When everything shut down earlier this year, due to Covid-19, most of us were stopped in our tracks and forced to take a good hard look around. It was good for us. Many of us got outdoors and spent more time together as families.
Now things are beginning to re-open and we have a social justice movement demanding our attention, as it should! This is another opportunity to get still and take a personal inventory. Our world needed this shaking up desperately in order for REAL change to happen.
No, we don’t want things to go back to the way they were before, because they were not in fact, ever okay the way they were.
In perfect timing, like the universe is known to do, we are served with the Summer solstice here in the Eastern Hemisphere, followed by a solar eclipse and a new moon, a time to set new intentions.
What is the Summer Solstice?
The summer solstice happens when the Sun reaches it’s highest point in the sky, giving us our longest day of the year. This is happening in the northern half of the globe, this year on June 20th, marking the official start of summer (although some consider it to be June 1).
For the other half of the globe, this is the shortest day of the year and marks the beginning of their winter.
What is the Significance of the Summer Solstice?
The summer solstice is all about light.
Shining a light on our shadows,
taking note of what lights us up
as well as taking note of what dims our light.
This is definitely not a time to play small.
This is a time to shine our light bright, get creative, utalize our strengths, and follow our passions. It’s time to take all the introspective work and energy stored over the winter solstice,
and put our best selves out into the world to do the work we were put here to do.
The solstice is also our half way point through the year, so it makes for a great time to examine the path your on.
If you had set new years intentions, how are they going?
Have you gotten off course? If so how can you you reset yourself?
Now is a time to ask yourself important questions about your life.
What do you want your future to look like?
Who or what is helping you grow?
Who or What do you need to leave behind?
What kind of experiences and opportunities do you wish to see more of in your life?
What is Tapas?
Tapas translates to: purification through discipline. It is one of the niyamas or moral guidelines we follow as yogis on an 8 limb path.
Tapas is the internal fire that drives us forward through fierce determination and commitment to our yoga practice. It’s what motivates us to keep stepping onto our mat, and the passion that gives us the courage to chase our dreams.
Practice Tapas on the mat:
Make time to practice everyday for at least 5 minutes. Try to incorporate the poses you usually avoid or find difficult. Often the ones we need most are the one’s we avoid. Knowing this and choosing to do it anyways is one way to practice tapas.
If you are someone who has a very active fast moving practice, tapas for you may look like dedicating more time to your meditation practice, or practicing yin yoga.
Practicing Tapas off the mat:
Fighting off that nasty internal dialouge that beats you down and tells you, you aren't good enough. It takes courage and inner strength to change these bad mental habits, but doing so makes you a tapas warrior. Check out this post on reversing negative thoughts
Try to establish a small morning routine. Keep this really simple to start, for example drinking a glass of water first thing every morning or taking 10 deep belly breaths before getting out of bed and starting the day.
Activate the Solar Plexus Chakra
When thinking about the summer solstice, tapas and all that they encompass, we need to draw the attention to our solar plexus chakra.
When balanced, the solar plexus generates a quiet humble confidence that’s not looking to prove anything. This is about knowing you hold the power to transform your thought into action. We can harness this energy to let go of fears, doubts, and insecurities.
How to Celebrate the Summer Solstice
Summer is all about soaking up the sunshine, enjoying fresh foods, hanging out outdoors, and living your best life.
Get outside and soak up some nature. Have a bonfire or a picnic with friends and reflect on the first half of the year, or go berry picking at a local farm.
Because of the angle of the sun, the sun sets slower around the time of the solstice making for a nice long sunset to capture that perfect summer mood.
Do some energizing, active yoga to fire up your solar plexus, like this one:
Make sun tea. Just add your favorite tea or herbs into a large glass jar, fill with water, seal up and set outside in the sun to brew while soaking up the energy of the solstice sun.
Make yourself some all natural solstice perfume: Craft an essential oil mist with a combination of sweet marjoram, grapefruit, ginger, or geranium. Plant Therapy is my favorite line.
Watch the Stonehenge summer solstice livestreamed here!
Watch the Solar Eclipse Live on YouTube
Have a happy Summer Solstice!
Let me know what you thought in the comments below, and tell me how you will be celebrating the summer solstice this year.
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