Easy ways to make the most of the longest day of the year.
Tell me if you remember this feeling… last day of school when you were a kid, summer stretched out in front of you forever and ever. Like one never ending sunny day, the idea of September so abstract you couldn’t even comprehend it?
That was how I thought of summer, and it’s still how I want it to be: endless (probably why I live in Mexico half the year!) All I wanted was to get to summer and just stay there. But the more summers we have, the more aware we become that Summer is just part of the cycle.
Summer solstice is a good reminder of the ever-changing-ness of life. We live in cycles and because of the nature of a cycle, we never stop moving. From the second we “start” summer on the solstice (that’s today!), we are inevitably headed towards winter. The solstice is just a moment, that marks a point in the cycle. In fact, the word Solstice means to stand still.
It’s derived from the Latin words sol (Sun) + sistere (standing still).
From this day forward, in the northern hemisphere anyway, we lose a few minutes of daylight every day until we meet the opposite point in winter. It’s such a beautiful and elegant system, but it’s also a little wistful.
We don’t get to stay on one place for more than a moment.
That’s why the solstice is such a perfect time to take a pause. To literally stand still for a moment and look at where you have come from and where you are going.
Read on for some suggestions on how to honor this moment.
1- Like the sun, stop and reflect. Where were you at the winter solstice on December 21? What has hap
pened to you since then? How have you changed? Are you where you wanted to be? Take a moment to look back and see how far you’ve come. Maybe journal about some important things that have happened, insights that have arrived, or things you have let go.
2- The thing about cycles is that they are always starting over. We like to say that certain points are the beginning or end, but really, it’s all beginning and ending all the time. Nevertheless, it can be supportive and grounding to connect with the cycles of our planet and solar system. Think of Solstice as the beginning of a new cycle, one that will take you through the end of the solar year. Once you have looked backward, take another moment to look forward. Set some intentions or refine any that you made around the winter solstice or new year. If you are anything like me, you can’t even remember what your new year’s intentions were, so just start over! Another amazing thing about cycles is you can always begin again.
3- Not only does the solstice signal the beginning of the summer, it also marks the start of Cancer season in astrology. The sign of Cancer is ruled by the moon which is associated with our emotions and deep inner feelings about ourselves. Physically the moon governs the effects of the tides and Cancer season gives us a deeper connection to the major cycles of life. The sign of Cancer represents home, nurturing and empathy. Cancer embodies motherhood and care giving. This makes it a good time to ask yourself what you need. Could you use a little more mothering? Can you be your own mother? What are some things you can do to nurture yourself this summer?
4- Cancer is also a water sign, which is all about connection. To yourself most importantly, but to others as well. Summer is typically a social time when we are out and about, having barbecues and seeing friends. This is an ideal time to think about anyone or any group you have been wanting to connect with. Are there some friends that have slipped through the cracks? Set an intention to reach out in the days following the solstice. The season is here to support re-connection.