gather and grow

Homegrown, hand-spun living in the city


Solstice Eve. This particular day, this particular year, has been so loaded with different meanings for different people that it has been difficult to even bring it up without prompting either gloomy predictions or trivial jokes on the part of others. For me, the shortest day of the year has been about clearing out all the noise and the hype, and making time for some much-needed reflection. I spent the first half of the day quieting down, meditating, and journaling – and then, as the evening darkened, celebrating this turning of time, the beginning of our next journey around the sun, in the best possible way – surrounded with a warm community of people close to me, with much laughter, singing, and good food.

Last year around this time, a friend of a friend sent out a reflection exercise that ended up in my inbox. In essence, the practice is about taking inventory of the past year, and setting intentions for the coming year. It resonated with me so much that I decided to make it into a Solstice tradition. And, since I was encouraged to pass it along, here — with much gratitude to Christopher Kuntzsch — is the abbreviated version of the reflection process. Light a candle, pull out a notebook, take your time with the questions, see what arises for you.

1)  Life so far: What have been the most significant milestones, themes, and patterns and how are they informing my path? What gifts/talents have I connected to in my life that I have either been told I embody or that I have felt within myself (or both)? What have been some patterns around the obstacles that I have faced? 

2)  The past year: What accomplishments from the year gone by do I want to celebrate? What obstacles did I encounter on the way? What were some sources of support and nurturing? What experiences, magical moments, or synchronicities stand out? Who are the people that have been influential this year and what gifts did they bring into my life? What do I need to let go of, forgive, release, or compost in order to move on?

3)  Looking ahead: What intentions do I feel called to plant for the next year that will help me keep moving towards what I see possible – for myself, my family, my community, and the world? What would my life look like totally actualized? What do I want to create more of in my life this coming year? What is being called forth in me? What will I need to let go of to step more powerfully into myself and my gifts? What do I want to cultivate in my life to move closer to those visions? What commitments do I want to make for this coming year? What kind of support will I need?

Happy Solstice! Welcome back the light!

5 thoughts on “The first day in a new world…

  1. Georgette Howington says:

    Winter solstice happens to be my birthday. I take notice for that reason but as much also because it is a turning point into a new season and a time for reflection. Every year I spend time as you suggest here looking back, contemplating the future and being in the now. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and suggestions. I will add the questions to my journal and ponder.

    1. Mari says:

      Hi Georgette, What a special time to have been born, and to celebrate the turning of your own years… Enjoy the process of reflection! Oh, and I can’t take credit for the questions and prompts — I’ve changed the wording here and there, but the meditation itself was created by Christopher Kuntzsch. In any case, happy (late) birthday and Solstice!

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