Several weeks ago while talking with one of my healers she mentioned the year of 9. A nine year cycle ending in 2016, completing the personal development work we have been doing over the last nine years. It came up in conversation with her as I was reflecting on how challenging the year has been for myself and others. She told me that this year has been tough because it is a year of completion. A year where we burn off all the emotional energy of wounds ready to heal. Where we face the fears we are asked to face.
I remember sighing a sigh of relief when she told me this. As if to feel, thank God I’m not alone in this personal development cooking that’s been happening. Because 2016 has been a year where the burner has been turned up on the shadow parts of myself. Where perfect storms trigger my insecurities and I’ve been asked to the dance floor by the Universe for some of the most important personal growth dances of my life.
And so we reach the Winter Solstice. A time of year that I always make time for ritual. For many years now it has been a day when I reflect on what I am ready to let go of and what I am ready to let in. Whatever I write on my “letting go of list” I burn, shred, or destroy in some manner the next day. Whatever I write on the “letting in” list I look to in how I prioritize my time and the choices I make.
My body woke me up early. 3:45 am to be exact. My soul was waiting for me to come sit and complete some unfinished business. As I sat down for morning meditation, there it was. The emotional, insecure, sensitive part of myself that had been dancing around all week. Feeling rejected, confused, scared, downright petrified. I see her, I thought to myself. That young 4 year old self of me that’s scared about what is next.
“Hang onto your hat,” was essentially the message I received from my healer weeks ago. She warned me that whatever I was ready to let go of would accelerate as we neared the end of the year. This meant conflicts could increase, tension could jack up, and fear would definitely be lurking. As I sat in my meditation this morning I saw the perfection of the storm. A nine year process leading up to this moment. Would I try to shove the fearful 4 year old part of myself out? Would I try to tolerate her? Could I love her?
I decided to pull a card from one of my favorite card decks with Native American symbols and lessons. My nervous system was so activated I knew I needed to move out of the mind and into something else. As I flipped over my card I found the symbol of the Sun Dance staring back at me. A ritual representing self-sacrifice for the Universe. Letting go of parts of ourselves that disrupt the sacredness of our life. I knew exactly what I needed to do.
For the next thirty minutes I chanted and meditated. I imagined the Highest part of myself taking the fearful 4 year old part of myself out for a sacred dance. For a ritual of dancing and chanting to release our fear. To transform our connection from fear to love. To choose a path that is of the Highest Good. Connected to Source. I visualized my current self and 4 year old self dancing and chanting together as I chanted out loud. As the minutes went by I felt something start to release and something that had been gripping so tight for the past 12 hours started to let go. Started it to feel safe again.
Courage is asked of us when we touch a wound. Courage to stay with it. To allow that childhood part of our past to come into a safe space with presence. I often do this through visualization. Imagining much like I did this morning, the young part of myself joining my present-day self. To feel heard. To feel understood. To feel seen. While I can ask others to help me with this need, ultimately the wounded part of me is asking to be heard, understood, and seen by present-day me.
When I feel an electric shock of emotion hit my system, I can be sure that I’m dancing in the past far more than dancing in the present. Our minds cannot consciously see that when we feel triggered. We think we are relating to the present when in reality the emotional charge in us is a subconscious call to address the past.
And the question we face is, can I turn towards my wound? Can I sit down to hear, understand, and see the part of me that is calling out? And then can we dance together to let go of the fear that is gripping us both so tight to open up to love?
As the holiday season brings much joy to many, it also has the ripeness to unearth the shadows of our past as we come into contact with many of the people closest to us. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that our most beloved friends, partners, and family members trigger us the most. In some perfection of Divine engineering, the people in our lives are meant to help us heal, if we will allow them to.
In these times, unhealed wounds can get touched. Unreleased fears can get stoked. And in the simplest interaction we can find ourselves touching the electricity line of our emotional threat system. I realize now that none of this is a problem. None of this is something to push away. Is it uncomfortable when it happens? Absolutely. Is it fun? No. But, if we have the courage to take the invitation of the past onto our dance floor of the present with awareness, we can heal. We can let go of what’s ready to release. This morning I see, that the rawness I’ve been feeling is something to celebrate. An opportunity to thank the Universe for the chance to heal the parts of me that remain wounded.
For this week’s Joy Tip Wednesday I want to invite you to join me for a powerful solstice ritual to get clear on what you are ready to let go of, to allow in, and maybe even sun dance with the past. Here’s how:
Make a letting go of list. Sit down with yourself and draw your attention quietly inside. Come into contact with your breathe, your body sensations to move out of your analytical mind and sit with the question, what am I ready to let go of? Write down everything that you “hear” that comes back. If you find yourself thinking and thinking about things, go back into connecting with your body, ask the question, and then “listen” again. Always write down what you immediately hear. What intuitively comes first is always what you are most ready to let go of. Destroy this list in some way tomorrow.
Make a “letting in” list. As you remain quiet with yourself on a new sheet of paper write down everything you are ready to invite in. Everything you want to let into your life. What your heart wants to allow in. As with the letting go list, write down what you hear that comes back first.
Have your own sun dance. Looking at your letting go list, imagine a younger version of you that is connected to what you are ready to let go of. It can be one thing on your list, or perhaps there is a theme. Imagine this part of yourself joining your present day self and dancing together. Or singing. Or meditating. Or hugging. Or all of the above. Imagine this visualization for some time in your mind. Or if you aren’t a visual person, perhaps you write a letter from your present day self to your younger self. To encourage them. To grant them courage. To empower them to trust.
I’m sure after completing this ritual you will feel better. Will you magically have let go of what you want to let go of? Maybe. Maybe not. But by getting clear on what you are ready to let go of, you can remain aware of when it shows up. And in the moments it shows up, perhaps more lovingly meet that with care and agreement in letting go. Like a small child coming for comfort after a nightmare and lovingly comforting them and walking them back to bed.
Whether you complete this ritual, or your own version, I recommend you take some time on this special day to prepare the soil for new growth. A new season. A new phase in life that is perhaps more happy and more free than ever before.