June 21 is the Summer Solstice. Ancient people knew that the Earth Mother Goddess was pregnant and would give birth at Lammas (August 2nd) with the first of her abundant harvests. Also known as Midsummer, it is one of the eight great spokes on the Celtic wheel of the seasons. The Solstice (meaning sun stands still) is universally recognized in all cultures as an important turning point -- it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Sun energy is at its peak and we feel the primal creative force of the Sun. I wonder if those who chose to make Father's Day so close to the Summer Solstice each year knew this. Just as Mother's Day is close to Beltane which is the ultimate celebration of fertility, Father's Day is close to the Celtic tradition of honoring male energy. Hmmm.
I have been feeling that gratitude is an important theme right now. Gratitude is a powerful feeling state that leads to abundance and I've come to understand that it is a vibrational dimension quite similar to love. When we are in the feeling of love and when we are in the feeling of gratitude, we are expansive and inclusive. Everything feels right with our world and we see the greatest good in our loved ones and friends, even those we haven't met. Midsummer, in Celtic tradition, was one of the great Spirit Nights of the year (think of Shakespeare's Tempest) and is a wonderful time to tune into the well-being that is everywhere. Feeling gratitude is a matter of where you choose to focus your attention and there is much during this time that can make us feel good. Gardens are blooming, weather is generally temperate, birds are singing their hearts out, and there is a feeling of fun and lightness among friends.
What you focus on is a choice, the story you tell about your life is one you create, and you are the creator. We have a tendency to believe that the external world, the behavior of those around us, and what's on the news is what makes us feel good, or the opposite. However, gratitude as well as love is a practiced perception. Notice the feelings you have when you focus on certain things, but be careful not to stay on something that creates uncomfortable feelings in you for very long. The habit of searching for and then concentrating on problems in your life is just that: a habit. So during this very powerful time of the Summer Solstice, begin a new practice, one of focusing on gratitude: for nature, for the sun, for the beauty bursting out everywhere.
Here's one practice you might try. Sit outside in a lovely spot and start with focusing on natural beauty and add images of other aspects of your life that will continue the lovely feeling of gratitude. If you choose, repeat an affirmation that feels really good when you say it such as "I walk in beauty," or "Source has my back," or "I am love," any statement that feels really good to you and then celebrate what is good In this moment and throughout the day, feel the gratitude and celebrate love in all its forms.