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The Stillest Point

An instructor in a winter solstice Yin yoga class quoted Mary Oliver during one of our long holds. It was quite fitting and as I continually brought my awareness back to my body and consciously dove deeper within, relaxing more into the pose, the more powerful the quote became.

"The dream of my life

Is to lie down by a slow river

And stare at the light in the trees-

To learn something by being nothing

A little while but the rich

Lens of attention."

-Mary Oliver "Entering the Kingdom"


The winter solstice is the stillpoint within the year, a great pause. I think this year the pause means more than it ever did. As we have navigated this year of tremendous change and really a new way of thinking about the collective, we are entering a time to integrate all we have learned. This requires finding the space of quiet within us, the still point. The element of winter is water and I feel it is the inner waters we seek. It is turning in to rest in the waters of our own womb. To nourish ourselves and allow the decay of what no longer serves us. This is imperative for new growth, as expansion can not occur in the spring without the space to do it.

It is just like Mary Oliver says in her poem, "to learn something by being nothing." We have become so trained in the doing, in equating action with telling the story of who we are when the opposite is more true.


Sometimes our power lies in what we don't say or don't do. It is allowing the quiet and stillness to speak. But that also goes for allowing the quiet and stillness to speak to ourselves too. That is the gift of winter, a natural slowing down and turning in. What's interesting to me, for this year especially as we enter winter, is that the emotions associated with the element of water, is turning fear into courage. I think that is very fitting for this time as we close out 2020 and enter 2021.

This past year has been literally a plague of fear, so now we go within to burn the fear away and stand in the ashes with courage in our hearts. Maybe it is having the courage to burn the fear away? I can feel the courage rising as we face the darkness, knowing the light is within us! Knowing the land will thaw and allow sunshine to penetrate into its cracks, reaching the seeds that lie in their own stillness below. In autumn we sent our roots into Mother Earth and now we are ready to rest within her soil. Let the true work begin!


"At the still point, there the dance is."

- T.S. Elliot