“Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.”
― Anne Sexton
Last Spring I wrote about transformation, and I've been watching parts of that essay come full circle this fall: things I planted the seeds for 6-8 months ago moving into fruition and being, but also revealing to me other things to unpack and understand, new parts of myself and my relationships to consider, and knowing that with all this growth I've been doing, I'm also perhaps entering into a period of releasing and even grieving now. This is always the hard part about these cycles: we have to reckon with all of ourselves, eventually.
Our (American) culture does not have a very sacred relationship to death, dying, releasing, and grieving, and yet in other cultures and in other parts of the world, this is the time of year we remember our ancestors, when we may be in contact with the shadow world, where we honor, remember and even celebrate the gifts of dying. I'm craving finding ways to be in that : through sleep and dreaming, through hearty, low lit walks in the woods, sitting by fires and casting off what doesn't serve me anymore, and just through awareness that the death cycle is as much a part of our human experience as the birth one. And sure, maybe a little Trick or Treatin' on the side :)
I've learned over the years, that there really are periods when our soul is contracting and needing to turn inwards, when parts of ourselves are resting, listening, or being quietly cultivated. Creativity, like life itself, requires both expansion and rest, both action and laying low to the ground. If anything, I know a part of me wants to return to the roots, to the soil, to some underground/underworld place within myself and find reprieve for awhile.
I'm also realizing once again that we are not static beings, and all of this living and dying is constant. We are not fixed and settled creatures, and we are definitely not living in a static moment.
Where ever you are, whatever you believe, whatever you do, it's pretty undeniable the paradigms we are used to and grew up with are rapidly changing, and it's almost impossible to know where we are headed some days, or how that will play out. It's so important that we keep listening hard to our truths.
In my coaching work, I keep coming back to these primal questions as a way to anchor my clients in their own truth: what do you want to say? what wants to be felt, seen, or expressed within your deep self? what lives in your body? where is your voice located, and how can you use it? what brings you joy?
I also think it's OK to not really know or have the answers to all or even some of these questions - and it’s the process of engaging with them that eventually leads us to the answers, anyway.
It's OK to turn inward, to let ourselves be flattened out with the heaviness and the solitude, to let ourselves just say "I don't know. I don't even want to know right now, because it's too big, too painful, too tender, too much." You're right: it is too much right now. And, we can still connect with what is: the deepening orange, gold leaves, the navy belt of October/November sky, words scratched on a page, leaves pressed into a book, coffee cooling then warming on a stove top, something we will come back to later, something we will lean into when we can again.
If anything I've learned the past few months is that we can both be creating + remembering who we are, and they go hand and hand. Nothing needs to be fixed in you: you may just need time and space for what is to be revealed. Going inward actually leaves room and gives way to our next expansion.
My coaching is more about attuning to you and your dreams, and allowing them to unfold in just the right way, at the right time, then in having to act on anything right away. Sometimes, growing is actually about resting.
I do know, whatever place you’re at, your story is important, in both your day to day life: what you do, who you do it with, and your mythic self, your ancient self, your deep self that is as much a part of you as your lungs, your breath, your pulse, and the whites and blues and browns of your eyes.
Honoring you and your path, always,
PS: Interested in my coaching work? Want to discover practices to assist you in feeling more grounded, more in touch with your creativity, and more aligned with your truth and purpose? Click here.