written by Dr. Janice Brown, Spiritual Warrior and Intellectual Lateral Thinker.
I grew up in the Yukon, a beautiful place in Canada’s north often called the “Land of the Midnight Sun”. My summer memories of childhood always included tinfoil on all the bedroom windows. This is how we managed the problem of too much daylight in the 70’s (even though it breaks all the Feng Shui recommendations for windows). Now, there are prettier and more fashionable window coverings to manage the ‘nuisance’ of light at night, but for the time it was a very practical solution and not unique to our household.
For me this time of year was magical, we called summer solstice, the longest day. In our town, we didn’t do Canada Day fireworks we saved such activities for cold winter nights; there just isn’t much sparkle in a fireworks display during daylight and our days in the north were bright well past midnight. To me, summer solstice will always be the longest day, but to our friends in the southern hemisphere it is just the opposite, it is the longest night. You see, it’s all a matter of perspective, you will see different things depending on where you are.
Lately, as I’ve been doing some work on SoleHealing, I’ve been thinking a lot about expansion and contraction in the context of the SolePath body of work. It is both deeply personal and fascinating to me. What I’ve been pondering is reflective of this very special time of year.
Today, in the northern hemisphere we are coming upon the most yang point of the year, summer solstice. It does not mean only yang, it is the longest day the most expansive aspect where yang energy reaches the hinge point; the pivot to begin contraction of yang up until winter solstice. Where it transforms into the longest night or point of most yin, the point of most yang contraction (not collapse) where there is a pause and the energy pivots again.
This is the natural rhythm of yin and yang in expansion. Think of natural rhythm like stretching and relaxing. An aspect of movement with a natural resting place. This rhythm generates our seasons which so lovingly lead us through our lives embraced by the movement patterns, rotation and tilt of our lovely planet as she travels around the sun.
I recently read an interesting article written by Ethan Siegel a Ph.D. Astrophysicist in Forbes magazine that was written a few years ago. In the article, “This is how the sun moves through the sky throughout the year”, he shares some great insights.
I love how he describes the sun’s motion through the sky, ‘its unique cosmic pirouette’ is due to our planet’s one-of-a-kind motion through space.
Though Earth may be the only planet in our solar system that moves with this pattern, if you’ve studied under Dr. Debra and her beautiful teachings on the Tao, you are probably starting to glimpse however, that this motion is intrinsic to all that we know about the rhythm of nature. Our practice in studying the Tao is about being a gentle participant in life and learning to recognise and honour these rhythms. This is something we can only do through experience. Learning to do this with grace and ease is a high purpose for all of us.
Dr. Debra reminds us in her book, Daily Pulse, Rhythm of the Tao, about these natural rhythms and understandings. In section 2.9, she discusses Tai Chi energy.
“When light and expanding, tai chi energy is balanced, allowing and non-resistant. When dark and collapsed, tai chi energy is unbalanced.”
Isn’t nature amazing? Such a powerful demonstration of rhythm and flow for us. I encourage you to enjoy the beauty of this unique day and see where you can drop into your natural rhythm of expansion and contraction during this very special time of the year.
- How can you embrace and not resist your natural movement and need?
- What perspective are you looking at the world from?
- Are you allowing the natural pause of your personal energy?
And remember, it’s a great time to start living on purpose.
Dr. Janice – Spiritual Warrior and Intellectual Lateral Thinker
Dr. Janice is a Doctor of Acupuncture and SolePath certified mentor and trainer