Here in the Northern Hemisphere, this year's winter solstice will be at 3:48 p.m. with a mere 9 hours and 3 minutes of daylight from 7:17 a.m. - 4:20 p.m. This is a time of transition, according to ancient Taoist tradition. Today yin energy is the strongest (longest night of the year) and yang energy is the weakest (shortest day of the year). We can maintain the balance of our own qi by adjusting our routines around these changes in yin and yang energies.
Begin the day by gathering two pieces of paper and writing "release" on one and "receive" on the other. We can consider this first official day of winter a fresh start energetically, so today is the perfect day to release emotions or habits that no longer serve your purpose and receive only that which brings you happiness, joy, peace, contentment, and gratitude. Write down everything that you wish to release and everything that you want to receive. Fold each of the papers and be sure to put them someplace safe so that during next year's winter solstice, you can review everything that you accomplished.
Because yang energy is at its weakest, it is too taxing to exercise today. Rather, take a short amount of time to de-clutter and clean your home and spend as much time in meditation as possible. Focus your mind on a year filled with balance in body, emotion, and spirit. Rest as much as possible.
Ground your energy today by drinking something sweet and warm. I will be enjoying a delicious ginseng tea gifted to me by my beautiful friend Anh, along with some local wildflower honey. Because our physical bodies absorb nutrients best in the winter, it is best to eat nourishing foods such as bone broth, soups, and stews with healing herbs and warming spices.
Most importantly, enjoy this day to the fullest. Consider all of the potential and opportunities that lie ahead of you. I am happy. I am joyful. I am peaceful and grounded. I am content. I am grateful.