The word “solstice” comes from the Latin terms “sol” meaning “sun” and “sistere” meaning “to stand still.” Our Summer Solstice is the day when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky as seen from our hemisphere and appears to stand still before it heads south again. It is the day when the tilt of our planet in its hemisphere is most inclined towards the sun. It is also the longest day and shortest night of the year. While those of us in the Northern Hemisphere celebrate in June, folks in the Southern half of the Earth have their Summer Solstice celebration in December.

A major celestial event, the Mayans believed the Summer Solstice to be a time for spiritual initiation and change. They held special ceremonies on the solstice dates to balance the earth’s energy. The Summer Solstice for the Southern Hemisphere this December also happens to be the same date that marks the end of the Mayan calendar. While there are many theories about the significance of the Mayan calendar end and December’s Summer Solstice, I believe that this day signifies a time when our world as we know it will change for the better, and a new consciousness will spread across the Earth. So the Summer Solstice is indeed a time for celebration and change.

Like the Mayans who were very aware of their different states of altered consciousness, you can learn to increase your own consciousness and embody your self-awareness and higher self during this enchanted time. The Summer Solstice is an ideal time for you to let go of your ego and old patterns of suppression and focus on what you wish to bring into your life. This is a time for you to invite the sun’s energy and connect with your higher self. And this is the perfect occasion for you to feel inspired, to follow your dreams, and to truly listen to your higher self.

Here are some tips on how you can embrace your own Summer Solstice celebration and renew yourself this year:

-- Live your truth: Be true to yourself and to others. Listen to your higher self and do what feels right to you.

-- Ground yourself: Hug a tree, lay on the grass, take a walk in nature.

-- Consult your Spirit Guides to assist you in your healing process and to help guide you through changes.

-- Make a list of what you wish to bring into your life: people, qualities, events – what do you want to see change? Be open to change and new energy and you will increase its presence within you!

-- Nurture yourself: This is a great time to lose weight, clean your house, change your nutrition, develop a passion or new hobby. Spend some time outside – enjoy the sunshine! Drink lots of water! Find time to relax and time that is just “you” time – no kids, family, work – just quiet time for you to let your mind and body refresh itself! Detox with a bath of sea salt and baking soda.

-- Get enough sleep: Change can be exhausting on the body! Make sure you get enough zzz’s!

-- Proper Nutrition: It is vital, especially during this time, that you are strong, healthy and balanced.