Rebecca Elia's Blog

All about Feminine Health, Healing, and Greece

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Point of New Return

It’s supposed to be the most joyous time of the year, and yet we all know that depression rises at the year-end winter solstice holidays. It may the most joyous time of year, but it’s also the darkest. And, perhaps, this is the point. Joy and light need the darkness out of which they arise.

Our society doesn’t do well with all things dark. Nor do we appreciate dissolution or death. It’s no wonder we have such a difficult time right about now. Our fear and depression go far beyond seasonal affective disorder and lack of natural light. In the middle of a time when we should be able to slow down and rest, most of us are in overdrive. So much needs to be completed before the end of the year. So much needs to be done in preparation for the holidays. Winter holidays, in themselves, are bipolar.

Add to this a disastrous year of financial woes and unemployment, and it’s downright scary for so many of us. Many feel that they are on the brink of collapse, at the point of no return.

But this is exactly what happens before something new is born. The darkest hour truly is before dawn. I suggest that rather than the point of no return, this may, in fact, be a point of new return.

The end of the year is time to take stock of 2009 and set intentions for 2010. But many of us have fallen behind on the lessons of 2009. Now, perhaps more than any other time in our lives, we are being asked to let go. Let’s face it, if we don’t let go willingly, it will happen without our permission, because the change that is here is out of our control. It’s essential that we address what we’re still hanging onto, what we refuse to release—because this will be our weakest link for the New Year.

For those of you who are interested in astrology, mercury retrograde from December 26th through January 15th will work in conjunction with this release. It will support this intense clearing. So, take advantage, and 2010 will be that much easier.

If you notice a lot of old stuff coming up around the holidays—with work, home, family, self—you are not imagining or regressing. Rather, you are re-visiting all the leftovers stacked in your refrigerated-soul that need to be thrown out, once and for all. And you don’t need to thaw them out first! From one who fights tooth and nail against inevitable change, please don’t follow my example. It doesn’t work, and it only leads to more fear and pain. Instead, better to end the year as a true Thanksgiving, a time to recognize what we each hold dear, to shed what is not, and an opportunity to allow ourselves to walk on our true paths in 2010.

I wish you a Joyful Holidays and Blessings in the New Year.


  1. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us just when we need it, at the darkest time of the year. Im not feeling particularly eloquent today - at days end I am a bit weary (a metaphor for the way many feel at year's end). I welcome the darkness and the deeper winter sleep it brings. A healing sleep, full of dreams that will unfold with the return of the sun. I look forward to reading more from you as this new year unfolds.

  2. Rebecca,
    This is so important right now in our lives and in the world. Thank you for reminding me as we enter the last days of the year.

  3. Thank you Amy and Julie for your wise words and support. Winter is so important for resting and rejeuvenating our souls and our world. I pray that our children grow up in a world that allows this, that allows more health and balance in our lives.

  4. I feel the absence of light in winter in a very strong way. The greatest comfort I find when the winter solstice arrives is that at last the daylight begins to increase in tiny increments.
    We love to break out the new calendars, but it's true we often keep the same old junky mental baggage from one year to the next. Rebecca, your analogy of 'leftovers in our refigerated souls' is perfect.
    I hope this year to truly stop worrying about what others might think of me and decisions I make. I am sandwiched between caring for declining parents and encouraging my children as they work on higher education (one in college and one carefully weighing acceptances and trying to make a choice). At the same time I recognize the importance of maintaining the wonderful relationship I have with my husband. I don't want to react to the thoughtless offhand remarks that some people feel the need to make about any of these situations, but often it cannot be helped. I think I will try working harder on having a completely nonexpressive face as my reaction - any thoughts?

  5. Annemarie,

    Thank you so much for your comments. You have very real concerns and represent many women. So much is being asked of us, and there are many things we cannot control, such as the health of your parents or the life experiences of your children.

    But what others think of us sounds like "old stuff." Most of us women have such a strong inner critic that we mistaken what others say as a valuable voice. If it's merely nothing more than your inner critic, then I would invite you to not give their words weight. Instead, look at the ways in which you've been hard on yourself. Perhaps that needs to go.

    Certainly not showing a reaction will serve to protect you from further outside comments, but be careful not to silence your inner voice--because this would be a big disservice to you. Instead, listen to what she (your inner voice) has to say and how she wants to be expressed. It will serve you best to find a way to support her, because she is there to guide you and to give you valuable information about your needs.

    Perhaps someone else has thoughts about this that they would be willing to share? How do you deal with the inner "critic," and how do you express your true inner voice? Everyone of us has these two voices. Certainly every writer knows the "inner critic" only too well!

  6. Since I've been parenting, my inner critic has less power. That's because I'm choosing to re-parent my inner child along with parenting my own kids. When "she" is one of my kids, I can love her for trying and appreciate her progress, rather than judging her for not being further. I'm more willing to stand up for her - that is, me - and ask the critic to use compassion and kindness in her messages. Does it always work? No. But it often helps.

    My future self helps too. She coaches and encourages me from the distance of seeing my current situation as just one moment in my lifetime of learning. She is the person I'm working to be, so her judgment means more than the critic's. When she speaks up, the critic goes into a silent sulk.

    These are just two mind tricks I practice. I have no idea if they would help anyone besides me, but thought I'd share, just in case.

    I think the common principle is establishing context within a lifetime, and taking multiple views with deliberate compassion.

  7. Enjoyed your post. I am planning on a great 2010, just have to remind myself occasionally.

    Do you currently live in Greece?