Different phases of our life invite us to be someone different. To allow a different facet inside of us, a new archetype of ourselves, to step forward and take the lead.
In my early twenties I was adventurous and fearless. I backpacked around the Middle East, I spent days sleeping in the desert on a thin cot and sometimes just the sand. I could have written the Lonely Planet of the strangest places to use the bathroom while backpacking. I caught rides with random strangers. I felt filled up by spending a lot of time with people and never was alone.
As I grew into my mid and late twenties, I was analytical, driven, and courageous. My work in international development took me to dangerous countries and I relished to be in remote locations or on the ground in a countries with conflicts I had spent hours pouring over and understanding. Violence, destruction, and the worst of humanity and how to transform it occupied my academic and career spheres of my life. I developed an ability to read people and situations.
Simultaneously as this warrior-like part of me stepped to the forefront of my life, a devoted seeker stepped out as well. I poured myself into spiritual seeking. All hours of my life outside of work and grad school, from the wee hours of the morning to the late hours at night were spent pouring my energy into books, listening to lectures, and attending classes. My extra funds were spent on traveling for retreats and pursuing this thirst for something Greater than myself. I was affectionately referred to as the book eater during this time.
When the decade of the twenties started winding down I was feeling burned out. All of that driven warrior energy left me pretty exhausted and I was confused what it all meant. Unlike my somewhat seamless transition from the early twenties to mid-twenties, this transition towards the later part of the decade was tough and was calling forth a dramatically different me than I had been in touch with before.
A good portion of my twenties had been spent soaking up a ton of information from others and little did I know, this intense absorption of information disconnected me from my own innate wisdom inside.
My late twenties and step into my thirties ushered in the feminine, easeful, gentle, and intuitive part of myself I never knew was there. This dramatic shift in my being felt foreign, scary, and uncharted. My body stopped allowing me to work at the pace I always had. My intuition started cracking open in ways that were both magical, mysterious, and at times overwhelming. This transition, this birthing of my feminine side, was painful. Sometimes it was an all out drag out fight. The warrior, fearless, courageous part of me wanted to still be the woman who could drop into any situation and survive. I was a survivor of so much at this point in my personal and professional life. I was proud of my battle scars and yet another part of me knew it didn’t have to be this way. I didn’t have to suffer to arrive. Another part of me said, She didn’t want it to be that way.
Slowly the warrior inside of me started to put down her sword and shield. At first it felt scary, vulnerable, and weak. Eventually, it called forth a new quieter, steadier, more rooted strength inside of me. And once I touched into this new sense of power inside of myself, there was no going back. My mind, my body, my soul, was forever changed. Like a DNA upgrade that’s irreversible.
In my early thirties, I became insightful, purposeful, and receptive. My body had a zero tolerance policy for pushing. Every time I’d push past my edge, I’d immediately start getting sick or injuries. Cold and flu like symptoms would arise, muscle strains would birth. If I honored the feedback from my body, I’d avoid a full on illness. If I didn’t, I’d get sick, and I mean SICK. I experienced a dramatic shift in my own autonomy. I started learning how to really trust myself and my own authority in all areas of my life. Over what my life purpose was, what career I was called into, what lifestyle I wanted, what was true, and what was untrue for me. In the spiritual realm this meant that I broke away from the orthodox, formal, and rigid and stepped into my own guidance. The disciplined part of me that had followed specific regimens for so long was now married with the intuitive in-the-moment needs. My daily rituals looks like regular tune in’s to see what I was being called into for my practice rather than the same set of practices I always did. My relationship with the divine became eclectic and outside of any box or label.
Now, in my mid-thirties, I’m reminded of how much has changed. I feel a tide rolling in. A shift in my being, my becoming is emerging again. Where the wave is taking me is like all the others, partially known and partially unknown. Last week as I did a card pull for my exploration of what I am called towards in 2018 (stay tuned for next week’s joy tip on this powerful New Years intention practice), I know the journey ahead is another side of me stepping forward that I’m both familiar and unfamiliar with. A rootedness that is less impacted by the tides of other people’s opinions. A woman who is willing to honor her needs rather than attempt to negotiate with them and people please. A soulful connection with the Universe, Her cycles, and her secret wisdoms that continue to emerge from my experience.
If you feel called towards exploring who you are invited to become at this phase of life, I have a special five month journey for you. Check out the very special women’s circle I’m leading in 2018 HERE. I have just a few spots left!
Throughout each phase of my life, as the Universe has called forth something else inside of me, I’ve had to let go to let in.
- Let go of the warrior push forward to work long hours to let in ease and space to tune in.
- Let go of the fearless risk taker who travels to dangerous places to let in the healer who’s grounded to hold sacred space.
- Let go of the fierce assertion of independence to learn the edges of who I am to let in a softening clarity of what I wanted in partnership.
Letting go of who we were to let in who we are is the process of our becoming. This is the essence of our growth, our expansion, and our manifestation of who we came here to Be.
This process can be painful, mournful, and difficult at times. It wasn’t joyful for me to soften the warrior side of me to allow in the wise woman. The process was my medicine, the ending is my gratitude. Like a teenager rebelling against all authorities. The warrior inside of me had fought so hard to become that she wasn’t ready to let go of the reigns. And yet I knew, deep down, this is what was needed. I didn’t shut her out, I didn’t shut her down. I just allowed her to step back and a different part of me to step forward and lead.
Not so ironically, this week as I reflect on who I am asked to become, I’m greeting the Winter Solstice this Thursday. This longest day of darkness is an auspicious time to reflect on what you are being invited to let go of and what you are invited to let in. Whether you’ve just had a baby, gotten married, gone through a break up, moved to a new home, changed jobs, or are experiencing an entirely internal transition, the end of 2017 and move into 2018 is asking us to reflect on, what are we ready to let go of to let in what’s knocking at the door? Both known and unknown.
For this week’s Joy Tip I’m inviting you to host a little Winter Solstice ritual for yourself to create a blank, open, and intentional container ahead of the New Year.
The most auspicious time to do this is on Thursday or the day after. But really, you can do this any time. Here’s how:
Create sacred space. Whatever that means to you. Whether it’s something full like creating an altar, or sitting in your favorite chair by the window with a mug of your favorite tea. Set up some intentional space where you will not be disturbed for a period of time.
Get in your body. Sit down with yourself and draw your attention quietly inside. Come into contact with your breathe and your body sensations to move out of your analytical mind. Take three big belly breaths, all the way to the very bottom of your belly, hold the breath there and then exhale out loudly. Return to normal breathing with your attention inside.
Listen. Sit with the questions: what am I ready to let go of? What parts of myself are being called to step back so another part of me can step forward and lead? You can ask these questions silently to yourself or out loud. Listen to receive the answers versus reaching to find them. Be patient. Let your answers come to you.
Make a letting go of list. 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 when you are done by shredding, burning, tearing etc..
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. What parts of you are being called forth? What adjectives are coming to your mind to describe a new state-of-being? As with the letting go list, write down what you hear that comes back first.
I recommend you keep your “letting in” list in a journal where you can add to it as its likely that “answers” to this question may become clear over the next 1-3 months. You can continue to add to this list any time something new emerges. Be sure to make note of anything else that you become aware of that requires letting go to create space for what you are letting in.
If you are feeling ignited or curious about the practice of let go/let in and hungry for more, I’d love to chat. I have two opportunities for you to dive deeper in the New Year. Schedule a free 30 minute consultation with me HERE for us to get to know each other more, take a walk through your dreams, spark clarity, and if we both agree we’re a strong match, plan some empowering work together.
In the meantime, may this time of year where the darkness gives way for the return of the light serve as a turning point where that which is blocking your light in yourself is graciously let go and that which sparks light is allowed to call forth in.
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