The Solstice has come and gone, and now it’s officially summer in the northern hemisphere.
A crucial component of my emerging spiritual practice is honoring the Seasonal Sabbats, those sacred days that mark the change of the season. So I wanted to share what I did to celebrate the Summer Solstice.
The day began with me hitting snooze on my overzealous alarm, which I had set for 4:30am. It really sounded like a great idea to get up early so I could watch the sun rise on the longest day of the year. But here in the U.S. Pacific Northwest the sun rises at 5:11am and in the end, I am really not a morning person and I just couldn’t manage it.
I also did not watch the sunset. (Which was also part of my Solstice plan.)
You know how things go …. You make all these lovely plans and have all these great ideas but, by the end of the day, you’d rather just get in your cozies.
What we did do was take a beautiful early evening walk and enjoy a picnic in the park with our dear friends who were moving abroad the very next day. I mean … could there really be a better way to honor the arrival of summer than a picnic in the park with closest friends?!!
And, yet …
I always get so down on myself for not following through with my (totally over-zealous and completely unattainable) plans.
And this is my relationship with my spirituality.
I feel drawn to acknowledge and celebrate these sacred seasonal days. This feels like a vital component of my spirituality. As each of these powerful days approaches I plan all these different ways I’m going to honor the day.
Sometimes these plans are quite grand; in which case, I realistically can’t engage in all the numerous things I planned and I end up feeling like I failed. Or the plans are simple, a walk with my family or time spent journaling. In which case, I convince myself they were insignificant and therefore “don’t count”.
(This is clearly a symptom of a bigger issue for me, one that I’m sure most of us struggle with: accepting ourselves exactly where we’re at, acknowledging the things we do instead of focusing on the things we don’t do, not accepting the things we are able to do as worthy or enough.)
Our spirituality is certainly not a place where we should beat ourselves up. Our spirituality should be a place where we can let go of all that crap.
This is one of the main reasons I created The Seasonal; to be a place where I can explore my spiritual practice exactly where it is.
So here’s what I did do on the Summer Solstice:
1. I participated in this really lovely online ritual facilitated by The Moon Sisterhood. It included a couple of meditations, an astrology reading, and lots of good, juicy seasonal juju.
It was live online, which meant I could participate in this sweet ritual in my own bedroom with my headphones on. I was in my own little bubble, while still connected to this powerful community. It was very sweet.
(And, I mean, at the start of the ritual the directions were called in … that bitchy part of my brain can’t tell me that “doesn’t count”!!)
2. I took a wonderful walk and sat by our beautiful lakeside with my journal.
This year the energy of the summer solstice hit me really hard. (Not to mention the corresponding full moon and all these heavy things happening astrologically.) I was really struggling and feeling unmotivated, uninspired, and just really super bummed out.
I was tired of stewing in my muck so I decided to take a walk. And while I was sitting at the lake my phone whistled at me, telling me my favorite astrologer/healer, Danielle Paige, was on Periscope. Live from Hawaii.
(Man, this is 21st century spirituality, I tell ya.)
I had never been on Periscope before and only recently installed it on my phone, specifically to follow this one inspiring person. And here she was, calling me on the Summer Solstice. It was total divine intervention as she told me precisely what I needed to hear in that very moment.
She told me to honor my emotions. Allow whatever you are feeling to just come. And then … allow it to pass. “Allow. Allow. Allow,” she told us.
She also talked about the Summer Solstice as the halfway point in the cycle of the sun. And as the halfway point, we should just pause. Instead of spinning our wheels, pause.
Take some time to honor where you’ve come over the last six months. Reflect on where you’ve been and honor where you are going.
3. We hosted a BBQ the following weekend to celebrate summer with all our friends and neighbors.
We invited nearly everyone we know and made it as easy on ourselves as possible. We cooked hot dogs and sliced up watermelon. The party was in our front yard so the guests never even entered our house. It was perfect.
And it was simple. And it helped me see:
Your spiritual practice doesn’t need to be grand or complicated. It doesn’t need to be over-thought or over-planned. And we certainly don’t need to get down on ourselves about any part of it.
Your spiritual practice just needs to be.
It just needs to be present in your life; in whatever form that takes.
And you just need to be open. If you are open to receiving, the Universe will send you the exact right messages you need to hear at the exact right moment.
So let’s all just relax into this spiritual practice we are creating.
Don’t overcomplicate it. Don’t over plan it. And certainly don’t get down on yourself about it. Just allow whatever will come, to come. Just be.
Now … on to making my To Do List for the plethora of activities, rituals and meditations I plan to do to celebrate Lammas/midsummer. 😉