eikibyRaine “Soothingbalanceinanunbalancedworld”

o Life-long intuive energy healer; cerfied in Reiki o Specializing in distance and surgical Reiki o Discounts for students, seniors, veterans & alternave praconers; discount packages for 3, 5 & 10 sessions"

Raine Wolfangel

By appointment, 7 days/week (201) 240-9003

o Cerfied Reiki Praconer, A Center for Light, 2009 o Member, Internaonal Associaon of Reiki Professionals since 2015 o Tisserand Instute Cerficaons in Essenal Oils, EO Chemistry & EO Safety, 2018

Finding Comfort and Joy in Winter By Beth Kempton

These days, like a heavy boot on

a frozen puddle, December cracks me wide open as it closes in. It makes me worry about the farmers and the pigs, and the shepherds and the sheep, battling the cold and the rain. The homeless people tucked into doorways and under bridges, the elderly sitting alone at their breakfast tables, hoping someone might pop in. The early risers in their dressing gowns, carrying their worries into the kitchen to put the kettle on and figure out how to pay for Christmas.

The sounds of winter are crackling poetry. Wind in the

trees. Rain on the roof. A spitting fire. The thump of a log falling away from the flames. Rustling paper. Mulled wine poured steaming into a glass. The rhythm of the weather forecast calmly announcing that the storms will rage on. Joy and sorrow go together in winter like the play of light

and shadow in the flicker of a candle. Every one of us will experience a full range of emotions before spring returns. I have long wondered whether the January blues might be

due to more than the miserable weather, the monotony of the return to work, the short, gray days and the long, dark nights. What if it is also a consequence of the way we spend December? What if the typical sluggishness, lack of motivation, and low mood are hangovers from the festive stress, an excess of rich food, and the disruption of our usual daily rhythms when Christmas descends? Imagine the difference it would make if we could usher ourselves through the month with care and allow plenty of time for rest and reflection. It is important to nourish body, mind, and spirit, seek out

small moments of joy, and establish comforting winter rhythms that will see you right through the season. There is a restorative power in winter, an invitation to slow down and harness that in- tangible, special something that lives in the corridors of Christmas. It can be a hectic time, but with a little mindfulness and the occasional pause, it can also offer countless opportunities for rejuvenation and joy.

When we surrender to the flow of winter, a powerful wave

carries us far from the rush of everyday life and inwards, to the place where our truth lies waiting. This is a time to reconnect with our essence, our humanity, our deep-seated creativity, and our place in nature. Much of what has come to represent Christmas in the

twenty-first century—bright lights, crowded shopping malls, aggressive online sales, rowdy office parties, long to-do lists, and a heavy burden of social obligations— is characterized by frenetic energy and noise levels that run counter to our natural tendency to hibernate, retreat into ourselves, and rest at this time of year. Industrial advances have pushed us far out of alignment with

our natural rhythms. We extend the day with electric lighting that is exponentially brighter than the candlelight that eased our fore- fathers into a midwinter evening, or the weak sunlight that gently nudged them awake. As we addictively check phones and work on laptops late into the night, we set our brains racing at the very moment when we should be settling down to sleep. If we never switch off our devices, it’s hard to switch off our minds for long enough to inhabit the here and now, or to fall into a deep, restful sleep. The choices we make in the first couple weeks of December can affect the way we experience the whole season, and how we emerge into the New Year, so let’s choose well.

Beth Kempton is the bestselling author of Freedom Seeker and Wabi Sabi. Her books have been trans- lated into twenty-four languages. Beth has a Master’s degree in Japanese, and teaches and writes about doing what you love and living well. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Devon, England. The author of Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year, she has been obsessed with Christmas since she was a little girl. Excerpted from Calm Christmas and a

Happy New Year: A Little Book of Festive Joy by Beth Kempton. Excerpted with the

permission of Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Copyright © 2020 by Beth Kempton.

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