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
Then then then then, aching for what is done and gone.
It seems as though the same medicine might be poured into both
~ 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
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.”
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 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.
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.