AWC Blog


By Izzy Swanson


Each year at the Winter Solstice, I begin a ten-day process of intention setting. The process involves meditation, ritual, and divination. It is also combined with practical things such as setting up my calendar for the year, re-evaluating my business goals, and updating my business plan. I am a Capricorn. I take it very seriously. I am only marginally joking. Truly the time of this Winter Solstice for me is a time to reset my energy. At the last Winter Solstice, the theme of balance came through as a very strong and powerful energy. I knew that it was the energy that I was supposed to focus on for the coming cycle. Interestingly, that was all I knew. I remember feeling blank and feeling like the future was too uncertain to find any clarity about. I erased my white boards and cleaned the slate so to speak. At the time, I thought it was a personal message about starting a new phase in life. That turned out to be true and while I knew something was changing, that something was going to happen, I had no idea just how big that change would be. We all know now how big it was. 

I have to admit that this year has been difficult. I wish that I could say that I moved through the challenges with grace but I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I did. I struggled with stress and addictive patterns this year. I struggled with motivation and depression. I struggled to stay present. I have had to dig into the basic principles of my recovery and meditative practices and hold on with everything that I have. And you know what, that is ok. If there is anything I have learned in this journey of healing and recovery that I have been on for the past 12 years, it is that it is ok to not be ok. 

This year felt like riding a giant pendulum as it swings from one extreme to the other. There were times this year when I felt lost. There were also times when I felt more connected to my spiritual practices than I ever have. There were times this year when I couldn’t even speak to my friends. There were also times this year when I reached out to my community only to be rewarded with the blessing of support and friendship. There were days when I was healthy and safe. There were days when I was not. 

Finding Balance with Izzy Swanson photo cred: aziz-acharki

As I prepare myself for this year’s practices of the Winter Solstice, I am reminded of the one clear message that came through last year; balance. I reflect on what that means to me and how that message made itself known for me this year. I have learned this year to find the balance between the routines that anchor me and releasing the structures that limit me. I have learned to find the balance between paralyzing fear and the expansion of energy, to use the energy of struggle to fuel the expansion of new perspectives. I have learned this year to find the balance between being aware of and engaged in reality and allowing myself the space to dream and plan. I have found the balance between my guilt and shame and judgment and being grateful for who I am. I have found the balance between what I don’t have and what I do have. I have been reminded that energy and life aren’t one or the other, it is both. I have learned this year that it is ok to be both terrified and inspired, that it is ok to be both motivated and exhausted, that it is ok to be both connected and isolated, that it is ok to lose something, and to accept the gain of something new. I have learned this year that it is ok to move forward and also to stand still. I have been reminded that I can be all of these things at once and that I am still absolutely ok.

There is enough space for all of me. There is enough compassion for all of me. 

Izzy Swanson

This year, I have been reminded of the courage of those who live with and love through their pain. Most of all, I have been reminded this year that the brightest stars shine in the darkest skies and that heroes rise from the ashes. I have found the balance between fear and hope. As I move forward, I remind myself to find serenity in the place where all it comes together, to find acceptance in the spaces in between, to find peace in the balance. My wish for you is that you find that too.

Izzy specializes in healing soul wounds caused by trauma, PTSD, and addiction. She frequently works with clients who have autoimmune disorders, adrenal fatigue, and other stress-related health issues. Using Reiki energy and the Feileacan Trauma Release Technique, Izzy guides and mentors her clients as they begin to rediscover lost or broken pieces of their souls. Read more from Izzy Swanson at