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December 21st, 2014 | By Alicia Silverstone

I love the fall, when the weather first starts to change, the smells and the feeling in the air…and then when winter starts to really settle in- so cozy!

It is now full blown Winter! It’s weird at first how it gets dark so early, and sometimes this may cause us to feel depressed, worry, give into our fears, or just feel a bit out of sorts. All of this is totally natural in the Winter.

The key is to keep warm, nourish your soul and feed your spirit with all of the love that you have in your life. Relax and practice patience, and remember that after this beautiful, darker time of the year, Spring is just around the corner! But for right now, be present and enjoy the time that Winter allows for us to go deep inside, heal and take care of ourselves. Nature naturally provides us with warming foods for the wintertime, foods such as root vegetables.These winter foods help balance out the season, store energy, and strengthen yourself. The way you cook during this season can also help seal in warm energy, comfort, and heal yourself. Cooking methods such as cooking long and slow meals, like hearty soups, or using a pressure cooker. You might also find yourself going heavier then usual on oil, baking, or deep-frying, don’t freak out, this is ok! Your body is trying to keep you warm, so in moderation these actions are totally appropriate.

The actual meaning of Winter Solstice is that it’s date signifies the shortest day during the Winter, and the lowest point of the sun. As of today, each day grows longer until June 21st. The actual word ‘solstice’ translates to “sun stands still” since during each year’s two solstices (winter and summer) the sun appears to halt in its gradual journey across the sky. But it can mean more than that in other cultures. Many cultures around the world (both modern & historical) recognize the Winter Solstice as a rebirth of the sun. Traditionally, people B.C. would participate in some sort of nature ceremony to give thanks for the abundance of the summer and fall seasons, as well as celebrate the sun’s return.

Since this day is about celebration, rebirth, and nourishing your self, I hope you take the time to go within and celebrate your kind journey. Almost any kind of nature based celebration is a great way to honor the return of the light. Take a little celebratory walk at sunset, moon gaze by a fire,  or take a special bath.

Do you have anything fun planned in celebration of the solstice? What does it mean to you? What winter dishes do you love?


Photo Credit: Deviant Art

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