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Filtering by Tag: yule (b)log

Winter Rest

Amber Adrian

If you haven't listened to the Christmas stories yet, please allow me to mention them again. Festive yuletide tales about dancing dormice, giraffes attempting to Christmas shop, and wintry celebrations for misanthropic bears. I love these stories so much, and I hope you do too. 

Merriest of Christmases, my friends! 


Light The World

Amber Adrian



Go softly and gently into the darkest time of the year. Winter solstice is when you feel the light you have within and allow it to reflect out into the world, for these dark times need all your light.

Your light is what will shift us out of the dark.

It takes only you. It takes only you recognizing your own light and turning it in the direction of any darkness you see. Even the blackest night can be lit by one small match.

As you shine your light into the dark, others will be inspired to shine theirs as well. This is how we light the world.

How To Talk To Your Soul

Amber Adrian

A friend texted me for advice today. He asked what my intuition was saying, which is often an exercise in frustration for everyone.

My intuition: "Tell him to ask his soul."

Me: "Ask your soul."

Him: "My soul and I don’t have a great track record with communication."

Me: "Fistbump, bro."

My intuition: "I have a list." 

I’ve spent a reasonable portion of the last five years exploring this very question and I still don’t always feel altogether confident that I’m interpreting my soul correctly. Souls can be tricky.

But we’ve all got one and it’s the part of us that holds our ultimate life plan, as well as all the wisdom and answers we could ever need. Our soul is basically the google search bar for our life’s journey. Your soul is ready and eager to give you the answer, you just have to learn how to type the question. It doesn’t promise you’ll like the answer, but it’s got it.

How to Talk to Your Soul

Ask for clarity.

Setting an intention to receive an answer is ninety-nine percent of the process. If you intend to receive the answer you seek, you will get it. Your soul really wants to talk to you, but free will says you have to give it permission. It can’t just break down your door and hand you instructions. You have to open the door and invite it in. (So your soul is like a vampire, I guess?) How fast you get your answer depends on your soul’s timing - which we don’t get to control, sadly.

You can help the answer find you by doing the next few steps.

Release attachment to the outcome.

Visualize handing any attachment you feel to the answer or the outcome over to your soul, your guides, or whatever higher power or universal creationary force resonates with you. Or send it out into the ether to explode in a shower of sparks. This may sound a little simplistic but it's an astonishingly powerful practice. 

Get out of your head and into your body.

When your brain is talking to you, you can’t really hear what your soul is saying. Your head yells like Trump reincarnated as an angry Little League Coach, your soul speaks in a nicely-moderated and aesthetically-pleasing indoor voice. So take a walk, go on a hike in whatever nature is in your vicinity, do whatever exercise makes you happy. Pay attention to your thoughts and what they’re screaming at you. Not to lend credence to their nonsense, but just to notice. It’s totally fine that they’re yelling and trying to drown out your soul, they’re prone to that, but don’t take what your thoughts are saying as truth. Just observe and let the thoughts pass.

See what comes.

Your answer may take a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month. But you’ll get your answer in the right time. If the answer is taking longer than you like, just keep doing the above steps and trust that it will show up in the perfect time. Sometimes there’s more life to be lived or information to be gathered before it’s time to know.

So just keep handing over any attachment or judgment that shows up, keep moving your body, keep clearing your mind, and stay open to what your soul says. The answer will come.

Resistance Fighters

Amber Adrian

Building a business will yank up everyone of your demons and wave them, skeletons rattling, in front of your nose.

I’ve spent the last five plus years looking inward. Clearing out the gunk, connecting with my soul, going into the shadows so that I can trust the light.  

But in order to build my work - both my writing and my work with writers - in the way I want and need to, I don't have the luxury of dancing with my demons any more. 

Oh, they’ll show up, and stronger than ever. But I can’t give them as much of my time. In order to help people transform in the way I know is possible, in order to write the words I know will help, I have to ground myself in simple forward steps. I have to take care of myself. I have to pay rigorous attention to my thoughts and where my focus lands.

Last week was intense. I got sucked into all the swirling negativity of my head. You aren’t making enough money, you’ll never make enough money, too many things have to happen before you can make the money you need, you have to increase your audience by a zillion before you can do the work you want to do. Et cetera to infinity.

It happens. Especially when you’re pushing so far out of your comfort zone that you can't even remember the zip code where your comfort once resided. But I just don’t have time to let the brain gremlins brought forth by the demons get the better of me.

So they won’t. Resistance will be weeded out and the demon skeletons will be sent to rattle elsewhere. Because I have work to do. 

Left to Roll

Amber Adrian

Dance class usually makes me feel better about life - I get to spin and move, endorphins kick in, sweat flows, my brain disengages, and my daily life disappears for an hour. 

But today, I couldn't get the backward roll. Tip onto your right elbow, swing your left foot above your head, tuck your chin, roll to the back of the room. I just couldn't get there. As I stood behind my section of the class, scrambling to catch up while everyone else rolled perfectly with the music, I got hit with it: 

If I don't do it right, I'm alone. 

It felt like the room expanded and contracted around me as my heart flipped in my rib cage. One of the main limiting beliefs that's driven my life clicked into place like the last puzzle piece. 

Perfectionism is a tender spot for me. There's always this need to "do it right" and I think I finally understand why. If I don't do it right, then I get left out. If I don't do it right, then everyone rolls without me and I don't know how to catch up. 

Pretty deep for a Wednesday morning. 

Catching where we limit ourselves is crucial. Because I'm tired and it's been a long week, a long month, a long year, I don't know quite what I'm going to do with this. But awareness is plenty for now. Along with the knowledge that there is no right, there is no wrong, and I'm not going to be left behind if I'm not perfect.  

Christmas Obsessions

Amber Adrian

Surprising absolutely no one, my Christmas tree is ninety-seven percent animal. Glittering orange elephants march alongside homemade dragonflies. Flying pigs coast over mice sporting acorn caps. Thieving raccoons eye cheerfully beaded quail.

I love Christmas. Sticking my nose in my evergreen wreath, hot spiced cider, wrapping gifts. I love the music and the movies and dressing my car like Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. Yes, I’m that person. So in that spirit ... 

Here's What I'm Obsessed With This December

Victorian Advent Calendar: My aunt sent me this digital Victorian advent calendar and it's charming. It's an animated Victorian village where snowflakes lightly fall and you can decorate the town Christmas tree and scroll around and be all steeped in Christmas cheer. Every morning I get all excited to click and see what's new. If you're a Christmas and Victoriana nerd like me, it's totally worth the four bucks

Christmas animal stories: I'm recording audio versions of the Christmas stories from my book, March of the Animals. One is being released every Thursday and I just love these stories so much. The first one is called Dance of the Dormouse and you can listen to it here

Essential Oils: I use them to lift my mood, my energy, and my vibration. I've been diffusing Holiday Joy every day and it makes my life smell like an evergreen forest in December. 

Candles: Burning candles at all hours of the day means I've had to replenish my stash twice in two weeks. But it brings light to the gloom and I feast on the warm glow. Metaphorically, of course.

Tea Cider: Credit for this genius idea goes to Peet's, but I've started making my own version at home. Fill one third of a mug with hot spiced cider from Trader Joe's and fill the rest with Orange Dulce Mighty Leaf tea and it's the best ever. 

Being pagan about winter: My witchy self loves winter solstice. Flickering candles on my altar, burning sage to clear old energies, reflecting on the year and creating what I want in the new. I love how pagan tradition brings light to the darkest part of the year. 

Light in the Winter's Dark

Amber Adrian


As winter deepens and the moon darkens, allow yourself to rest. Allow yourself to sink into the dreams of what’s possible, of what will blossom and bloom as we move into spring. But for now, allow everything you’ve done so far to be enough. Allow everything that has happened for you to be for your highest good. Allow yourself to breathe and open and welcome what will show up next - whether it looks the way you want or not.

Sometimes what we think we want isn’t what our soul truly longs for. If what’s showing up for you doesn’t look the way you’d like, allow yourself to move inward and feel what is asking to be shown, asking for your attention.

Your attention is your true power and is fully within your control. You can guide your attention toward what you want, toward what you long to create for yourself and in your world.

As the days grow shorter, you are being offered a beautiful space of reflection and shown how to create light in the dark. For your ability to create light in the dark is true magic and will light not only your life but the lives of those around you.

For Writers

Amber Adrian


Deeply gifted and full of bright potential. If you aren't feeling your genius at this particular moment, let me give you a spark:

Your writing is needed  -  now more than ever. Your words matter. It may feel like you’re just sitting in a chair, clacking away at a laptop, but you’re changing lives. You’re offering hope where there was none. Your stories offer relief and your ideas offer wisdom and your willingness to shine a flashlight on the murkiest edges of your own humanity help us see that we are all murky  - and we all have light.

We all have the key that unlocks our genius. Maybe it was buried years ago and now you need to dig for it. Maybe you tossed it into a hydrangea bush and walked away. Maybe you just need to try your key in a new door.

Spoiler alert: the key to our art is the key to ourselves, and the key to ourselves is the key to our art. 

If you’re willing to pull out the demons hiding behind your rib cage and the gremlins creeping about your skull, you will find your key. It’s not always easy, it’s certainly not always fun, but I promise you  -  if you keep moving, keep taking care of yourself, keep creating, and keep digging into the messy bits of your life and soul  -  it will get fun.


Judgmental Squirrels

Amber Adrian

Today, I rescued my Christmas squirrel from storage. Covered in glitter and toting a festive red acorn, he’s a bit of a joke to the tree squirrels outside my cottage windows. I'm pretty sure a squirrel just fell off my roof laughing. I’m concerned.

Lately, I’ve been noticing the words coming out of my mouth and how they reflect what’s going on internally.

Chances are good that precisely zero squirrels are laughing at my jolly, if rather effeminate, Christmas squirrel. There is no wildlife judgment. But it’s a bright reflection of where I’m judging myself.

Maybe it was the light of the full moon or maybe it’s starting two businesses at the same time, but all of my darkest fears and worst patterns have been making a fine showing this week. Realizing in horror how much scarcity and lack I still feel, when shouldn't I be past that already?  Beating myself up for minor infractions that are actually just normal human circumstances, and shouldn’t I be past that already?

Self-judgment has been flying fast and thick. Now I’m applying it to squirrels, who have probably never judged a thing in their lives beyond the likelihood of that hole hiding this nut.

Shadowy revelations aside, I’ve simply been pushing myself too hard. So today I cancelled my (thankfully light) day and climbed back in bed with gingerbread tea, kindle, and stuffed sea otter. And the squirrels have gone blessedly silent. 

Rooting in Words

Amber Adrian

One of my favorite ways of grounding myself when I’m flailing or disconnected from my body is to look at what’s in front of me.

Pumpkin, left over from the season of squash. Paper crane, folded out of a brightly colored napkin by my aunt and placed on my plate at Thanksgiving. Wooden box filled with essential oils. Crystals in a blue bowl. Candles in seasonally-appropriate scents. Tiny pinecones, given to me by a six-year-old who assured me they were magic. Giraffe in full lotus hanging from a silver tree. Framed print of the last Calvin & Hobbes cartoon ever drawn, the one I read to my Dad when he was dying, given to me by my boyfriend last Christmas.

Deep breath in, oxygen out. My face, pale in the light of the glowing screen, reflected in the window before me. Flame flickering, warm and golden, in a room at dusk.

Today has been rough. A lot of emotion - sadness, grief - has been appearing out of seemingly nowhere. That happens sometimes. Stuff collects without release, or something old decides to have one last hurrah before exploding in a shower of sparks. I don’t know and I don’t need to know.

But I do need to write, because I haven’t written regularly in a long time and it’s time to jump back in. It’s been a year of transition and transformation, one of grief and of joy. I don’t have many of my stories written, because I was busy with other things. But, as a writer, I can’t let myself be busy with other things for too long or the overflow begins to rise to dangerously tsunami-like levels.

Writers need to write.

We write to clear, connect, create, share. We write to put words to what’s swirling around inside us, even when the words don’t come or sound disconnected and discombobulated, as I suspect these do.

What is in me that still needs to come out? I don’t know. But I’m hoping that if I sit down to the writing every day in December, I’ll find out. 

Welcome to the Yule (B)log! I’ll be posting every (week) day in December because daily blogging is one of my favorite ways to jump back into writing after a hiatus - it slices through perfectionism and allows me to capture moments I wouldn’t otherwise.