We are made of stardust, scientists say — the iron in our blood, the calcium in our bones, and the potassium in our muscles all forged in the furnaces of ageless stars whose explosions scattered the elements across the universe. From these ashes grew new stars, and around one of them, a system of planets and asteroids and moons. Our solar system. A mass of dust fused to form the earth, and life – human beings – literally emerged from the accumulation of fourteen billion-year-old light debris. Perhaps this is why we are drawn to the light. Things feel more familiar, more comfortable, safer in the light. And yet, there is a certain type of beauty that only reveals itself when coaxed from the backdrop of darkness. Like stars or the Aurora Borealis, there is this indescribable magnificence that, to be fully and truly enjoyed, can only be viewed after a period of darkness.
Enter Summer Solstice. Arriving on the heels of winter, a period of hibernation, solitude, and night, the Summer Solstice is a breath of much-needed fresh air. From the Latin roots sol and sistere, it is a day that translates as, “to stand still in the presence of the sun.” The Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, presents to us an annual opportunity in which we are able to reflect on the seeds we have planted through the winter season and the seeds we hope to plant in the next season of life. It is a time of growth and stretching. It is a time to account for our own authentic selves and ask: Where do I feel most expanded? What brings me joy? What gives me hope? It is, above all else, the ultimate time of illumination. On this momentous day, as the sun comes to rest at its highest point in the sky, we are invited to fully stand in our own light as our paths for the remaining days of the year are illuminated.
Which areas in your life are in most desperate need of illumination? Which parts of your current story or your future dreams require a fortification of light? We invite you to reflect upon these questions at our Summer Solstice celebration at HeartSpace on Tuesday, June 21st. We will spend time embracing and honoring the goodness and joy in our lives while connecting with our surroundings, each other, and ourselves.
For those of you outside of Park City who wish to connect to the power of the Summer Solstice, here are some ways to observe and celebrate.
If you're able, celebrate your inner light with a bonfire in your backyard, beach, or local park. Gather around the fire with friends or family. Meditate, together, on the light you’ve experienced through the year and the light you hope to reflect back into the world as the year progresses. And then make some noise! Traditionally, the Summer Solstice has been a time of celebration and festivity. Grab some drums, guitars, noisemakers, or your speakers and dance until the sun finally sets (and after!).
The Summer Solstice is intricately tied to an appreciation for our surroundings, so take your celebration outdoors. Wake up early on June 21st to rise with the sun, appreciating the final climax of this yearlong journey. With your journal in hand, find a spot to sit outside as the dawn rises and take a moment to focus your breathing. Inhale for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, and exhale for 8 counts. Close your eyes, be still, and repeat. When you feel sufficiently centered, start writing. Spend time making a list of things you want to renew, manifest, or enhance in this next season of life. You may surprise yourself with the things you feel prepared to accomplish!
"I am in the Light, I am of the Light and I will express the Light."
(Note: this is one of my go to mantras when I am scared, needing protection or feeling the need to connect to the divine.)
You have the power to change the world for the better. But before you make your mark on the world, let the world make its mark on you. Let the sun of the Summer Solstice illuminate your whole, authentic, beautiful self. And as you let your light shine, invite those around you to do the same.