Today is the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere. When the sun is still in the sky and when we cast our shortest shadow.
Perhaps when shadows are cast the shortest the things that lurk within them are more intensely felt.
When the sun shines its brightest and longest we have no choice but to allow light to shine on the dark places of our experience. This is how the Summer Solstice brings its gift of clarity.
We each have a shadow and we each are responsible for what our shadow-side may contain. Shadows are only discernible in the light, but once they are visible we can study them better.
This is a good time to journal and to shine your reflective light on whatever is lurking in your shadow.
One way to deal with our shadow when it arises is to be grateful. No matter what hides in the darkness we can often transmute it through embracing it and getting curious about how it reminds us to be and to behave.
For example in my journal I find myself writing “I am grateful for this unsettledness. It reminds me to stay in the present moment and to do whatever is needed to keep myself grounded.”
At the moment the thing that is unsettling me and many people in the UK is the EU Referendum which is only now three days away. What grounds me in the face of so much rhetoric and politicking is finding out as much impartial information as I can in order to think independently and make an informed decision at the ballot box.
And this brings me back to the value of reflective writing at these times. Seven years ago writer Dermot Bolger said in the Irish Times:
“The moment you begin to write…you are making a declaration of independence, determining to think for yourself…”
When faced with big decisions that will have far-reaching consequences being able to think independently about them and make an informed judgement is vital. Reflective writing helps to identify what we need to do to ‘think for ourself’ and it helps to lighten the shadows.
Wishing you clarity and light this Summer Solstice.