It’s that time of year when the pace begins to ramp up and the ‘to do’ list gets longer by the day. ‘We need to get this done before Christmas’ becomes a mantra. Time is measured by the number of days until Christmas. How is your still small voice of calm doing at the moment? Drowned out by the cacophony of noise? Silenced by the sound of deadlines rushing by? On pause as you hit the Christmas celebrations? 

As you set out your plans for the festive season have you built in some quiet time for yourself?  Time to tune out of all that is going on around you. Perhaps a walk or a space to take yourself off on your own. Uninterrupted time which is a gift to yourself not packaged with guilt.

I’m usually the first one up in our house. The cottage is silent and I cherish this time alone. During the winter months, when it’s dark outside, I often light a candle and sink into the stillness. I try hard to resist the temptation to dive straight into the news, emails and social media. To use this time for journalling or reading something more reflective. One of my ‘go to’ places at the moment is the writing of Maria Popova which she describes as an:

inquiry into what it means to live a decent, substantive, rewarding life, and a record of my own becoming as a person — intellectually, creatively, spiritually — drawn from my extended marginalia on the search for meaning across literature, science, art, philosophy, and the various other tentacles of human thought and feeling.

Maria Popova

An article she published recently which feels highly resonant is Silence, Solitude and the Courage to Know Yourself.  In this article Maria Popova encourages us to seek moments of silence and solitude in the natural world. To see this act as something more than physical exercise. To step out not with the intention of adding to our daily step tally but with reconnecting with ourselves:

Something strange and wondrous begins to happen when one spends stretches of time in solitude, in the company of trees, free from the bustle of the human world with it’s echo chamber of judgements and opinions – a kind of rerooting in one’s deepest self-knowledge, a relearning of how to simply be oneself, ones most authentic self… the places where one’s inner voices become audible.

Maria Popova

As you make plans for how to spend the festive season what would it feel like to plan a space for yourself? To take time to enter a place of silence and solitude, wherever that may be for you? To open up a space to listen to that still small voice of calm that resides in all of us when we make space for it to be heard. It’s not necessarily an easy place to be but it is a place of discovery, of authenticity and of reconnection.