Excitement is in the air with the hustle and bustle of this season. There is so much that calls our attention: traveling, events, food, family and gifts, just to name a few. As a result, I often find myself absolutely exhausted by the time Winter Solstice arrives on December 21st because of all the outward activity. Winter Solstice, also known as Yule, is the midpoint of the winter. It is the simultaneous ending and beginning of the solar year as described by Susa Silvermarie. This day experiences the most darkness and therefore, the least amount of light. From this day forward light begins to grow. Winter Solstice traditionally represents Stillness and Deep Peace. Yet our lives today do not reflect this rhythm. Consequently, it is easy to neglect one’s self-care in the midst of all the holiday expectations and activities. This leads to feeling too exhausted and overwhelmed. Traditionally, I have created intentions for the ways I desire to restore myself as the darkness draws me more inward. As I dive deeper into the darkness that is still currently expanding, I am learning that inner self-care during this season has a different quality to it than when the light is fuller. A wise woman in my life recently reminded me why this may be true. Ethical and respectful farmers allow their lands to lay fallow from time to time. Some traditions say one year for every seven years. An entire year of doing nothing! This is truly representative of going inward. Being that our bodies are made of precious earth, what would it look like to have time for fallowness? What would it feel like? To feel stillness and restoration instead of being sapped of all energy? I have experienced that personal fallowness is not actually doing nothing. It is an active state of being open to receiving. Open to receiving quietness, deep peace, support, nurturance, and love. It is like an exhale; needing no effort except holding the intention of willingness. It is to put all the outward away, even if only for a few minutes. By being mindful of creating the open space for stillness, we are receptive to listening to our own soul’s wisdom as well as to the divine. During this season of darkness, may you carve out moments of time for inner self-care, with complete quiet. Quietness where you are open to receive all the gifts that this time of year naturally provides. Deep Peace to you and your loved ones.