By: LUMO Leaders
HO-HO-HOLY cow, the year is almost over everybody!
Greetings from Maine. Anna here. While chatting with one of my neighbors about the holiday season the other day she said something to me that sounded like a hilarious paranoid bumper sticker:
“It’s dark and I’m running out of time!”
We were talking about end of year tax business, the stress around buying prezzies, and the increasing darkness that creeps in as we approach the Winter Solstice, the Northern Hemisphere’s darkest, longest day of the year.
Her comment was such a frenzied throw away, and it made me laugh out loud because I identified COMPLETELY with the statement. But in an instant I was able to see from the outside how lucky we are, and how it’s all about perspective.
Our chosen point of view. All of these stressors can be looked at through a different lens:
We made money this year. Huzzah! And now it’s time to contribute to our civilized society. Huzzah!
We are blessed with dear friends and loved ones with whom we wish to be generous. Lucky us.
If we create the time, we can go out and stimulate the local economy by shopping at privately owned businesses, bringing joy and dollars to our community. We are economy stimulators!
If we decide to make it fun, we can turn our local shopping adventure into a date with our partner (martinis!) or our kids (hot cocoa!).
If we’re really REALLY creative we can make gifts! (Okay, I’ve gone too far. We’ve been watching Making It at our house and the delightful combo of Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman gives me the crafting crazies!)
While winter is indeed dark here on the top side of our earthy marble, and it is indeed a bit “nipply” as folks here in Maine like to say, there is something restorative in these quieter, colder, darker months. Something cozy, contained, and creative.
These darker days offer us an opportunity to retreat into our homes and get cozy, reflect on the successes we’ve had over the year, and reconnect with ourselves, as well as bundling and cuddling with the folks who share our heating bill.
We have family. We have warmth. We have time to rest and reflect. We have light, in each other, in our hearts, in the electrical wiring of our homes, in our fireplaces…. We have so much light to hold and share and be with in these magically dark months.
It’s all about how you create it. If you see something as a miserable burden there is zero chance you’re going to find yourself in a joyful circus of trained ponies and kittens. You have to find your own light in the darkness. I repeat:
FIND YOUR LIGHT.
When I was little I used to find the light by laying in the dark on the living room floor beneath the Christmas tree, staring up into the pine branches and twinkling lights, smelling the spruce and feeling the joy of the holiday season wash over me with excitement and possibility. And love.
Whether you are lighting a menorah, an Advent wreath, a kinara, a Yule log, a Christmas tree, or just your ordinary front porch light, know that the light is sustaining and connecting us. Across cultures, faiths, and geography, a sacred flame connects us this time of year and invites us to gather, warm ourselves, and celebrate all that we have created, grown, experienced and, in many cases, survived over the previous year. The light brings us together in celebration and in anticipation of the return of our number one megawatt star, the light of our lives, our life-giving sun.
Without darkness, how would we ever truly appreciate the beauty of the light?
As you cuddle down for your long winter’s nap, consider your wins of the year. What flames of success and gratitude can you cup in your hands and foster during the cold months? Build a fire in your home, your heart, your hearth, to cherish and inspire you as we move into the new year.
And share it with a friend.
As they say in The Wheel of Time (Also a really good show!), “Thank the Light.”
Yours in leadership and parenting,
Anna & the LUMO team
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