Happy International Women’s Day! I was blown away by the response to my request for submissions on the theme of ‘feminine power.’ My idea had been to create a weaving together of different expressions of feminine power, as it comes through each of us uniquely. It has surpassed my expectations! I hope you will browse, and come back, and visit each and every link to feel what we have created and emanated together.
Truly thank you, to all of you who participated. And for those who didn’t but would like to, I invite you to do so in the comments.
First up is my own contribution, which is the final article in my 3-part series on kundalini over at Meditate Like a Girl. This one is on Kundalini Rising in Women. Below is an excerpt, paired with the beautiful new site badge (note that Meditate Like a Girl has changed formats, and is accepting submissions anytime, so I hope some of you will consider submitting):
“Teachings about kundalini in women can pretty much be summed up in one phrase: We’ve got it it all backwards. By this I mean that historically and culturally, the dominant message regarding women and power is that women have less, and men have more. In terms of the power structures that have dominated our seen world, this has certainly been true, and we have been working hard – particularly in the last 100 years – to redress this…But in the unseen world – unseen by the physical eyes anyway – the exact opposite is true. On the subtle plane, where kundalini operates, women have more power, or rather, a more open and direct access to power.” [read more...]
Next, from artist Christina Gage, check her divine online gallery for more:
Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.
-The Beatles, ‘Blackbird’
“To me, the dark goddess is the primal element of feminine power, where you are fully, deeply in your body and connected to your own soul. I had spent my whole life focused outward: amassing knowledge, trying new techniques, engaging teachers and healers to help me move forward—and all that has certainly helped my journey of self-development and healing. But in the dark goddess’s realm, the mind’s learning is kind of useless—which is scary for someone like me who has relied so much upon the cerebral. She asks for integrity, experience, courage, and heart. The trust required is tremendous—the dark goddess has made it very clear to me that she is not my guide, she is my teacher. She doesn’t lead the way—she instructs, suggests a path, and then allows me to find my way, using what I’ve learned. Since I’ve been working with her fierce, transformative power, my focus is deep within my self, rather than on external acts, seeking approval, or managing other’s perceptions of me. For the first time, I feel fully embodied; I feel what I AM. And I am sovereign, empowered by the Divine Feminine, the dark and the light.”
Michaela Haas, author of Dakini Power, submitted artwork of Pema Chodron created by Noa Kaplan, (Dakini Power features a wonderful interview with Pema, as well as 11 other woman Tibetan Buddhist teachers.)
Robin King submitted an insightful article on Embodied Forms of Feminine Power in Buddhism which I liked so much I posted it as a guest author post at BellaOnline. Here’s an overview related to Samantabhadri:
“Samantabhadri represents the awareness-wisdom aspect of the mind. Her naked, unadorned appearance reflects the essential nature of mind in its essence. She “is the expression of limitless space, the natural state that is the ultimate truth… Samantabhadri is the expression of that which cannot be expressed in words or symbols, the ultimate nature of mind, the limitless expanse of simplicity” (Dakini’s Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism, Judith Simmer-Brown, Shambhala, 2002).
Meditation on Samantabhadri is an invitation to let go of seeking, to let go of striving, to let go of accomplishing, to let go of ideas of power. It is an invitation to let go of thinking that you are a doer, and to let go of the belief that anything needs to be fixed. It is an invitation to rest in pure awareness. Through her meditation, worldly experiences soften their hold on the mind, and unconditional love remains… an unconditional “Yes” to the beauty of Being. The singer Kirtana described this meditation beautifully in her song ‘Already Home, Already Free’ on her album Unseen Grace:Nothing to seek. Nothing to gain. Nothing to know. Nothing to lose. Nothing to do, but let go. Let’s rest here, where the future and the past disappear… Here–in the sanctity of Now.” Rosie Good of Yoga Bindu shared a poem by Alice Fulton, who is “complex and wonderful”
From Deonesea La Fey, Queen Visionary at Passion as Prayer:
“Feminine Power is most deeply sourced from Living simultaneously in the Sensual and the Sacred. The sensual urgings of your amazing body are actually longings connected with your divinity…connected to a deep spiritual longing to be more fully self-actualized and embodied as a human on this planet.” [Check out Deonesea's DailyOm course 'Allow Yourself to Have Sensual Pleasure' here...]
“Women are now working as much as men and are making more money in many cases, while still doing the majority of work at home. It’s time women choose partners who will support their dreams and help to successfully balance work and home visions.” [Read More...]
From Wendy Dumaresq, founder of the Natural Women’s Network, including the ‘Menopause as Healer and Teacher’ project:
“To me Feminine Power is being able to Be Myself, whatever that represents at the time. What is nourishing for my soul and assists my Feminine Power is the stories of other women, having appropriate information and exchanging support with other women …” [read more...]
Cate Frazier-Neely, voice teacher and blogger (including on the mid-life journey), offers this fascinating insight into working with animal energies as feminine power:
From Burl Hall (so glad to have some men contribute) of Envision This BlogTalkRadio:
“Feminine Power is the ability to create from within into the without. It is the unfolding of potential from within all. It is the power of the Earth to birth, sustain and take back all life (which is reflected in women as birth, nurturing and intercourse). Feminine power emerges from the inside out, in contrast to the masculine tendency to try to rule from the outside in (as per the military, gov’t etc). Feminine power in this way is the power to conceive, be it a baby, a thought, an idea, a planet or a universe. It is the emergence of a hidden potential into being – much as an egg is a potential being that becomes actualized. It is non-local, for the process in humans is as much a conception of the mind as well as a biological conception. Again, this same process is universal. So, when you see seeds in spring springing forth as new plants, this is exactly the essence of femininity.”
An original poem, from Kaveri Patel, of Wisdom in Waves:
Dancing in the Dark
The evening sun blushed as
he watched the moon undress,
still surprised by her stark white
beauty after these years,
in love with her nude performance
and willingness to dance in the dark.
Courtney Walsh, of Squeezing the Stars, contributes her parable ‘The Temple of Woman’ – here’s the beginning:
“The woman was wild and free. She lived in her body. Occupied it fully. She loved her body. Her body loved her. She loved her mind and how it could mix just the right herbs to help the villagers. She was a healer. She was in love with love and in love with life.” [read more...]
From Akemi Gaines, Akashic Record Reader, whom you can connect with on Facebook here:
“We have been incarnated as both men and women, and will continue to do so. We all have both male and female powers within us.”
This image from Pema at Wonder Momma, along with a blog post, excerpted here:
Susan from Mildly Mystical, contributes ‘A Different Way to Fight’ about her friend’s feminine power facing cancer, excerpted here:
“She is like a birch tree, rooted in her life, bending with the force of the strong winds blowing and straightening when they subside. I respect her strength and courage, and I appreciate her wisdom. I am blessed to have her as a friend.” [read entire post...]
Vikki Nash, artist/teacher/healer, of Bindu Creative Wellness, contributed this image and article entitled ‘The Mandorla as an Archetypal Representation of Divine Feminine Power’, excerpted here:
“As a visual artist and a healing practitioner I have a passion for living a soul centred existence and assisting others to do the same. One way I achieve this is to affirm and reaffirm my connection to the power of the feminine through my artwork by using deeply powerful archetypal symbols and forms. One form I am profoundly connected to is the mandorla which, for me, symbolises the power of the divine feminine.” [read more...]
These powerful images from Mel Bohrer, artist (more of her work here):
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
- Martha Graham, submitted anonymously
Artist Sara Steffey Mcqueen, contributed these original works and personal sharing:
“I had Uterine cancer 5 yrs. ago, and discovred the Indian goddess, Durga. I felt her many arms came to help keep the cancer at bay until I could have removal surgery. Since then, I have created this chalk watercolor piece in her honor. “
“The ‘Exquisite Uterus’ is a group collaboration organized as a traveling exhibit in Wisconsin.”
“‘Shekina’, a pastel of the feminine face of god as the great power above our crown chakra. The image was a reflection of Her great power in the universe to guide and awaken.”
A’ra Blair, author, counselor, facilitator of Sacred Sexuality and Reclaiming the Divine Feminine, shares her blog post “The Seat of a Woman’s Power”, excerpted here:
“As women, we’ve often gotten lost in our sexuality, mistaking it for love. Men who have felt threatened by a woman’s power and her sexuality, have not been kind. Neither the lost woman nor the fearful man is operating from the high watch of their Divinity. Neither honors the self and therefore, is incapable of holding our greatest gift, that of our sexuality, in high holiness.
Yet the Dance of Sexual Connection is how we all came to be!”
Tina Rubin of Eye for Detail Photography shares these beautiful images and poem (see more here):
“Living from your heart is quite easy. It’s never the BIG stuff in life that creates the ripples of change. It’s not the promotion, the expensive car, the designer clothes, the large house or the “well knowns” in your circle of ‘friends’. It’s the smallest, simplest acts of kindness, the knowing smile, the quiet touch, the soft response; being in service with compassion and gratitude, that’s how we live from our hearts. That is what evokes change. That is what empowers us and brings the joy that we hunger for in our daily lives.”
Jay Schryer, truly a man of the goddess, wrote this poem, and an accompanying blog post:
Protect me as the mother bear protects her cubs
Wrap around me like a warm, soft blanket and
Pour your love into my heart and quench my unquenchable thirst and
Bathe me in the flames of your passion until I burn for you—
And only you.
Teach me how to dance in the rain while others merely get wet.
Teach me how to dance in the flames while others get burned.
Teach me how to dance on the wind while others simply fall.
Teach me how to dance on the earth while others only crawl.
Your power is the power of grace: it soothes, comforts, and heals.
Your power is the power of wisdom: it teaches, guides, and helps.
Your power is the power of courage: it chases away fear and uncertainty.
Your power is the power of patience: nature never hurries, yet all is accomplished.
Your power is the power of compassion: it heals through a gentle touch.
Your power is the power of kindness: it teaches us how to treat each other.
Your power is the power of love, and it is the greatest of all powers.
You are the Divine Creator. All life flows from you, Divine Mother.
You are the Divine Destroyer. All life returns to you, Divine Mother.
You are everything,
And I am yours.
Margarita Alcantara, a Licensed Acupuncturist and Reiki Master/Teacher, contributed this powerful image and her own blog post entitled: “Owning Our Feminine Voice: Turning Our Weakness Into Our Greatest Strength”:
“How many times have you been told to be silent, to hold your voice in, to not speak your truth? As women, we have been encouraged at an early age to put a lid on our emotions, lest we seem “hysterical”, “overemotional”, or “weak”. In honor of International Women’s Day this Saturday, I share the story of a patient’s liberation in speaking her truth, and reveal why our voice is actually not our weakness, but our greatest strength.”
Hazel of Hazel Tree Doula contributed this image and her own blog post on “Awakening Feminine Power”, excerpted here:
“As you breathe to begin to reclaim your feminine power, remember how this is rooted in the womb, the place of creativity.
How would our world be different if ideas, projects and creativity were sourced from a womb space honoured by such gifts and love?” [read post...]
Ravyn Lunatique contributed this powerful persona picture and post, “Rebirthing Myself”:
“A few months ago, as my flame dimmed to a flicker, I prepared for my final exhale from this body. What happened instead was a benevolent rescue by the Goddess, in many forms and guises, and being inspired by her once again.” [read more...]
And from Bonnie Snyder, Energy Alchemist and Life Balance Coach, of Diamond Pathways, this image and blog post, “Evolving Feminine Power”:
“Our feminine power is always evolving. And, I believe feminine power is the key to living our hearts’ desires and dreams as well as creating positive change for our world. What “Feminine Power” is and how it influences us has drastically transformed as the more traditional societal roles that women have been expected to fit into — and have embodied for centuries — have changed in recent years.” [read more...]
Elizabeth Bain, intuitive energy guide for animals and humans, shares her own experiences of feminine power, in her own blog post, excerpted here:
“”The times that feminine power has shown up for me have been varied. From specific meditations focused on feminine power to soothing assistance while working on self-healing to the great mothers of different animals appearing on my meditation walks. My experience of feminine power is as an energy that is woven within everything in the universe. Just as human DNA carries both the genes of the mother and the father, so too does all energy carry strands of feminine power and masculine power. I do not see the weavings of the universe so much as I know/sense them spatially.” [read full post...]
“We will discover the nature of our particular genius when we stop trying to conform to our own or to other peoples’ models, learn to be ourselves, and allow our natural channel to open.”
-Shakti Gawain, submitted by Shari Saginor
From Joy of Facets of Joy, along with her blog post ‘An Invitation to Claim Your Divine Birthright and Center into Divine Power”:
“Feminine power is not reserved for “goddesses” and people with special powers – it is an energy available to each of us, a connector energy that we may simply breathe into and create with.” [read more...]
And last, but certainly not least (in fact, I saved it for last because it is so moving and powerful), Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’s speech on beauty, contributed by Diantha Harris of Life Potentials.
May you come into your own feminine power this day, and may it lead you to the happiness, love, abundance, and awakening that are your birthright.
March 8th is International Women’s Day, and as some of you may know (because I say so every year, lol), it’s also my birthday! So I always try to do something different to celebrate here at Mommy Mystic, that is related to the divine feminine. As I was out walking earlier this week, contemplating what felt right this year, it hit me suddenly: I’d love to create a collaborative post, with many (MANY) different views on FEMININE POWER. Among other things, feminine power IS collaborative, so what better way to celebrate it?
Of course, feminine power means different things to different people. And so I invite you to think outside the box, and send me an image, thought, paragraph, or even link to an entire blog post or article, that you feel represents feminine power in some way. It may be of or about a woman you think embodies it. It may be a moment you feel you brought it forth in yourself. It may be questioning the idea of feminine power altogether – anything goes! And you don’t have to interpret feminine power to be just about women (because it’s not!) or be a women to contribute (in fact I’d love to have some men contribute.)
I will combine everything I receive here at Mommy Mystic on March 8th, and link back to anyone who wants to be linked to. We will create a post emanating out feminine power to the world, for anyone who wants to receive it.
So, in summary, here’s the skinny:
- Theme: FEMININE POWER
- What to Send: An image, word, poem, phrase, sentence, or paragraph that represents this theme for you. If you decide to write a blog post or article on this yourself, I’ll include the first sentence or two here, and then link to the rest of your post.
- Be Sure to Include: How you want yourself listed (if at all) and a linkback URL if you want. If you use an image that is not your own or in the public domain, make sure you also send me the source site URL so I can link back.
- When to Send: ASAP! Or by Friday March 7th at the latest.
I’m very excited about this, and am so looking forward to receiving your contributions. Please share with anyone you feel might like to contribute! Coming together is power…
Thanks all of you so much for sharing and commenting on Energy and Action in the Year of the Horse. I’m glad it resonated, and what a great way to start off the Horse energy. I thought this month I would follow-up with more thoughts on something I mentioned in that post – spiritual disassociation. Energetically, this is a great year to identify and work through any of these tendencies.
By spiritual disassociation, I mean the tendency to use spirituality or spiritual practices as a way of disassociating from ourselves and reality, instead of for connecting more deeply, and more from the heart. In other words, spirituality as escapism. The question to really honestly ask ourselves from time to time is:
Does my spirituality, and do my spiritual experiences, feel like I am leaving myself, or coming home to myself?
In a world where we are over-stimulated and stressed, bombarded by so many different energies and demands, it is easy for our spiritual practice or beliefs to become a form of escape. Especially for energetic ‘sensitives’ (probably you if you are reading this blog!) who can blame us? If we have found a way to shelter ourselves, a ‘place’ in our mind we can go for a break, a belief system that offers us comfort and security, isn’t that a good thing?
And the answer is yes, it often is! Certainly in the case of meditation, research has shown that practices of many different forms have measurable physical benefits. It lowers blood pressure, increases endorphins and theta brain waves, lowers stress hormones in our system, and has many other benefits. So that is all wonderful, and certainly helps us in our daily life.
But if our desire is to awaken to our true nature, our essence, Source, spirit, God/Goddess-realization as our very own being, then we don’t want to only escape. We don’t want to create another way to run from ourselves, or to disengage from the world and our real emotions and sensations. And it is very easy for meditation and other spiritual practices and beliefs to cross over into this territory over time. A ‘check-in’ around this is a great way to cut through any tendencies that have developed along these lines.
The question above is perhaps the most direct way to contemplate this. At some level of our being, we always know. Sometimes just asking the question will cut through. Here’s some others that I like to use:
Am I kinder in my daily life?
If we are feeling happy in meditation, but always irritated outside of it, something isn’t right. We may be getting attached to a state of energy that we have learned to generate in our meditation, and then are aggravated whenever we don’t feel this outside of meditation. What is the good of this really? Of course, sometimes we are just going through a sensitive time, and our meditation or spiritual contemplation may be the only time we aren’t subsumed by this. That’s OK, to a point. But it’s worth looking at what is really going on – at what emotions are arising outside of meditation, and taking a look at them. This is really the spiritual integration process that goes on our whole lives. If we are centered in our heart, if we default to kind (our natural state) we are OK.
Am I having a hard time connecting with my body or with accomplishing/manifesting goals?
This is a classic sign of root chakra disengagement or block, and is something most trauma survivors work through over many years in their healing process. But all of us are apt to experience phases of this, especially if we are engaged in chakra or kundalini-based practices and shifts. Sometimes it is a temporary phase (see my Kundalini series for more info on this), and some extra work on grounding will help us manage the transition. But sometimes we have begun to ‘check out’. If we are engaged in a long-term spiritual path, sometimes this is a sign that we have come up against some aspect of ourselves that we aren’t quite ready to face. Working gently – but persistently – will get us through. And of course, when it comes to goals, sometimes we just don’t get what we want – just because the world isn’t conforming to our vision board, doesn’t mean we are spiritually disassociated! We are talking about deeper and longer term patterns here.
Am I getting rigid, on or off, the meditation cushion?
When we get attached to certain spiritual practices, or to certain ‘states’ that they can bring us to, we can feel a rigidity developing within us – an aversion to anything that interferes, and a frustration when our practice doesn’t yield what we ‘want.’ Or this may show up off our meditation cushion, and we find ourselves frustrated with those who don’t share our beliefs, beginning to fall into a fixed view of the world and what is ‘right.’ We are resistant to opening, and have become attached to control instead. Our meditation or spiritual practice has become about creating or ‘getting to’ a certain place. There is no room then, for anything new to arise, or for the true essence of our awareness and spirit to show itself.
I think chakra and kundalini-based paths are especially prone to these tendencies (and these have been the mainstay of my path for 25 years.) This is partly because we can experience such amazing states of bliss once we have learned to shift and move energy through our chakras. But it’s important to remember (as all the classic texts warn us!) that the bliss is a byproduct, not the point, of practice and/or energy work. It means things have shifted and something has been released within us, and it means we have learned to let go at a certain level of our being, and allow the energy to move upward. But in and of itself, it doesn’t mean we are awake, or more self-aware, or more open, or more compassionate. We have to do that work ourselves, off the meditation cushion.
The value of the chakra and all energy-based practices and work is that it shifts things around in our subtle body, and by extension, our psyche. It pushes things to the surface of our consiousness, and brings up latent karmas, that we may not have been able to see before. Very often this manifests in our daily lives, and so it is through dealing well with it there that we really grow. In this way our spiritual practice/energy work and daily life work hand in hand. The former isn’t an escape from the latter.
I know I will be working with this myself this year, and as always, your own sharings are always welcome!
And as a final reminder, the next round of my Energy Healing for Sexual Abuse and Trauma teleseminar begins February 23rd. Also, join me on Energy Awareness radio this afternoon at 3PST/6 ET (or by recording later) when I talk with T. Love about the feminine energy body and self-care. And oh yea, happy LOVE day Friday:-)
As has become tradition the last few years, I am giving away three of my favorite books of 2013, as a big THANK YOU for your readership, support, business, and general lightness of being. This is for the comments, Facebook shares (which I’ve never been able to track to thank you in FB!), tweets, course sign-ups, referrals, and most importantly, your dedication to healing and seeking, which I feel honored to be a part of in some way, however small. All you need to do to be entered is leave a comment with a wish for 2014.
I remember talking to an obstetrician a few years back, who had recently started her own family, and from a schedule perspective really wanted to cut back on the number of births she attended, so that she could keep more regular office hours. But she just couldn’t do it. “Being present for births just never gets old.” she said, “It’s always a miracle. I can’t give it up. It’s such a privilege to play a role in it.”
This is how I feel about the work that I get to do now. To play a role in someone’s healing and spiritual journey is such a privilege. Each time someone shares an insight, or experiences a healing moment, or settles more deeply into their true awareness, I feel as if I am witnessing something miraculous. It is the light within that person pushing through barriers and limitations, rising up and expanding. It deepens my own faith and sense of connection. It never gets old.
Without fail I feel myself awed by the individual, and by the resilience of the human spirit. Our deepest self never stops wanting to grow towards the light. We often feel the opposite, and I have worked with many people who have experienced some of the worst humanity has to offer. But the light is always present too, in our desire to heal, and in our ability to do so. It gives me hope.
I have liked many books this year, so which to include was a tough call. In the end I let my intuition choose which ones to offer (close seconds were Dakini Power and Wonder, both featured in posts this year – you can check them out yourself if you haven’t already.) In the end, I think each of the ones I chose has something unique to offer, and together they represent the models for much of the work I personally do:
Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga, Sally Kempton. This outstanding contribution to divine feminine literature will help you awaken your inner Lakshmi, Kali, Durga, Parvati, Saraswati, and more. Part folklore, part how-to, part spiritual memoir, each chapter in this book covers a different Hindu goddess, bringing her alive for you, and showing you how to awaken what she represents within yourself. Sally’s anecdotes from her own spiritual journey are insightful and empowering.
The Subtle Body Practice Manual: A Comprehensive Guide to Energy Healing, Cyndi Dale. This companion to her best-selling Subtle Body Encyclopedia offers exercises and techniques you can try on your own to access the power of energy healing. In one class that I took with her, Cyndi said that it was part of her personal mission statement to make energy healing teachings accessible to anyone, and this book continues her work in this regard (though established energy healers will find much to like too.)
Feeding Your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict, Lama Tsultrim Allione. Although this book is not a 2013 release, it feels right to include it, as it has been such a big part of my own year. I have been pursuing certification to be a facilitator of the Feeding Your Demons process, attending two retreats at the beautiful Tara Mandala this year (Lama Tsultrim’s retreat center), and completing 108 demon-feedings of my own (many with partners, and if you were one of them – THANK YOU!) So many people feel their lives have changed through this book and/or process, so I am excited to share it here, and hope to share the process with some of you as a facilitator in 2014.
So to enter to win one of these wonderful books, just comment below, sharing a wish for 2014 – personal or worldly, whatever you like. A few notes:
- Anonymous comments are fine, although I do need your email to notify you if you win (it will not show on the post, and won’t be used for anything else.)
- You cannot choose what book you win – you will have to trust the universe:-)
- You CAN choose the format you wish to receive the book in – digital or print – I will check with you when I notify you if you’ve won.
- Winners will be drawn on New Year’s Day, one by each of my three kids, and I will post the winners here, in addition to notifying winners by email.
I look forward to reading your wishes for 2014. And again, thank you! Namaste-
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” - Albert Camus
The Solstices are my favorite ‘power days’ of the year. Here in the northern hemisphere, the December Solstice is our winter solstice, and in the preceding weeks we move deeper and deeper into the womb-like cave of long, dark nights. On December 21st, the earth reaches its tipping point, and we welcome back the gradual return of the light. Connecting with this natural cycle, and energetically linking our own shedding and transformation with it, is tremendously powerful. Its the reason so many cultures around the world have linked this day, and the period around it, with retreat, contemplation, and transformation.
From an energetics perspective, I like working with a 6 week window, 3 weeks before Solstice and 3 weeks after, in a very conscious way (although I view the whole Solstice energy ramp-up as being felt about 6 weeks before.) So right now is the perfect time to begin your Solstice transformation, if you have not already done so. This year has been feeling especially potent to me, so to support you in this, I am offering a FREE Solstice preparatory meditation through Meditate Like A Girl on Thursday December 12th at 6pm PST/9 EDT. You do not need to listen live to participate – if you register you will receive the recording afterwards, and can do the meditation, and adapt it for your own needs, as many times as you like during the Solstice transit. Linking our intention and awareness together through group work of this type creates even more momentum and light for us each to draw upon.
In this post, I wanted to offer you some ways to prepare for this meditation, and for your own Solstice transformation. The first step is linking your awareness to the energy of this time. Symbols are one of the best ways to do this, as they speak to a deeper part of our awareness, our subconscious if you will, which is also the part of us most intimately connected with our subtle and intuitive awareness levels. By focusing on symbolic representations of the process we wish to initiate, we plant the seeds in our subconscious and subtle body for the work to begin. There are two symbolic representations of the Solstice shift that I like to work with:
Think of yourself, and your life over the last year, as in a caterpillar stage. You have been eating and eating, accumulating new experiences, some joyful and some painful. Through your personal work on yourself, you have also accumulated wisdom. You have come to see old emotional patterns as limiting. You have seen blocks and wounds that you previously had not known were there. Perhaps challenging situations have triggered you deeply, pulling you into some of these old wounds. Perhaps joyful situations have brought you to happiness you never thought you would feel. Either way, you are full and ripe – ripe with experience, with energies, with emotions – with life.
You are ready to move into a cocoon with all this fullness. You are ready to go inward, and transform all of this life into a new you. The dark days of pre-Sosltice are your cocoon. In the days and weeks following Solstice, you will emerge as a butterfly, beautiful and transformed.
The fascinating thing about the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly is that the caterpillar completely liquifies inside the cocoon, and then gradually from this liquid, the butterfly is formed. It is not like the transformation of a tadpole into a frog, where day by day you can see the gradual change – the legs emerging, the tail shrinking. If you could see inside the cocoon during the liquid phase, you would never guess a butterfly would emerge.
This is what the days and weeks leading up to Solstice are about – pulling in, welcoming in, all of our vast array of emotions and experiences from the past year (and before), into a bundle and inviting them to transform. The focus is not on release, or even healing (although both will naturally take place as part of this process.) The focus is on identifying, welcoming, and bundling all of the parts of ourselves that we have been working with. Instead of relating to these parts of ourselves as aspects we need to rid ourselves of, or even that we need to change, we simply gather them together, and allow the transformation to take place – we trust that it will, although we also generate some momentum towards our new awareness.
To work with this model of Solstice, spend some time contemplating what has surfaced for you within the last year. What energies and emotions within yourself have you been facing over and over? What have you sought to change or avoid (and can you gently let go of that urge to change or avoid these parts now, in order to simply be with them?) What internal tapes or patterns have you outgrown? What feels right to shed? Sense where you feel each of these energies within you, and prepare to bundle them together in your pre-Solstice cocoon.
Now think about what is ready to awaken within you. What are you ready to become? What would you like to become? Try and feel this, don’t just think about it. Feel the awareness and energy you would like to spend more time living within. Try on the change, don’t just think about it – gradually become it.
The Tipping Point:
Another useful symbolic representation of Solstice is the tipping point. Picture a seesaw that is very slowly shifting from one side to the other. On one side is all you have been working with this year. On the other side is what you can become. Solstice is a tipping point, when the balance finally shifts, and all the weight – the baggage – you feel you have been holding on to finally begins to lift. As it does, you naturally tip towards the other side – the lighter, freer you.
Working with this model is very similar to working with the cocoon model – you can use the same inquiry questions and contemplations. Sometimes the tipping point visual feels more relevant, especially if you have been working with very old patterns and wounds for a long time, and feel as if you are finally ready to let go of them, and the associated ‘story’ completely. If this is the case, often in the weeks leading up to Solstice, you feel very triggered – you feel as if very old internal voices and emotional patterns, ones you had long since moved past, have taken hold again. It is like a ‘last stand’ as the final residue of these energies rises to the surface and dissolves.
I hope you will join me for the Solstice preparatory meditation this month to continue and deepen this work. While culturally we are urged to set goals and make resolutions for the New Year, truly on an energetic level, the work is so much deeper – and so much more rewarding. I hope that many of us can come together to empower this process for all. We will welcome back the light, and begin the movement towards summer, both outside and within.
Questions welcome in the comments! Namaste-