On Thursday, Mark and I travel to a small island in the West Indies. We stay for five weeks in a little cottage by the ocean. Our time is “unplugged”: no Internet, news, TV, email, or screens. We get to the market via bikes, no car. It’s an unconventional life that nourishes our spirits.
Winter Solstice is a natural time for contemplation and reflection. It’s a more powerful transition than the flip of the calendar year. For months, the days become shorter. Darkness descends as an invitation to rest and nourish. The primal parts of us lean into hibernation. We stock our pantries, make soup, wrap in blankets, and get more sleep. We slow the pace and turn inward.
"A solid rock cannot be moved by the wind, the wise are not shaken by praise or blame." The Buddha spoke these words 2500 years ago. And they're still relevant today. We seek praise and resist blame. We're shaken, not unmoved. I find it interesting when we receive both praise and blame for the same action. This dissonance—when we're "wise"—tells us to take everything with a grain of salt. We grow from feedback, positive or negative, but it doesn't define who we are.