This is the first year that Imbolc hasn't snuck up on me and then zipped past with just the barest of nods while I'm still trying to figure out how I managed to miss most of the month of January. I am feeling proud of myself. ^_^
Back in January, I picked my One Word for 2014: Balance.
I've known that most areas of my life have not in balance for a long time. My health, my finances, my sleep or lack thereof, my spiritual practice and creativity (really, my lack thereof) just to name a few are what I've noticed the most as of late.
I want this year to see me find my balance with myself and the world around me. I want to learn that even though I might wobble a bit, this doesn't mean I have to topple completely. I want to find my balance, my center and learn how to re-find it when I wander off.
Several weeks ago I participated in a discussion on books and book suggestions. A friend of my friend suggested she read Women who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. My friends replied that that particular book was one of those kinds of books that you need to read at the right time, and I totally agree with her.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes is one of my favorite authors. She is an amazing story teller and listening to her read her own books for their audio book versions is pure magic. She has a voice and words that spear through, right to your soul. Right to wherever they need to go.
I'd tried reading WWRWTW twice before, but I just couldn't get into it. I'd been eyeing in on my bookshelf for a few weeks, thinking I ought to crack it open and see if it spoke to me this time.
Third time's the charm. Where I couldn't make myself focus before, and found myself having to re-read whole pages because my mind just wouldn't focus, I found laser sharp focus this time. Each word seems as if it was written for me, written to tell me what I need to hear right at this moment in my life.
I am having one of those times in my life where everything I read seems interconnected somehow. I remember the last time I tried to read WWRWTW I had just finished Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, and I had Wild Women on my mind, but the time just wasn't right yet.
The whole book is amazing, but one of the characters in Beauty Queens stood out the most to me. Her name is Mary Lou, and she wears a purity ring given to her by her mother because the women of their family are "cursed". Without the ring, they are all "Wild Girls" who like adventure and sex and aren't apologetic for it, which of course is deemed unacceptable by society at large.
This got me thinking about every woman's "Wild Girl/Woman" and how we're encouraged to beat her down, lock her up, medicate her into oblivion and most of all fear her.
This dovetailed perfectly with the few pages I'd managed to read and comprehend from WWRWTW, and it started me thinking about the kind of woman I was, currently am, and the kind of woman I want to be.
I started reading WWRWTW this third time, and realized that I had locked my Wild Woman away without even knowing it. But now that I know she's there, patiently (sometimes not-so-patiently) waiting for me to remove the debris from my most recent emotional/psychological cave-in, and all the ones I haven't cleaned up after before this, I have rolled up my sleeves and grabbed my shit shovel and have been shoveling away.
Another literary web strand I've found is from the Black Jewels trilogy by Anne Bishop, which I read as a teenager. At one point, the character Jaenelle has withdrawn from the world and is inside her mind, her psyche, rebuilding herself. She's putting back into place the pieces of a shattered chalice, one tiny piece at a time. She knows that if she goes too fast, it'll just crumble again, and therefore so will she. Slow work, deep work, hard work are what's needed to mend the chalice and make her whole again.
I feel that by allowing the imbalances I'm aware of in my life go unattended for so long, I've allowed the cracks in my Self to get bigger and weaker, and so when great stress was applied I almost collapsed in on myself.
So this year I'm striving for balance, and am learning how to ground and center myself. Last year's SouLodge journeys helped me learn how to go down deep into myself and how to listen to myself and to other guides in my life. I know that if I keep journeying, many of the troubles/blockages I faced while working through SouLodge in 2013 will no longer be there due to my current Self repair.
This year I'm learning what makes me happy, makes my soul sing, makes my spirit feel nourished and well-fed and then doing those things.
I was doing some reading on Imbolc since it's the holiday that I forget the most, and I'm always bothered that I forgot. One of the things I read from almost every single article was that Imbolc was a time to set intention for the rest of the coming year. It's time to not only start Spring cleaning your house, but your Self too.
Reading that same idea over and over again got me thinking. When we Spring clean our homes, we get rid of all the things we no longer need, scrub every nook and cranny and get into all the little spaces that we might not otherwise clean on a regular basis. Since we give this much time and attention to detail in our homes, why not devote the same kind of love and attention to ourselves?
Getting rid of things from the Self that we no longer want to claim can by much harder work, I think, than getting rid of a pair of jeans you no longer wear. I can be messy and painful and difficult, but I know that it's worth it.
I also think that when we get rid of shit we don't need to be part of our Self anymore, we have the marvelous opportunity to plant seeds of who and what we do want to be.
Veronica Varlow wrote a blog post on How to Become the Person You Want to Be in 2014. In it she outlines how she picks nine adjectives for how she wants to describe herself in the coming year. She also outlines the candle burning ritual she does to cement these words.
The past few years I've been a big fan of picking just One Word. It gives me a simple, attainable goal to strive for throughout the year. But this year I took her challenge and picked the nine adjectives that I want to embody in 2014. I feel like this year is going to be a magical year, full of change and fun and wonderment. A year of applying some good ol' C-4 to my fears and what I let bind me or stop me from being the woman I want to be.
So this year my One Word turned into Nine Words, and I'm okay with that. I think I'm going to turn them into Nine Pages and do some art journaling. ^___^
Soooo... here are my Nine Words of what I am going to embody in this coming year:
I am going to be adventurous and try things I want to do, but have never done.
I'm going to be brave enough to do them, even though I'm scared.
I am going to be attuned to my body and my spirituality.
I am finding my balance and correcting imbalances so they don't get out of hand.
I am indulging in my creativity - whether that be dancing, singing, baking, spinning yarn or spinning poi, painting or general mess-making; whatever it means to me at that particular moment, I'm doing it.
I am going to revel in my sensuality, love my body and take better care of it.
I am going to free my Wild Woman and we're going to run and laugh and paint the town.
I am going to do all the things that make me happy.
I am going to learn and experience as much as I can, in hopes that I will gain wisdom.
I hope that whatever dreams and goals you've set for yourself this coming year are realized to their fullest. Blessed Imbolc my dearies!