There are two solstices each year. These are astronomical moments when the light is greatest and the dark is least (Summer Solstice) and when the light is least and darkness is greatest (Winter Solstice). Each solstice is a domain of experience unto itself. At the Summer Solstice, all is green and growing, potential coming into being, the miracle of manifestation painted large on the canvas of awareness. At the Winter Solstice, the wind is cold, trees are bare and all lies in stillness beneath blankets of snow. All potential is concentrated into a single seed waiting patiently to begin its unfolding.
In the northern hemisphere, where Linda and I live, we are celebrating the Winter Solstice. Its metaphorical richness pervades all -- darkness before the light, silence before sound, stillness before movement, death before birth. It is the time of inwardness. SAD ("seasonal affective disorder") touches millions as depression and self-examination emerge fearfully in the prolonged darkness. At the same time, people in the southern hemisphere are celebrating the Summer Solstice. Its metaphorical richness also pervades all -- birth after gestation, emergence after confinement, manifestation after potential, life after death.
These different sets of experiences occur at the same time. Our experiences of the Solstice depends entirely upon where we are when it occurs. Neither Solstice encompasses everyone. Neither can. The Solstices stand forever opposed, literally at the two poles of our Earth and experiences. If we look at this circumstance with five-sensory perception alone -- eyes, ears, taste, touch and smell -- we must take a plane from the northern hemisphere to the southern to change our experiences of the Solstice. If we look from multisensory perception -- the expanded perception that is emerging in millions of us -- we must make another type of journey. This one is inward. It is the choice that we make continually, regardless of hemisphere, between health and illness, open and closed, prison and freedom.
The choice that frees or imprisons us is the choice of love or fear. Love liberates. Fear imprisons. You were born to learn how to distinguish within you between love and fear and to choose love no matter what is happening inside you (you are angry, depressed, jealous, obsessed with eating, sex, drugs, dark thoughts surround you) or outside you (an earthquake, tsunami, illness, 9/11 type event). Both the Winter and the Summer Solstices are expressions of love. They show us the opposition of light and dark, expansion and contraction, that characterize our experiences in the Earth school so that we can recognize our options as we move through our lives. There are only two. The choice of love or the choice of fear -- the choice of vibrancy or lethargy, meaning or emptiness, joy or pain. We cannot control what emotions or circumstances we will experience next, but we can choose how we will respond to them. Choosing love no matter what metaphorical hemisphere you inhabit at the moment, is the choice you were born to make. Each time you make it, you create authentic power.
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