The summer solstice is the longest day of the year. Sunday, June 21, marks the mid-point of a year that seems to be flying by faster than the previous ones! Take a moment to breathe with that thought. Take a long slow inhale and a slow easy exhale. Again, this time noticing the pause at the end if the inhale and the end of the exhale.
We often use these pauses in our yoga practice to find stillness. Sometimes in a pranayama (breathing) practice, we hold the breath after the inhale. Often in savasana, the resting pose at the end of class, I will give the instruction to look for the pause at the end of the exhalation. If it would feel good to your body, stay in that pause for just a few seconds longer. It's a place of stillness, a place of quiet, a place to listen to what the Holy Spirit might be speaking to you at that moment.
The summer solstice is that point in the year when time and creation itself pauses at the top of a long slow inhalation. It began in January with a hopeful rising of the chest, a gentle filling of the earth with ever-greening light and heat. And now we have come to the pause before the breath, the calendar, the year turns around and begins its slow easy exhale toward winter.
Take some time this week to work with your breath. Look for the pauses. Find the rhythm that your body naturally expresses. As you rest, look back at the events of the last six months. What stands out in your mind?
"Every experience is a kind of annunciation." Neville Ward (quoted in The Practice of Prayer by Robert Warren)
Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what God is saying to you through the experiences of the last few months. Maybe he wants you to trust him with what you cannot see. Maybe he wants you to take a stand on some issue. Maybe he wants to reassure you of his love.
Use the pause to listen. Then act on what you hear as you exhale into the remainder of the year.