Finding Stillness in the Busyness

Friends, even if you’re super busy, I want to invite you to embrace the stillness of the solstice this week. No matter what else is going on around you, there are small, simple ways of finding stillness in the busyness of this season.

Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.”

herman hesse

I want you to know that I’m taking a stand for you to feel centered this holiday season, embracing stillness in whatever way you feel called to do, in whatever way you can.

Finding Stillness on the Solstice

What stops at the December solstice is the sun’s apparent southward and night-lengthening (or night-shortening, in the Southern Hemisphere) march across the sky. The true meaning of “solstice” — indeed, the word’s Latin roots refer to the stilling of the sun…

At the solstice: in Praise of Darkness, New york times

Sometimes for me, focusing on the big picture of history or science can take me out of my head, which is often where all the busyness and stress are generated. And I love this idea that solstice actually means “sun standing still.”

Understanding this natural phenomenon and the rhythms of nature really inspires me to stand still for a bit along with the sun. To find my own still point.

Even in the Busyness, We Can Find Stillness

Here are a few ideas for finding stillness amidst the busyness of it all. Perhaps these will help spark some ideas of your own.

Spiral Rituals

Every year, with a group of 5 women friends, I celebrate the Winter Solstice with a spiral walk. We used to do this with our kiddos, but now we just do it ourselves. It’s a deeply meaningful ritual that feeds me every year and helps me to embrace the stillness. And gives me an experience of stillness in a way that I can carry into the year.

There are three parts to any spiral ritual, whether big or small, alone or with others: release, receive, and return.

As you slowly enter the form of the spiral, think about what you can release and let go of. What is no longer serving you and can be left here with the old year instead of carried into the new.

Arriving at the center of the spiral, pause for a moment or longer in silence and stillness as you receive inspiration, hope, and a new perspective. Maybe it’s an image or a word.

And when you are ready, return along the outward path with a renewed sense of yourself, with new hope for the coming year.

To me, the cool thing about this spiral ritual is that it can be done in so many ways.

Drawing a beautiful spiral on a piece of paper and following it with your finger, tracing it in sand, or visualizing the spiral in your mind.

Many communities have labyrinth spirals for walking mediations at parks. Or you can find printable labyrinth patterns or finger labyrinths, too.

And maybe you can go out and actually walk a spiral outdoors.

Any sort of spiral experience may lead you to finding stillness in the busyness of the season.


I just love this idea of a sanctuary described in the Herman Hesse quote I shared above. We can go within to our own personal sanctuary at any time and connect with our deepest, most authentic self. To find more serenity, peace, and a sense of calm.

Especially as a parent, a homeschooling mom, I know that stillness and sanctuary can seem so elusive. Even impossible to find.

But what I came to learn throughout my years of homeschooling three kiddos is that we can find simple moments of stillness throughout our day, each and every day. This isn’t something that takes lots of time or planning or even effort. Just a desire to pause and reconnect with ourselves. To find a sanctuary within that we can retreat to any time and be ourselves.

No matter what we choose to DO with our lives, we can always find stillness and a sense of peace inside. We carry sanctuary within us always.


For years, I had this refrigerator magnet that read: “Peace: it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still have calm in your heart.”

Here’s my referral link to the refrigerator magnet if you want to get one for yourself!

Walking by the fridge and reading and rereading this, I was often surprised! Like “Oh yeah, why do I always forget this?”

No matter what was going on around me ~ like the boys wrestling on the floor, or their little sister yelling at them to stop bugging her, or two siblings fighting over who got to light the candle ~ I could accept the noise, the trouble, or the hard work. And I would remember that I could always feel a sense of peace, a stillness within. Any time!

Connecting to a Sense of Calm

Another benefit of practicing this stillness, finding sanctuary inside, even in the busyness and connecting with a sense of calm, is that it helps us to stop living in reaction mode.

We all have unconscious reflexes with which we respond automatically and without thought.

When embracing stillness, we stop reacting automatically. Pausing to go within, getting still even for a few moments, can stop the immediate knee-jerk reaction. And allow us to choose to respond more intentionally. And as with anything, the more we practice this, the easier it becomes.

So here’s to embracing the stillness, however we manage to do that.

Wishing you a happy Winter (or Summer) Solstice. And a beautiful holiday season.

May you find that stillness and sanctuary within throughout this holiday season.

More to Explore

Check out this New York Times article about the science of the solstice: At the Solstice: In Praise of Darkness.

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