Our Real Work: Jess Ryan, MS

Coaching and consulting. Something's calling. It's your life.

Enjoy the light. Welcome back the dark?

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The longest day of the year arrives tomorrow. Yay! It’s a reason for celebration (unless maybe you are the parent of a toddler).

With solstice we welcome summer officially. I’m almost convinced we won’t see snow fly again for a few months. But already, our schedule has shifted with the sun. Dinner and bedtime have crept later as the light holds us outside just a little longer.

This time of year I find the light doesn’t fit with our rest-of-the-year rhythms. With the sun still streaming, I glance at the clock and it’s 7:30 already. Whaaat? It’s hard to wind down and close the day.

I love these long days that seem to stretch into the next. Can you feel the expansiveness of this season? We follow the light, drawn like a moth to a flame, a plant toward the sun or any light giving it what it needs to grow and thrive.

Do you savor each minute of daylight?

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but the darkness is coming. June 20 marks the longest day of the year this year, which means June 21 is a little shorter. Even as we break into what, for many, is a season of light and sunshine, we will see a little less of the sun each day.

Am I killing your sun-kissed, light loving vibe? I’m not trying to be a downer. Summer solstice tends to be filled with light and celebration. In summer we tend to turn outward, and summer solstice always feels like a high energy day. Unlike its winter counterpart.

At winter solstice, I find myself turning inward? You too? We sit in the dark, but we welcome back the light. We hold both sides together. We look at dark and light not as sides but as parts of one whole? Why should the summer solstice be any less of a paradox?

I think it’s because we crave light and are uncomfortable with the darkness. But it turns out you can hold both, sit with both with ease, if you choose. This summer solstice, go ahead and celebrate the light, but make some room for the darkness too. Watch the light shift as the sun finally does set. Stay out until the night sky finally grows inky. Feel how different the summer darkness feels from the winter darkness. It’s not just the temperature, is it?

This summer solstice enjoy your sun. Do your sun salutations. Let your bonfire blaze. Tap into the energy of renewal and beginnings to new intentions. Stay up late and honor the fullness of the long day. Do whatever it is that celebrates the light and life and start of summer…that celebrates the light and life that is in you.

And open yourself to the coming dark. Feel them both. And listen to this meditation. Yes, I shared it in the depth of winter when the dark was most upon us. But the paradox of light and dark is here with us now too. Are you willing to go there? Try it—see what light cracks opens for you.

Get the Soulstice meditation HERE.

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