into what is, right here right now.

The great thing about 2016 is that I was forced to pare down my life in many ways – especially financially. That, and my break with social media, allowed me to see where I’d been spending my energy, i.e., starving myself through over-consumption. Without such distractions, I began spending more time in silence. I realized just how difficult silence was for me, and how much I craved it.

Many of us know the running commentary that comes with meditation. The inner critic, the monkey mind, the myriad of voices we’ve heard throughout our lives, all re-playing the same old tapes. They relentlessly question my choices, convinced there is something better I could/should be experiencing.

Because we (in the western world) seem to have so much opportunity, freedom, and information at our fingertips, we can drive ourselves crazy looking for what’s more desirable than what we have right now. (Especially if we’re comparing ourselves to others on social media, just sayin’.)

These past few years, I received many of the things I asked for. And I then let them go, in search for something new-and-improved. Though I’m very grateful for the ability to create new experiences, I see that I was plagued by chronic restlessness and dissatisfaction. I couldn’t be fully present with my creations, because I was already onto the next thing. The seeds didn’t have time to germinate.

It was fear. Fear that I’d made the wrong decision (even as I told myself there was no such thing). Fear of being stuck. Fear that I was missing out on my true home, true career, true relationship. Fear that I didn’t deserve what I asked for, and couldn’t hold on to good things. Fear of imperfection. I demanded perfection in my outer circumstances, because I couldn’t accept imperfection in myself.

and my window looks pretty too

and my window looks pretty too

My surprise day off, a gift from the snow god/dess, was heavenly because I experienced prolonged peace and quiet for the first time in a long time. I’ve been having more of these moments lately…glimpses of relief, however brief, from habitual thoughts, worries, and stresses. Plans and action are good and necessary. But this is what I want to cultivate.

Love…compassion…breath…here is the fertile space for creation. Good things – maybe the best things – come from being still with life as it is right now. Maybe nothing needs to change; I can allow what’s already here to emerge in its full bloom and depth. The ‘doing’ then happens on its own. It’s a beautiful symbiosis.

Happy New Year, indeed. ❤

13 thoughts on “stillness in solstice snow

  1. Snow days are such a gift. It’s one of the only time the city gets truly quiet. I’m glad you were able to find your quiet within that. Happy New Year, Aleya! On a sidenote: I’m getting back into Kundalini. It’s amazing how this practice – though not in my regular routine — has made such an imprint…it keeps calling me back!

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    • Elysha, Happy New Year! I wish you so much joy in 2017. Great about the Kundalini!! I went to a New Years Day workshop where we focused on the 5th sutra of the Aquarian Age – ‘Vibrate the cosmos, and the cosmos shall clear the path.’ It was wonderful to get back into it as I’d been in a slump. There’s something magic about it, I know you know what I mean. 😉 Sat Nam, my friend! Aleya

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  2. Hi Aleya,

    Happy New Year, 2017. Here we are.

    I can’t believe how much I get wrapped up in trying to somehow make up for my past, and spending too much time in my mind wishing for what could have been; that keeps me striving. What am I even consuming, anyways? My year, 2016, though incredibly intense, was still maybe my best year. In fact, I hope that 2017 can stack up to it. Politically, I am devastated by what has happened and is happening here in the U.S.

    I applaud you for your social media breaks. I think it’s a challenge to find the balance or the peace that’s right for you. I took a couple of breaks, and who knows, maybe more will be in store? I have no idea. I am just taking everything one day at a time; I watch myself now, as the observer – and I often surprise myself in what I end up doing.

    There’s something about being in the stillness, recognizing it, and allowing it that sort of blankets the unsettled aspects of my consciousness; it is soothing.

    Thank you for a wonderful post to remind me of this inner peace.
    Ka

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    • Ka, so great to hear that 2016 was possibly the best for you. It was intense all around and maybe one day I’ll see it as one of the best for me too. It seemed like an unearthing of a whole lot of ‘stuff’, which is certainly necessary, for who knows what’s to come? 😉 Taking the social media breaks one day at a time, and life in general one day at a time, sounds very, very wise to me. One thing I can say with confidence is that there is more stillness than ever in my future, hehe. The more I practice it the more I realize how essential it is for my peace and well-being, and to help through these intense times. Thanks for your sweet words dear sister, wishing you all the best for a wonderful 2017. ❤ Aleya

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  3. Great post from all angles. 2016 was a stinker for us and for most of the people I know and care about. We have been talking about having a funeral service for it. I have a Christmas ornament with 2016 written on it that someone gave me. We were debating whether to bury it whole or smash it and everybody would get a piece to bury. But looking back to some challenging years decades ago, I realize how much good came out of them in the long run. And in one seven year stretch, we would say each New Year’s Eve, :”Well, next year has to be better.” But it wasn’t until the seventh New Year’s Eve, we said, “Well, it may not get better, but we have gotten stronger.” Which was true and with simple acceptance came new beginnings. At seventy-nine, I’m not sure I’ll be around another seven years, so I’m kind of hoping if I roll with the punches, maybe this plague will be shorter! 🙂
    I can so relate to the snug, safe, stop the world and get off of a snow day that isn’t usual for the area. We haven’t gotten that, but today I fell for the third time this year. Nothing broken this time as far as I can tell, though some soreness that may be worse tomorrow. I had a full list of “to do’s” for today. Now, I get to meditate, ruminate, and commiserate with you. Grace comes in weird packages, but I’m grateful for it however it comes. Asking blessings for you from Tennessee,.

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    • Wow great idea about the ornament! I say smash it and give everyone a peace to bury. I can see how a lot of good will come of out these years. I don’t know what 2017 will bring…it could be much of the same, but then, maybe it won’t seem to challenging because, as you say, we will have become stronger. Maybe we don’t need what we thought we needed. “With simple acceptance came new beginnings”…yes! What we resist, persists.

      I’m sorry to hear about your fall. I hope that going within brought some inner peace and comfort, and that the soreness wasn’t too bad. Sending many blessings and well wishes your way. Thank you! Aleya

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  4. Thank you for sharing so deeply of yourself Aleya. I resonate with so many of your challenges, as someone who has often been driven by fear, the endless search for better, busyness, over consuming information, etc. I love your intention to relax into the here and now, savoring and appreciating what we do have. I’m grateful to share the journey with you.
    May 2017 bring more peace, trust, and flow. Hugs and blessings.

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  5. Your conclusions make sense to me. I am so over 2016 and 2015 was no bargain either. Maybe this is all necessary in the grander scheme… If not, I am grateful for what works, lessons learned, and enduring connections ❤

    Blessings to you my friends now and always,
    Linda

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    • Hi Linda ❤ yes I know 2016 was challenging for you and I wish you all the bestest for 2017. I agree with you, whether or not it is in the grand scheme of things (and I kinda think it is), there is much to be grateful for. Namaste and Happy Holidays…looking forward to sharing what the new year brings. xo Aleya

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