Radiating Warmth on A Cold Winter’s Night

  • by Edie Weinstein

    Home from a wondrous Winter Solstice Event created by a group of talented folks that are part of a community called Common Ground Fellowship. In less than 6 weeks from a meeting held in the suburban Philadelphia home of Joni, as a few of us sat around her fireplace, sipping tea and seed planting, we moved from idea to full out delight in the form of a ritual that we called En-Lighten Up! Held at the Ethical Society in Rittenhouse Square, we gathered to honor the shortest day of the year and welcome in the light in the midst of the darkest time. For many, the darkness goes beyond the physical waning of the sun, but also in the facing of our fears and doubts. Last night, we were facing a major snowstorm that left the area blanketed in up to 3 feet of white powder in some places. I was absolutely certain that the snow would cease in time, the roads would be clear and the event would occur. I was so excited that I could barely sleep…like a little kid anticipating a whole bunch of fun, playing with friends. I wasn’t disappointed.

    Our model for the event was the ‘techno cosmic mass’, created by theologian and Episcopal priest, Matthew Fox. It is segmented into four components, each representing an aspect of a healing journey. The Via Positiva (the way of the Positive), the Via Negativa (the way of the Negative), the Via Creativa (the way of the creative) and the Via Transformativa (the way of the transformative). Woven through all of this was powerful, deep as the snow, at times mournful and at times celebratory music, poetry, dance, meditation, manifestation, honoring, toasting and blessing.

    One exquisite ritual involved infusing white roses with love and healing energy. Earlier in the day, in preparation, we stripped the rose stems of their stickers, manually for most of them, until a rose stripper (no, not what you may be thinking:) arrived. As we were doing so, I found myself thinking how often we encounter ‘stickers’ in our lives that may be painful and mar the beauty of the ‘roses’ that we there for the receving. We dethorned nearly 100 roses and not one drop of blood was spilled, which I particularly appreciated since I was garbed all in white. At the end of the event, we were to take our roses back out into the streets of Philadelphia and either hand one to someone or put it on a windshield. When I left, I clutched two roses, giving one to a bewildered, but receptive young man and another to a couple strolling through snow covered, crisp night aired Rittenhouse Square.

    I laughed as I crossed the square, and took in a magical sight. Throughout the day, people had created a display of snow people, some with sunglasses, others with flower pots or coffee cups for hats, one with pink mittens, some with holly strewn with berries for hair. Folks were posing for pictures with the frozen creatures.

    A short while later, I approached my car in the parking lot and saw a gift waiting for me. Some kind soul from the event had placed a white rose on my windshield. Evidence indeed that what goes around comes around.
    I know for certain that the glow and the warmth generated from the ritual could melt even the deepest of snows, even those that blow cold and dark in our minds As we welcome in the brilliance of the new sun, I know that we ARE the Light. And so it is…

    Edie Weinstein

    Edie delights in inviting people to live rich, full, juicy lives. She is an internationally recognized, sought after, colorfully creative journalist, interviewer, author and editor, a dynamic and inspiring speaker, licensed social worker and interfaith minister, BLISS coach, event producer, certified Laughter Yoga Leader, certified Cuddle Party facilitator, and Cosmic Concierge.  Edie is the founder of Hug Mobsters Armed With Love, which offers FREE HUGS events world- wide on a planned and spontaneous basis. She speaks on the subjects of wellness, relationships, trauma recovery, addiction, mental health, spirituality, sexuality, loss and grief.   Edie is the author of The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary and co-author of Embraced By the Divine: The Emerging Woman’s Gateway to Power, Passion and Purpose.  She has also contributed to several anthologies and personal growth books, including Taming the Anger Dragon: From Pissed Off to Peaceful.  Her work has been seen in Beliefnet,  Elephant .Journal  Psych Central, The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project,  as well as a growing number of other publications. She was the host of Vivid Life’s It’s All About Relationships on Blog Talk Radio for more than three years. Over the past 30 years, she has had the honor of interviewing His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Louise Hay, Judith Orloff, Debbie Ford, Arielle Ford, don Miguel Ruiz, Wayne Dyer, Bernie Siegel, Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Marianne Williamson, Grover Washington, Jr., Dan Millman, Ram Dass, Olympia Dukakis, Shirley MacLaine, Dennis Weaver, Mariel Hemingway, Ben & Jerry and SARK. In the last four decades, she has worked with those who have been diagnosed with life-altering conditions, including mental health issues, cardiac disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, infertility, end-stage conditions, eating disorders, addiction, traumatic brain injury, stroke, depression, and anxiety. She focuses on her clients’ resilience and assists them in developing a solid toolkit of coping skills. As both a clinician and a patient, she is aware of what it is like to be on the other side of the treatment relationship and can be of service to the patient, their caregivers, as well as the treatment team. Edie can address the issues that arise such as body image, trauma, sexuality, relationship changes, vulnerability, change in physical or cognitive ability, aging, end of life issues, and communicating needs. If you want to: 

    • Embrace life fully
    • Release patterns that have kept you from moving forward
    • Re-write the narrative to create the life of your dreams and desires
    • Enhance your relationships
    • Become an Opti-Mystic who sees the world through the eyes of possibility
    Contact me today to see how I can meet the needs of your organization, publication or the person who looks back at you when you gaze in the mirror.

    For more information, please visit opti-mystical.com.

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