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As the Light Returns

As the light returns in the Northern Hemisphere on the Winter Solstice on December 21st, the daylight hours slowly increase over time toward spring. Even though I consciously know this is true, the expansion of darkness that has grown over time from fall has sometimes made it more difficult to resonate with the light and focus only on the dark.

As the Light Returns

This natural occurrence that takes place each year is expected, however, it still comes as a surprise to my awareness in that I begin to dwell on the darkness.

My attitude about this natural cycle and the presence of more darkness with the cooling temperatures and movement indoors changes my stress-avoidance actions and words. Instead of resonating with underlying potential benefits of the season of oncoming winter, I find myself complaining more about what has been lost more than what I might gain.

So what changed that? My attitude, responses to the situation, and my relationship with time are what changed. I am beginning to resonate with the return of light over the dark and cold of winter. I am now beginning to orient to the journey through winter to spring as we near the solstice time signaling the start of winter.

Winter is a time of introspection and depth. There are clear benefits of going inward, slowing down to harvest lessons and awareness, putting my energy into my roots the way plants do in the cold months so they can take the nurture of the Earth as she moves around the sun.

On the Winter Solstice, the change begins with only a few seconds of the length of time, similar to that of the day before the solstice. Yet, it is likely that my mindset will be especially focused more on the return of light. This is because this 3-month timeframe leads to greater light and warmth in spring. The takeaway is that it is all about perception and that the journeys we take in our lives need to be appreciated as the process unfolds even when a goal might seem to be a distance and time away.

As the Light Returns Quantum Change Happens

This starts with an invitation to celebrate along the pathway towards your goals and positive intentions instead of waiting for a date 3 months away to realize the subtleties in shifts that occur in small increments transforming each and every day.

Those small increments and connections to stillness and presence create wisdom, nurture, and new possibilities. This is where things really happen. Winter is a good time to release fears by connecting to the still-point, to the Universe, and to cultivating unconditional love through your cultivating presence on the physical, emotional, mental, and core essence levels.

At the Still Point by T.S. Eliot

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance

Working with 8 Treasures as the Light Returns

Chinese Medicine acknowledges the aspects of cultivating vital life energy over time. The reminder in winter along the path is to work with what is called the 8 Treasures. A reminder of this ability to thrive even during the cold months is illustrated by the cherry blossoms that bloom during winter even in the snow!

pink petaled flowers closeup photo
Photo by Brett Sayles on

The 8 Treasures for cultivation includes 81 days of getting in sync with nature as it presents itself in the journey toward spring. This time is also used to connect to and cultivate inner peace, happiness, smooth transitions, health, wealth, longevity, luck/fortune, and fulfillment.

To connect with the energetics of the 8 Treasures within, the process begins with eating or drinking an 8 Treasure congee stew or tea.

The idea is to work with the first 9 days starting with the solstice in the journey through winter into spring by drinking a little 8 Treasure congee or tea for the 1st 9 days. The fluid with the combination of glutenous rice, beans, nuts, grains, fruit, and sometimes meat, or the flower and fruit tea brings a deep acknowledgment and nourishment for the process.

Here is an article on ingredients you can find in 8 Treasure Soup:

You can order 8 Treasure teas on

The journey continues with intervals of 9 days with a focus on one of the 8 Treasures.

This beautiful process was taught to me by Master Liu He with a painting or drawing of a branch to hold 9 cherry blossoms, one drawn every 9 days. Each petal represents the completion of each 9-day segment and one aspect of the 8 Treasures. For every nine-day period between the beginning of winter and spring, you work with a new attribute. You then paint or draw one more blossom on the branch until it contains the nine cherry blossoms of your journey. What an acknowledgment and celebration of each part of the path that buds and flowers as you take care of your vital essence through the winter!

Smooth Transitions as the Light Returns

Of course, you can create your own way of processing gradual change as the light returns with a focus on the 8 Treasures through drawing, journaling, or dancing the attribute of each one over the next 81 days. It could be useful to draw one cherry blossom with one of the attributes in each petal. Then you might work with meditation questions about the particular aspect such as this example. “What do I need to know to cultivate inner peace?” “What resources do I need to create more peace in my life?” “What do I need to let go of to experience peace more fully?” Listen for guidance and trust the wisdom of your heart to tell you what you need at this time in your life or access more guidance to build wisdom from a teacher, book, or course.

It could be that you use movement including Qigong, Tai Chi, ice skating, skiing, or even snowshoeing to feel physically feel smooth transitions. You can tap into our own creative expression to explore each attribute. This is a time to get more in sync with nature by creating light within through illumination for your life. It is also worth your time to be in natural light by being out noticing what is happening in nature, enjoying yourself by looking at streams, rivers, mountains, watching the birds, or noticing activity in trees and plants as we move closer to spring. This keeps the focus on being present at the still point while moving forward at the same time (the dance).

So I invite you to consider taking this time to nourish and root yourself so that you can meet each day throughout the winter in ways that you know will benefit your attitudes, responses, and beliefs about your life. It is a great way to nourish your roots, collect seeds of vital energy within and honor your part in the wisdom of the Earth’s process. The light is returning. In fact, it is always there feeding your roots, establishing nourishment for growth towards budding, and flowering into new possibilities.

Kimberly Rex, MS
Kimberly Rex

Kimberly Rex, MS is an Advanced Resonance Repatterning® practitioner, Person-Centered Expressive Therapist, and Wellness and Well-being Life Coach. She works with people all over the world via Skype, phone, and proxy.

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