I must be honest, R.E.M. has been playing in my head all day long: "It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine..."
In all of the world ending hulaboo, I almost forgot that it's the Winter Solstice. I found myself wanting to hang out in stillness today and that's what I did. I snuggled up inside the house and meditated, practiced yoga, took a bath, lit some candles, enjoyed some freeform movement, reclined on the couch with my Kindle...yes, I was in fully Winter hibernation mode and I enjoyed every second (perhaps that's why I feel so "fine" today just like Michael Stipe says).
I also spent some quality time with my Tibetan Singing Bowls. I enjoy adding a little sound and vibration to my Savasana by placing a bowl either on my chest or belly. If you don't have a bowl, I suggest adding sound to your yoga practice -- on your exhales, try toning MAAAAAAA or HMMMMMMMMM or AHHHHHH. I did this today (I suppose you could say the theme of my practice today was sound and vibration) using some simple arm movements and forward bends and cat cows. Afterwards I felt relaxed and deeply at peace.
If you're in need of some peace this holiday season, check out this video on the healing power of sound:
And in case peace isn't enough of a holiday gift for you, I'd also like to offer up a perspective shift. Back when I first started studying yoga and meditation, I had this fantasy of turning off my thoughts altogether (yes, I entertained fantasies of sitting high atop a mountain smiling peacefully as I sat with an empty mind). It wasn't until a teacher talked about changing the quality of the mind rather than changing the mind itself that I let go of the fantasy.
When I first started bringing awareness to my thoughts, I found that I could change my outer world if I first changed my inner world. This wonderful TED Talk discusses just that -- and the speaker, Shawn Achor, makes you laugh along the way. Just a little holiday reminder that just because the news proclaims the end of the world doesn't mean you have to buy into it. Perhaps it's time to create your own world...
Happy Holidays and Namaste!