An Invitation to Hibernate With The Solstice

Forced to Stop (and Rest)

I was so looking forward to 12 magical days in Mexico at a Buddhist retreat, and wouldn’t you know it… five days into my trip, I got Covid! I would never have chosen to stay in a hotel room to find stillness and cleanse my mind and body.  But life had a different plan.

Before the trip, I had been super busy right up until the second I left. My  thinking was that when I got back, I would stop and take time to be still, let go, and give myself the silence I longed for. I wanted slow rainy days, curled up by the fire with one of my favorite books.

But instead, I was forced to abandon my retreat and hole up in a hotel.

Surrendering to Stillness

After much resistance, acceptance finally arrived. I read a book.  I fasted. All the activity — the busy-ness, the pushing myself, the coffee in the morning to get going, the glass of wine at night to slow down — it all unraveled and stopped.

Of course I felt sorry for myself. I was out-of-my-mind bored, and there was nothing I could do about it. By the end of five or six days, my body reached a cleanse point and my appetite came back. Food had never tasted so good!

Now that I am home again, I’m spending quiet time in my room, kept company by the most beautiful winter sky view outside my window. I’m still fatigued and going slow.

As you may know, winter is the time of hibernation.  In my case, life’s schedule for this precious slow down overrode my own.  I’ve always intended to learn my lessons before life forced them.  But once they come, my job is to surrender.

Guidance Comes Through the Quiet Space

So much in our culture is lost with constant doing. We desperately need time to slow down. The Tantra path requires this slowed down time to listen to our body’s wisdom, our soul’s longing, and our hearts’ guidance for rejuvenation. From this full cup we can give and receive love more fully. We can open to ecstatic energies and embrace life!

During this season, my wish for you is that you may heed the call to go within and resist the fear of missing out. Take the time to go deep into your senses and actually say “No thank you, I’m going to sit by the fire and read my book tonight.” May we answer the call of the Winter solstice (The Returning of the Light) and take the time needed to reflect.

I look forward to seeing you again in the New Year.

Lindy James

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