Those of us in the Northern hemisphere are betwixt the starry skied wintery chill, the magic of the deep mid winter’s icy breath, and the intertangling with the joviality of this time of the year.
The need to give Persephone a run for her money, and make out with Hades might be coursing through your blue royal red blood! (No?! Just me then??!! ;-))
Though full powered hibernation might not be possible for many of us, with our mingled mire of familial duties, we can sneak off and take some much needed time for some deep reflection that this time of the year asks of us.
If we are navigators of our own ship, our inner compass is our heart, our felt sense the waters of our flesh and bones, then we need to check if we are still in alignment with our chartered course or if we have veered off some time ago by barely perceptible degrees which stagger in their ability to change our trajectory anew!
You see it is in the dark times, the shadow lands, that we might be able to see most clearly. Our inner knowing gets to take centre stage. Our ears are pricked up for listening, catching the magic in the air. There be miracles to be found right now, if we are open to receiving them, and a chance to give clarity on where we have been this year, where we are now, and where we would like to set our sails towards.
Of course, life is a messy affair, and God is a trickster!! Yet still we need to show up, do our bit, be available, and wholly, if not holy, invested in doing the best that we can. Taking stock is a must. It renews the ground beneath our feet, It polishes our arrows of intent. And it gives us the opportunity to be with, in the spirit of festive presence, anything that maybe the doing times have caused us to deny or avoid.
This is the time of the year very mired in a million differing emotions, not just the happy wholesome televised or marketed ones! Perhaps you’ve lost loved ones this year, or this time makes you miss those dearly departed with a more striking cut. Maybe this was your annus horribilus, and you’re ready to say f**k you to 2019!! Or, it could be that spending time with family is triggering for you. Sometimes life’s diappointments and bows untied can leave us breathless to that which has not come to pass for us in many ways. Be kind to yourself. And to others. We do not know what lies behind or beneath the baubles and bubbles!!
So, I would like to offer you a little gift. Something for you to explore and play with over the next few weeks. To be honest, I see the time between the winter solstice and Imbolc (the 2nd Feb), as our winter dreaming time. Even if that’s only metaphorically. There is no rush to have your seeds planted and intentions set in stone by the 1st January. Hell no!! We need to allow the fallow. We need to trust the earth. We need to stop and pause and listen. And we need to dream, imagine and envision. Remember, if we show up, so does Spirit too. Let’s show up as fully prepared for Spring as we can!
In the (kinda) words of a certain Charles Dickens, and his ‘A Christmas Carol’, here’s to the past, the present and the future. Let’s take that trip now! 😉
In that vein, here is a list of various journalling prompts, rituals, questions, and art-making tasks, that you might like to do completely, or else simply allow any to accompany you as you move through your days.
(In no particular order):
*What am I appreciative of right now? What has the last year gifted me with? And have I really let myself receive these gifts fully? (Here is your chance to do so :-). Go as deep as you can with this. You might like to take a look in your diary. You may have certain memories that you can revisit.) And allow the challenges you have come through be a part of this reflection. Ask: what have I learned? how have I grown?
*What losses needs to be honoured and grieved for? This could be people, plans, dreams, old situations, changes that happened. Let yourself sit with these. Respect their passing and the ache of this. You might like to create a ritual to give these form. One thing you can do is write these down and after you have given enough space and time to them, hand them over to the water, or burn them as prayers. You may want to paint a picture, create a drawing, write a song, or make a piece of poetry. Maybe you want to tell your favourite tree. Let your own imagination help you.
*What is important to me right now? In all areas of life. Inner worlds. Family. Community. Globally. Start small. Be honest. Let these pearls form a strand to wear close for now.
*What touched me the most this last year? What was the most fun? Inspiring? Sacred? Playful? Terrifying? Challenging? Powerful? What felt like it was truly deeply madly me and my soul shining this last year?
*Is there anything I feel like I have lost over this year? And if so, what tiny thing can I start to invite in in order to reconnect with this aspect of my self and life?
*Write a confession, as a piece of art, As a prayer. Write down on it all the ways that you betrayed yourself or others this past year. Don’t flinch with this, it’s not an exercise nor an excuse to beat yourself into a judgement pulp! It’s an exercise in the art of being human. What we don’t give voice to, all the little ways that we turn away from our self and our values, get stuck someplace and rob a little of our shine as time goes by. In order to reclaim these parts we need to simply own them. (For those of you who don’t know me, I’m having a lil tete-a-tete with the shadow lands these days. Own the shit! Own the mess! Own where we have been sloppy with our integrity.) Be playful and poetic if you want to.
Then read it aloud. Offer it to God/Spirit/ The sky/Santa etc. No shame. Just pure honesty.
And see if it’s possible to find some forgiveness for yourself, so you’re not carrying a whipping wreath around with you into the new year!
Once you have completed this one fully, you may like to do the next exercise 🙂
*Write a celebration list. A scroll of fabulous fanfares. It can have the most mundane simple things on it, as well as the larger ones. All the ways you have breathed and lived and shown up over the year. All the magnificent adventures. The ordinary joys. The connections and conversations. the opportunities. Celebrate who you are and who you are becoming! Dress up in your finery (Or if you can’t be arsed then maybe put on a little lipstick or a fancy hat!), and once again read out your list. Feel your words, right down to your toes. Can you celebrate yourself?!
*Go for a Soul Walk. Wrap up warm and treat this like an artists date! Take a pad and pen with you. Or your camera and/or dictaphone. Turn your phone on silence and block your notifications if you can. Better yet leave it at home. Instead you are going to invite your senses to inform you. Of wonder. Of curiosity. Of life right now. Here. Just as it is. Before you go write down some questions you might like some clarification on. Maybe it’s how to accept what you cannot change at this time? Or how can i nourish myself and care for my self throughout this next month? Or, ask what is it that I need? What kind of life do I desire to ask for and show up for and create this next year? Do I have any dreams that want to be pulled out of the rabbit’s hat?? Stay present. See this as a devotion to your he(art). You can stop at any time and write/speak your findings. Keep asking the questions. And let go of having to know the answer. Give it to life, To each foot step. Each breath. Let that be enough for now. Say thank you just before you re-enter your home 🙂
*Be present. Be intimate with each moment. Lean in. Feel it all. Every last minute of this year, this decade, this day. It’s all we ever have!
Have a wonder-filled and sweet few weeks, HH xxx