Winter is a time of year I used to wish away and force to be different.
A time where I and many I know feel agitated, lethargic, cabin fever, or not entirely ourselves. We feel off. We feel different. Because...we are.
The monotony of the grey sky has us feeling bored...uninspired. The monochrome light has us hungry for color. Darkness feels endless and we ask...where’s the light? The day feels like it’s just started when it ends.
Watery emotions run over, bubbling impatience rises up, wandering confusion comes and goes. One day we’re good and one day we’re not. In times past, I prayed for the sun to come back and the warmth to swish away the cold. Sometimes I daydream and look at travel sights for a winter getaways to somewhere sunny. And sometimes, just sometimes, I leave winter and go somewhere warm. This winter I got a light for seasonal affect disorder and love how it warms my face in the morning.
In a time of darkness, shadows, voids, hibernation in nature, it unearths a kind of rawness in many of us that feels uncomfortable, scary, and vulnerable. Pair this with the expectations that we are starting a New Year and the societal sense that this new calendar year brings renewal is just downright...confusing.
There is something about the turn of a New Year I love. I often do rituals to set intentions and a plan for the upcoming year. An internal kind of open the closets, clean them, throw away what you don’t want, and start to buy what you do want kinda approach to the inner home of my heart. But this year it’s different. Rather than going through long exercises of intention setting and a multi-quarter plan for my business I’m approaching winter and the New Year differently. I’m embracing the void.
Prior to traveling to Colombia for the remainder of 2017, I felt inspired to do a small ritual and card pull. Drawing from the practice of story telling with cards in Qoya, I tuned in and drew three cards. One for the beginning of the 2018 story, the second for the middle of the 2018 story, and a third for the end of the 2018 story I was invited to step into living. Despite the fact that 2017 still had several weeks left, it felt like my soul was ready to touch into 2018 and then step back out. As I listened and journaled each part of the story completely before flipping to see the next card, what the Universe was sharing was surprising, inspiring, and felt absolutely right. And then, without warning I felt complete. It was a strange feeling since I often write a lot of pages for my New Year reflection and yet in two pages, I was done. I closed my journal and left 2018. I hopped on a plane and didn’t tune into 2018 for two weeks.
When the third week in Colombia rolled around and I had internet again, I found 2017/2018 reflection prompts in my inbox from one of my teachers. The part of me who loves the regularity of reflecting right after the New Year opened up a Google doc and started typing. While I enjoyed the first few questions, something inside of me sensed that I was just scratching a predictable itch in the wintertime season to “be productive and have a vision.” As I watched my cursor blink on the screen I decided to do something different. Rather than typing until I had a clear picture that evening, I closed the doc and intuitively knew that the Universe is going to deliver my clarity in new ways this year. In bits and pieces, dribs and drabs, slowly, steadily, lovingly, since that time She’s drizzling a little more in unpredictable amounts and times.
As I watched my Instagram feed fill with friends and acquaintances who did 12-month card pulls and created vision boards, I once again gave myself permission to let Her do things very differently this year. In many ways, this shouldn’t be a surprise to me. 2017 especially, was about syncing with Mother Nature, learning to read Her signs, and work with rather than against Her energy. Given that we are in winter, Mother Nature is bigtime in Void. Hibernation, darkness, all the trees have turned off and turned inward. What else would I expect?
The void scares many of us. Following the busy days of the holidays, many of us find ourselves feeling lonely, agitated, and ungrounded after the overload of #allthestuff...family, people, food, lights, and sounds. Rather than gracing into this different energy, for some of us it feels like a holding pattern we cannot bare, a pause in the dark caverns of our being that feels too much and we desperately want to keep doing.
We force busy. We clean the home, we do the laundry, we leave voice memos for all the friends we haven’t spoken to in a long time, we write emails that we’ve been waiting to write, we check Facebook and Instagram feeds, we sign up for tons of classes, or buy lots of books, or ritualize the shit out of 2018. All of this is great if it actually feels like that is what we are called to do. For many of us, however, we are in fact invited into something more subtle, less exciting, less shiny, more intimate that scares us and so we...distract.
We love to fill openings. Space, silence, alone time. We always want to fill the void. And it’s ok, it’s understandable, maybe even natural, because no one ever really taught us how to be with the void.
The void we are told is boring. The void we are told is unproductive. The void we are told could be depressive. If you spend too much time in the void you might even get trapped in it. Or the opposite, it’s so seductive that you might never want to leave it. You might forget who you are. And forgetting who you are might be the worse of all.
Ironically by avoiding the void we in fact forget ourselves because the Void is where our deepest essence resides. This is how we lose our way Home.
Speaking of home, I’m leading a 5 month journey entirely focused on coming home to ourselves and I’d love for you to join me. I have just two spots left. If you are a spiritual seeker who desires a more intimate connection with yourself and the Universe, let’s chat. Schedule time HERE
This winter I’m taking my cue from Mother Nature and embracing the void and giving you permission to do the same if it serves you. This means I’m letting go of:
Hard pinned to do lists.
Forcing clarity on questions about 2018.
Journaling about what I think I should process.
Writing because I planned to.
Needing to know the whole big picture about my work and my intentions for the year.
And I’m allowing:
Flexibility in how I’m working through “to do’s”
Journaling when I feel inspired.
Writing when the Muse calls me.
Collection of bits of knowing about 2018 and being ok with bits rather than a whole.
Listening, waiting, watching, stillness, and silence.
Feelings. ALL the winter feelings.
Trust in the process and where She’s taking me.
For this week’s Joy Tip Wednesday, I want to invite you to explore your relationship with void. Here’s how:
Notice how busy you have been since January 1st. How’s your schedule feeling to you? Does it feel cramped, frantic, overextended, or boring and irritating to you?
Check your motivations. They have answers and tell you whether you are avoiding a call towards the void or leaning into your thriving.
Reflect on what feels scary about a sense of void, darkness, stillness, silence, or hibernation and where you force something different?
In many traditions, Winter, the Void, is The Great Teacher. What would shift if you sat with the Great Teacher sometimes rather than ran away from Her? What if you allowed yourself to be with the discomfort of winter, the bubbling up of darkness that hasn't been heard, the questions burning in your heart?
If you’re feeling inspired by the idea of exploring more space, silence, void, and being with darkness in your life, let’s chat. I have some openings in my 1:1 practice for 2018. Together we can dance in space together to see what clarity wants to arise and if we both agree we are a strong match, we’ll plan for some empowering work together. Schedule a discovery session HERE.
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