I'M COMING OUT! WANT TO COME AND PLAY?
It's here! Spring. Woohoo. I'm finally ready to come out of hibernation and I'm feeling ready to play. How about you? Fancy coming out to play with me?
If you've read my previous posts, you'll know I 'winter' in winter and never get caught up in the frenzy of the January race. I used to. I didn't serve me well and so I've learned (it's been a long lesson) to find my own pace and style of living and working that, well, works for me.
Spring is my time. It's my new year. As Imbolc arrives (1st February), I'm ready, like the first snowdrops and crocus and the hibernating animals, to pop my head out and test the temperature and energy. Right now, it feels just right and I'm inspired by nature starting to burst into action, showing how wintering has enabled her to strengthen, grow and regenerate. If you've been hanging out with me for a while, you'll know that I start my year off by deciding what and who I will travel with as I meander through the year - the Celtic year because that's the calendar I choose to live by and that my healing ancestors lived by. At my core, I'm a writer and a healer (I combine both in my writing therapy), a mentor and guide and so the things I have found are most powerful for me to travel with are words (I choose an over arching word to keep connected to through the months ahead, a sort of path to travel back to when I wander off course), trees, because they provide the paper we write on and the very air we breathe; the seasons, because in nature as the seasons change and merge, they teach us valuable lessons about how to adapt and flow and show us the best way to live. We are part of nature after all, not separate from it. In the west, we've developed a way of living that has detached us from the very thing that supports, inspires, feeds and heals us. It's just crazy. We need to reconnect to nature as deeply and as regularly and consistently as we can. I also take guidance from lunar activity and keep a close eye on that and other planetary energy, though I'm no expert in astrology or moonology. I follow others who are. I also occasionally choose a spirit, goddess or angel to travel with and this year I'm feeling that I need that additional support. As we transition out of a turbulent few years and further into the age of Aquarius, I'm sure we all need a little extra boost. Maybe my choices of theme and travel companions will offer you a place to start. Here's what I've been given to work with this next year....
The word that will accompany me this year is FLOW. For so long, decades, I thought that the best way to live, work and run my business, was to plan, set goals, timelines and to stick rigidly to one path. Of course it just never worked. I would convince myself that it wasn't working because I just needed to be more organised, more planned, set more boundaries and parameters. Baloney!! It didn't work because I was going against my flow, my nature and even against my heritage. No wonder that, for years, I felt like I was wading uphill through molten lava in concrete boots. I can't even begin to describe the frustration, anguish and disconnect that happened for me during those times. I wasn't walking my own path. I was following someone else along theirs, not even knowing where they were heading, and I was treading dangerous, unsafe terrain in bare feet. That's how it felt! I'm still a work in progress, but every year I get better at tuning into myself, feeling into where to go, what to do and how to go about it. Every year it feels better, more aligned and crucially, more natural.
When you work for yourself, it's hard not to hit the panic button when things don't seem to be happening, when money isn't flowing and engagement is low. In the past, I would have slammed on the breaks, done a u-turn and desperately looked for a different route. I realise now though, that all that meant is that I was starting again, again and again. How utterly exhausting! These days, I try to 'trust the process' more. If you're a client of mine reading this, you're probably giggling right now because that's kind of my catchphrase. I really should have it tattooed somewhere. I keep promising/threatening I will and I have a feeling that someone somewhere is going to hold me to it at some point soon.
Trusting the process and going with the flow can sound like inaction. It isn't! I'm not suggesting we never plan, set goals or have timelines, just that once we have developed those things in the best way, through emotional exploration and from a place of intuition rather than convention, feeling into what is best for us - best action, best route - we just trust ourselves and what and whoever else we choose to trust, a little more and for a little longer than we usually would before hitting that panic button.
So this year, I'm embracing flow. Will you join me?
I choose trees to work with at points through the year when I feel called to, usually seasonally and to accompany a theme that I'm working with myself and with my private clients. At the beginning of my year though, I really feel into what tree I will be accompanied and assisted by for the whole year. How do I decide? In truth, I really don't. I walk while I meditate, sometimes sit a while and always have my paper and pen to hand. Whatever my question is, the answer usually comes to me this way. My feeling is that because I'm connecting to nature I'm connecting to myself and tapping into my deep intuition.
So this year, I've been given the Willow to travel with. Once I had that answer and started to find out more about the willow, the more excited, thrilled and grateful I became. I've always loved the willow, it's delicate softness but strength of trunk. I would sit under a weeping willow by the river as a child, where I collected dandelion leaves and nettles and made umbrellas out of giant dock leaves. I loved to lie back on the grass, look up at the gently dancing leaves and branches and notice how they cast a magical pattern of dappled shade over the grass. It seemed to whisper and though its trunk creaked in the wind, not a single branch ever broke. The willow is strong yet flexible. It lives in flow.
The willow can regenerate from a single branch dropped on the ground and has one of the best survival rates of all trees. It can withstand the strongest winds and the most driving storms. It's linked to the emotions and can aid emotional enquiry. She is a healer and teacher of healing, helping us tap into our ability to heal ourselves, physically and emotionally. Willow is a survivor. I like that. I can relate!
There's also a beautiful story that my lovely late Dad used to tell me about the willow every spring as we gathered pussy willow to decorate our home. It's the story of a mother cat who took her kittens to play in the shade of the willow. They all played so hard that they decided to take a nap, right there by the bank of the river. In their deep slumber, they didn't notice the rains arrive and the river start to swell. Mama cat was awoken by her kittens cries. They had been swept into the rising river. Mama cat was distraught and called out for help. The willow heard her and bent its flexible trunk as far as it could util she reached the point in the river where the kittens were. Willow swept her branches through the water, urging the kittens to cling on tight and once they were all on board, she gently lifted them back to the river bank. In gratitude, the Mama cat and Gaia (mother earth) decided that the Willow would be gifted a blossom that resembled the fur of a kitten and named it pussy willow.
The beautiful willow has strong links with the moon and feminine energy (the moon is feminine) and so is a pretty perfect companion and guide for me. I'll be endeavouring to embrace the strong and flexible energy and example of the willow.
GODDESS / SPIRIT
Last year I was lucky enough to travel with Elen of the Ways and, apparently, our work together is not complete. So, I will accompany her, and she me, this year too. Elen, is the oldest goddess in Britain. She is visually depicted as the antlered goddess because of her ancient connection to the deer. The ancients depended on and highly respected the deer for their navigation, protection, for providing warmth and food and for their highly intuitive spiritual energy. Their antlers even served as tools. The deer and Elen are forever deeply connected and it is believed the deer imparted their wisdom of the way of the lands on Elen in return for her devotion to them and protection of them. Nowadays, she is known as the spirit of the forests, pathways and tracks who can reveal our paths to us or create them for us, protecting us as we walk them, physcially and spiritually. Elen is the keeper of the land who will reward and guide those who treat it with respect. Woe betide those who don't.
Elen is strong, resilient, intuitive, compassionate, deeply embedded in nature and connected to the animal world. Just my kind of woman.
It'll come as no surprise to many of you that I'm a huge animal lover. They have so much to teach us; about living instinctively and intuitively, about self healing, about loyalty and compassion, about forgiveness, about living in tune with nature, and about love. Because I continue to walk with Elen of The Ways, I will also travel with the energy of the deer. The deer symbolises kindness and strength, having the courage to act regardless of the obstacles in their way. Deer wisdom teaches us how to use our inner resources. They are able to smell danger from miles away and escape from it in time. They don’t like to be in the spotlight as they live a peaceful, quiet life. I definitely resonate with the energy of the deer.
If you feel a connection to what I've shared and would like to journey with me, with the Willow, with Elen and with the Deer, I'd love to have you along. It'll be intense at times but it will be enriching, enlightening, potentially transformational and lots of fun. I for one, can't wait.
Over the coming weeks and months, I will share my own journey with you. I will be spending time in nature, writing of course and doing the work as well as facilitating this work for others. In these blogs, I will share writing prompts and simple rituals you can join in with, as well as sharing what I uncover and discover, as I travel through the seasons. Make sure you sign up to my mailing list so that you don't miss anything. There are things I'm often called to share by email that don't appear here in my Blog or on my socials. Big love,
Places we can connect...
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