winter

A Return to Light

Photo by Elisa Coluccia on Unsplash

It is the winter solstice, the peak of darkness and at the same time, the beginning of the light. I hope this is a metaphor for the state of the world right now and for the arc of the pandemic. It is bad. Sickness is everywhere. Death too. I can’t help but look at it as if we are simply cells in the Earth body and She is cleansing, shedding herself of the disease for her own survival. Perhaps randomly, perhaps selectively. No one really knows. 

The sun is rising and the traffic down our narrow winding country road is increasing. I am blessed to have the fortune to remain here in my warm and cozy surroundings, to be able to be home during the darkest day of the year in dark times. As the light begins to surface in the horizon, it dawns on me that this may be a time to surrender, to break down deceptive stories, and look at the shadows. A time to head into and through the fire with courage and conviction and dive into the watery depths with trust. For this is where the real magic happens, where the alchemy of change and creation is catalyzed. 

As Christmas approaches, I am feeling the dichotomy of infinite hope and overwhelming grief that defines this annual ritual. It brings forth our individual and collective experience and asks us to have a look. It is as joyous as it is painful, as promising as it is desperate. It stirs our emotions and demands our attention, and though there are times when I would rather turn away, there is no escaping it. There are reminders in every direction. It seems to be a necessary rite of passage, at least in my culture. 

In recent years, the burden of carrying forth this tradition has at times seemed unnecessary and burdensome. (My children have grown and not yet had children of their own.)  However, I have come to realize that from a different angle, it is actually an opportunity, a chance to consider and feel the lives we have lived up to this point, the decisions we have made, the blessings bestowed upon us, the hardships endured, the mistakes, the victories, the light and the shadows. It is a time to let go of our grievances and past grief and to decide who we want to be moving forward. It is a time to count our blessings and give thanks for all that illuminates us. It is a time to contemplate who we really are, apart from the story we tell ourselves. It is a time to feel deeply and forge ahead bravely. 

As I look up from my computer to the view outside, I notice the sun has replaced the darkness. The traffic is in full swing and life is marching on. I realize that I am on the right path, that my efforts to be my best self for a better world will pay off. I feel a sense of assurance as my heart lightens, and I realize I am simply witnessing a natural cycle, a dark point that will again return to light. 

Other Websites.   

Soul work: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  

Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

Embracing the Liminal Space

The Guardian reviews Katharine May’s book, Wintering. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/feb/04/wintering-how-i-learned-to-flourish-when-life-became-frozen-katherine-may-memoir-review

Christmas is over, the New Year is quickly approaching, and my mind has turned to resolutions and what I’d like to accomplish this year. I’ve had plenty of rest in 2020 and now I’m ready to go, but where and ….how?

Every year, the space between Christmas and New Years offers an opportunity to look at our life, evaluate our successes and shortcomings and dream up a plan for the future. What do I want 2021 to look like? What should I let go of and what would I like to attract?

As the thoughts and feelings swirl around my head, I am overwhelmed. There are a lot of goals yet unrealized and habits I’ve been determined to change but which continue to rest on my shoulder. Will this be the year that I figure it all out? Will I be able to shed my self destructive habits and move into my best purpose? I’m not sure.

I am in my 50s and have spent years studying how to access the subconscious for a better understanding of my inner beliefs and feelings. I have looked at ways to manifest my reality and techniques to steer my life in the direction of my deepest yearnings. However, I still get drawn into the liminal space of this particular week, the time just after Christmas and before the start of the new year, a time of suspension in which we have left something behind but have not yet entered into the new. 

The concept of liminal space came to me yesterday while reading a lovely book I received as a gift for Christmas called Wintering by Catherine May. She talks about this “crossing over” time as a confluence of grief, uncertainty, doubt, and fear as well as excitement and anticipation of what is about to come. Liminal space is sometimes uncomfortable. The pandemic has brought it to the forefront and forced us to work within its confines. The result has provoked anxiety and fear. Yet, there has also been healing, blessings and discoveries, experiences and realizations we would not have found otherwise. 

In her book, May points out that liminal space often accompanies periods of transition in our life, offering us an opportunity to reflect, to heal, to forgive, to redefine and then to design, to dream and to set intentions. The concept at its simplest tells us that when we empty or are emptied of something, there remains a space waiting to be filled. I believe the contents of this space can be influenced if not fully determined by our thoughts, efforts, and wishes. 

It dawns on me that this must be the idea of New Year’s resolutions and that our ancestors no doubt felt the need to address this period of suspension and fear with productive planning. I have realized that entering the quiet or wintering period as May puts it, removes the daily static and encourages us to face our truths head on.

I have always been one to seek happiness, comfort, and joy, but I am realizing that these aspirations are only part of the picture. As I move into 2021, I have decided to try something new, to embrace the winter, to hold love in the space of darkness, to forgive the limitations and deflate their power, to feel the sadness and pain of loss and then to move through the discomfort instead of running away or shutting down. Perhaps, this will be just the approach I need to help me leap over the hurdles that have blocked my way for so long. 

Wendy’s Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/