December is the darkest month of the year, when nights stretch to their longest, outpacing the daylight here in the Northern Hemisphere – yet, the very longest night, the Winter Solstice on the 21st, is also when the cycle shifts and the sun begins to reassert itself.
Helping the light along are the holidays of this season - Hanukkah, the festival of lights, and Christmas and the kindling flame of hope it brings to the faithful. It can’t be by accident that this long, dark night of a month is when we gather with those we love to share joy, merriment, and gifts – or that it so often leaves us feeling exhausted.
I always sally forth into dark December buoyed by high hopes; hopes of reconnecting with old friends, of sharing laughter and fun with family, and of finishing the year with a sense of accomplishment rather than regret. And there have been some years in which I actually achieved all of that – but other Decembers have seen me miss the mark. How about you?
It’s perilously easy to get so hamstrung by our endless to-do lists that the real gifts of the season pass us by. As the Rigpa thought for the day reminded me this week:
“It is important to reflect calmly, again and again, that death is real and comes without warning. Don’t be like the pigeon in the Tibetan proverb: “He spends all night fussing about, making his bed, and dawn comes up before he has even had time to go to sleep.”
This month, when you’re caught up in the whirlwind of hectic shopping, gift wrapping, decorating, hosting, partying, card-sending, and racing to finish up your annual goals, don’t forget to hit “pause” on all the fussing to enjoy this season of Hope and Renewal. Be awake to the beauty of this month, with its endings and beginnings. And don’t forget to breathe!
At last, I am so excited to announce my latest book is about to be released!
"Creating a Culture of Care: Insights and Inspirations From A Hospice Leader"
STAY TUNED FOR A SPECIAL OFFER NEXT WEEK!!!