The Wasteland burns us up and burns us out. Instead of following your own instincts, instead of discovering what it is that gives us joy, what makes our heart sing, we spend most of our lives trying to make other people happy…living from our head rather than our instinct for what is good and healthy.
The Heroine’s Journey for these times is a journey out of the Wasteland. Each of us has our own unique set of stories to tell: the story of the years we spent in the Wasteland, the story of our awakening, and the story of the path we took out of it.
~Sharon Blackie, If Women Rose Rooted
I used to only ask, what do I want to do
Achieve, aspire, accomplish.
But now I also ask, what do I want to be?
Joyful, flowing, free, wild love.
Those were the words I heard last year, over and over. Follow the joy. It was that simple, so simple that it boggled my mind at times. Really, that’s it? Follow the joy? But where is it leading me and then what and what about after that? Listen, I’m an INFJ and if you know about myers-briggs you know that the J stands for judgment. It might as well stand for “Just watch me control and plan and assess and judge and achieve goals.” Follow the joy is so . . .fluid. Where is the road map?! Oh right there isn’t one. Because it unfolds every moment of every day.
As I enter 2018 I’m not making goals or resolutions, other than to continue to follow the joy. To suspend judgement. To sit in the mystery. To drop ideas and attachments. I’ve reached the place where I know that I don’t know much at all. Or at least, what I knew is no longer relevant to where I am now. I’m not going to throw out the yang with the yin, not at all. But I’m going to find a balance of being that honors the mystery, the dreaming, the intuiting as much as the assessing, the planning and the creating.
Where it takes me is likely beyond what my small mind could ever have dreamed. When I look back at 2016 to 2017 that is most certainly true. The ego had plans and the universe laughed. Thank goodness because the universe brought so much joy and beauty with its plans–I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Sometimes the bee stings, and sometimes it makes honey.” Z, age 4, tiny Buddha (and recently stung by a bee for the first time.)
Watercolor pencil, pen and water
“Pain is a great teacher, but light is a greater one.” – Magldala Ramirez, Ancient Wisdom of the Feminine podcast.
How is everyone? Are you surviving #alternativefactland? Or are you starting to lose your ish? I will confess: I read one too many think pieces yesterday and felt ACTUAL PANIC. Creeping authoritarianism FTW. But, I am getting through with tweets from Alt-POTUS 45. You know, the twitter feed from an alt-reality where Hillary is president:
DAY 14: Destroyed the last Horcrux (Trump’s spray tan bottle). Subscribed Ryan to @TeenVogue. Sent Bill to CVS for Lindt truffle chocolates.
— Alt-POTUS 45 (@IfHillaryHad) February 4, 2017
I’m pretty sure I need to stop reading Twitter though. As one person joked, there is now enough news to actually fill the 24-7 news cycle. You could literally stare at the stream of horror all. day. long.
But, no more. I have decided I need a news fast. For self-care. For sanity!
Nobody wants to think they are burrowing and hiding from reality. . .but I’m pretty sure it’s not healthy for me to be feeling PANIC, either. My new strategy (it’s only been two weeks and I’ve tried a couple already, sigh) will be to watch the news ONCE A DAY. Just once. Maybe PBS news after dinner. Not right before bed, not the first thing I hear in the morning. I dunno.
Because it is a bit addictive isn’t it, seeing the stream of horrors? Nobody wants to admit they are the type of person to peak at car accidents, but we all do it. You know, just to see if everyone is ok even though we know OF COURSE THEY ARE NOT OKAY THEY JUST CALLED JAWS OF LIFE. WHO ARE YOU FOOLING?!
Panic. I need to not feed into it. What are you feeding?
I have been thinking a lot about how it feels like I am straddling two realities. Depending on your spiritual beliefs, you may believe that this is the case. Some of us have woken up and others have not but boy they are being jolted awake now, aren’t they?
I keep reminding myself that as old ways are being dismantled, I don’t need to watch every brick fall in horror. I don’t need to gawk in horror at every 3 a.m. POTUS tweet. (There will be many.)
Instead, I can stay present, stay focused, and I can help dream a new world into being.
The shadow side of our culture is now exposed on many levels – and this is being shown in all countries around the world. The shadow had to come up to be acknowledged and healed. We all know how dysfunctional family systems get when there are secrets that are hidden. The shadow is now showing itself in such a profound way that it cannot be ignored or buried.
Part of the shadow is how money is seen as more important than honoring life, all living beings, and the Earth.
When we focus on the work we ride a different wave then the dense collective. It does not mean that we do not grieve what we see going on in how life is being dishonored. But if we express and work through our emotions and focus our energies on working in the invisible realms to spin a new tapestry that will one day replace the tapestry that is being dismembered we do make a huge difference. As I repeat again and again we were born to dream a new dream into being.
But the new dream manifests when the dismemberment is complete. And none of us are privy to the knowledge on the timing.
Sandra Ingerman, A Message of Love for Our Global Community, Transmutation News
Are you ready to help dream a new world into being?
Much love, Sarah
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“Take your broken heart, make it into art.” -Carrie Fisher
I have decided to take the high road with 2016. I’m done whining. Here is my attempt to make peace with the worst year ever.*
20.16 lessons and gifts from 2016
[amended: this is only parts 1-10 because my kid is mixing paints and that spells trouble.]
Discovering the show “Jane the Virgin.” (A true blessing indeed.)
Continued health for myself, my husband and daughter. (Wow, that is a big one. Probably should have put this before Jane the Virgin.)
My husband watching my daughter so I can write right now, which involves keeping her and her toy drill out of trouble. It is much harder than it sounds.
ALL OF YOU READING THIS. Because for real, the greatest joy is when people care about what you write and then, to blow your mind even more, care about you the human too. Which you do. Which is freaking amazing.
Rediscovering my artistic passions and painting lot’s and lot’s of birds.
7. Singing in my church choir with the greatest bunch of people you could ever meet. I am surrounded by wise, loving elders who cheer me on and lift me up. I LOVE IT.
8. My husband who is still entertaining a child who is now trying to make potions out of toothpaste and dear god I think I’m going to have to split this into two posts.
9. Using my writing to heal.
10. Muddling through the year with tears and laughter– including surrounding myself with Peter Gabriel hugs, by taking cathartic swims, swinging from palm fronds, and leaning on the kindness of strangers like Jeanine.
Items 11 through 20.16 will come tomorrow because my kid is causing ruckus!
*but also I can’t wait to burn this list. Come Saturday night I’m doing a ritual I just learned about. I will write on slips of paper all the things from the past year I want to leave behind. And then I will burn the papers. (My favorite part!) And then I will write on slips of paper what my intentions are for 2017. I will put them in an envelope that I can open in six months or so to see where I’m at. I’m told my mind will be blown.]
Friends, solstice is upon us. Tomorrow. That is right, the days of winter darkness shift toward the light. I don’t want to speak for y’all but damn, it is time for the dark days of 2016 to exit the building.
The church I attend had a lovely solstice celebration this past Sunday. We toasted “wasail” (apple juice) to the new year coming and the the turn to light. And there was an urging to think about darkness not as something “bad” or “evil” as it is often considered in our culture, but instead as a gift. What if we met it with gratitude? We couldn’t have 24 hours of sun – everything requires a period of rest and darkness. What if we look at the darkness as a womb capable of creating and birthing life anew?
Never before have the themes of winter solstice resonated with me so much.
This year brought lot’s of darkness for me. Not in the form of “bad” or “evil” but in the form of letting go, release, and being left with emptiness and not-knowing. The not-knowing is SO HARD for me. I am not a patient person when it comes to just sitting. (I get this from my mother. The woman moved ALL DAY LONG! She would be sitting folding clothes at midnight while watching tv.) So yes, sitting, waiting in the stillness, not knowing, and knowing that it isn’t time for me to know just yet? SO FREAKING HARD. I wrote about this in September and it still resonates with me — how it feels like frog swimming and let’s just say that is not a pace I like.
Yes, if I am grateful, this year brought many gifts that did not feel like them at the time: the release of pain and loss, more pain and loss, and shedding of that which no longer served me. The dissolving of identities and patterns and masks that are no longer needed. I feel as empty as the northern wood, stripped of leaves, all life burrowed away and hiding in hole.
It was a year of pausing. It was a year of rest.
It was a year of embracing the unknown and unexpected, of holding on to faith and hope that eventually the wheel will turn, the axis of the earth would slowly and eventually move its position in relation to the sun and the days will grow longer. They will — at last — tomorrow!
On Solstice Eve, value the dark. On this longest night of the year, before the light overcomes the dark, sit in the dark (alone or with others) and think about the importance of darkness. Bless mushrooms that grow in the dark and honeysuckle that sends its luscious scents into the night. Be grateful for the darkness that soothes us to sleep, the darkness that animals require for hibernation. Give thanks for sheltering dark places: the rich earth where seeds germinate, the caves that harbored our ancient ancestors (and where some of our sun gods were born), the cellars that keep us safe from tornadoes, the wombs that provide our first nourishment. Acknowledge the darkness of suffering, which can deepen our appreciation of life and strengthen our connection to one another.
From a post at http://www.uuworld.org/articles/celebrate-winter-solstice and Excerpted with permission from In Nature’s Honor: Myths and Rituals Celebrating the Earth (Skinner House), copyright 2005 by Patricia Montley. Available from the UUA Bookstore (see link below).
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