Happy belated summer solstice!
I can't believe this year is already half over. In some ways it still feels like it's still starting, but perhaps that's because I've been starting so many new things in my life this month: new course offerings, new business ventures (more on that later), making new connections, learning new skills, finding new areas of service, and so on. I'm finding too that as with any new venture, often new starts involve new thinking/planning/reflection and journaling modes.
In that vein, just out of curiosity I decided to research a bit about "Summer Solstice Writing Traditions." Google is ever so helpful, but apparently writing isn't much of a tradition for Summer yet. However, I did find quite a lot of intriguing information about Solstice Traditions around the world as well as some well-living benefits of the solstice. Here are a couple that stood out.
First of all, one Scandinavian tradition involves participants jumping over a bonfire several times. Apparently, the act of jumping over the fire serves partially as a means of purifying and getting rid of demons or negativity, but also in hopes that those who jump successfully will marry during the next year. A few other similar traditions shared the belief that the bonfire would enhance or magnify the power of the sun to predict good harvests for the rest of the year and possibly to predict the future. (Psychology Today 2013)
Another tradition from Greece called Klidonas involves unmarried women putting a personal belonging in a pot of sea water and leaving it overnight, such that when they retrieve it, the power of the "magic" of the longest day of the year has imbued it with prophetic power - usually regarding their future husbands. (CNN Solstice Traditions 2018)
Finally, in asking the question why so many cultures have traditions of celebration around this day, Scientific American blogger Maria Konnikova suggests that the reason may simply be that on this day people are often the happiest they've been in a long time (Literally Psyched Blog, 2013). I found that there have been quite a few studies that hint at a correlation between more sunlight and more positive attitude. Christopher Bergland, author of The Athlete's Way blog on Psychology Today states that "When there is more sunlight each day, our mood and energy is biologically pumped up. Midsummer is a supercharged time physically and emotionally, which makes it ideal for making resolutions to: kickstart new habits, strengthen human relationships, and let go of negativity." (June 2013).
At this time I'm not especially interested in the marriage aspects of solstice celebration although it does provide food for thought, but who doesn't want to kickstart new habits, strengthen relationships and let go of negativity? I think the correlation between positive energy, happiness, and future visioning may be helpful not only for my multiple new endeavors, but hopefully for you as well! So, here are a few journal writing suggestions to help us harness the power of the sun during this summer solstice period. Let me know how they turn out for you! Happy Sun-writing!
1) Start with a “virtual bonfire” write. Picture yourself (safely) jumping three or more times over a bonfire that magnifies the sun’s positive energy and as you do - each time what drops off?
What negativity does the fire burn away?
What “baggage” do you want to leave behind?
Try this format:
“As I jump over the fire, I feel (notice, picture, allow) __________ (specific negativity, baggage, harmful quality, thing that no longer serves me, etc.) dropping away….As I land on the other side I now feel….(new emotions thoughts that take the place).”
2) Try to harness the power of Klidonas in your own way. Write in present tense as if you are actually doing this tradition. Write down what personal belonging you leave overnight. When you retrieve it, what promise, prediction, or positive thought has the “magic of the day” imbued it with for you to carry with you through the rest of the year?
3) If a more logical, straightforward write is more your thing - simply view this as a way to vision what the rest of your year will look like. Make a list of goals for 5 or 6 different areas of your life and as you write each one down, add one action step you can take each day/week/month going forward to bring you closer to them.
4) Or, simply spend some time in the sunlight and write about what you appreciate during this time of year and what you want to shine in during the rest of your life this year. Here are a couple starters:
- The sunlight’s gift to me is...
- One way I can bring more positivity into my life is…
- One thing I want more of for the remainder of the year is…
- One thing I want less of in my life for the remainder of the year is...