How you do everyday transitions is how you do every transition: honouring moments, months, and seasons (and a gift for you!)

Dec 15, 2020

 

Sometimes, when I return home from a birth, or from working with a coaching client,

I have the momentary presence of mind to pause

and to take a breath that feels like completion.

 

Sometimes, when I round the corner toward my house after a long walk, or when I press “end meeting” after two hours of facilitation,

I remember to be still long enough

to let what I’ve just experienced steep into my being.

 

I wait, and somehow, I know – my body knows, my heart knows, my knowing knows – when it’s right to begin what’s next.

 

 

I’ve started to wonder if how we do life’s tiny transitions might also be how we do life’s radical transformations.

 

 

It’s the shift between work and home

the transition between waxing moon and waning moon

the onset of longer nights and colder air

the end of the month

the completion of a year

 

that might somehow inform

 

the shift between one career and the next

the transition from maidenhood to motherhood, or motherhood to menopause

the onset of illness

the end of a relationship

the completion of a creative project.

 

We’re in such a hurry.

Next next next next, ravenous for closure, for moving on, for accomplishment

or sometimes

Then then then then, aching for what is done and gone.

 

It seems as though the same medicine might be poured into both

 

as in

~ honour what has passed

~ metabolize what you’ve experienced

~ trust that you’ll know when one thing is complete

~ trust that you’ll know when the next thing is ready to commence

~ have patience

~ end well

 

And so.

The Winter Solstice is approaching.  It’s a time of inward-turning, of quiet.  It’s a time to rest, to pay attention to dreams of both day and night.

And yet, instead, it often feels like a frenetic time, rushing as we do to buy things, accomplish things, set goals, Change Everything.  There is ever-so-much rushing into the new year – perhaps this year even more than others.

 

In fact, in the world we occupy, we often find ourselves out of sync with the seasons – of the earth, of our lives.

 

More specifically, we find ourselves believing there is something wrong with us in times of uncertainty, or slowness.  We strive for an eternal summer and forget the value of harvest, of incubation, of germination.

 

We don’t pause.  Not at the end of a moment, not at the beginning of a season, not at the end of a way of being.

 

I am reminded of this quote by Clarissa Pinkola Estes:

“Even if we have been working, sexing, resting or playing out of cycle, it does not kill the wild woman, it tires us out. It is through the love for and caring for our natural seasons that we protect our lives from being dragged into someone else’s rhythm, someone else’s dance, someone else’s hunger.  It is through validation of our distinct cycles for sex, creation, rest, play and work that we relearn to define and discriminate between all our wild senses and seasons.  We know that we cannot live a confiscated life.  We know there is a time when the things of men and the things of the world must be left for a little while.  We have learned that we are like amphibians:  we can live on land, but not forever, not without trips to the water and to home.  Overly civilized and oppressive cultures try to keep women from returning home.”

 

And so.

This Winter Solstice is a time to return home to yourself.

After a year that has been unprecedented in its terrors and elations, its uncertainties and triumphs

It is time

to pause

to consider what it might be like to give yourself the gift of metabolizing moments of transition and transformation alike,

to let your soul and your spirit and your heart catch up to your racing mind.

 

it is time to return home to yourself.

 

 

 

In honour of the solstice and the closing of this challenging year we’ve had, I want to offer you a couple of small gifts!

 

 

The first is that I will be hosting a free workshop on December 17th called The Turning of the Year:  A Winter Solstice Workshop.  You’ll be supported to reflect on + metabolize what has transpired for you in the past year; gently consider your intentions for the coming year, and be supported to design a meaningful personal Winter Solstice ritual to enact on the day of the Solstice.

 

You can register for the workshop here.

Secondly, I want to offer you my Seasonal Living Kit.  For each turn of the season, it offers self-tending, ritual and earth connection practices to support you.

 

You can download the Seasonal Living Kit here.

 

 

The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes

 

Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging

 

Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!