Happy New Year!
Can you feel it? It's the dawn of a bright new year. Two nights ago, I lit a fire in our backyard, surrounded by friends drunk on champagne, hot buttered rums, or just love, and got ready to burn 2016. I mean I really burn it.
I know that for some folks, this was the wonderful year that you fell in love and got married, or had a baby, or got a wonderful new job that took you to a new land and home of your dreams.
For me, this was a rough year. A year of death, both of loved ones close to me and the celebrity / archetypal losses that touched our hearts so. A year of toddlerhood for my little one, her learning to say-- and mean -- no, which has it's own beauty but is bittersweet for a new mother. A year that brought the unjust and frightening rein of Donald Trump, stealing the possibility of our first female president right out from under our noses. A year of police brutality. A year of Syrian refugees.
When it came to sitting down and writing down what I was ready to let go of and burn in the bonfire, however, none of those things felt right. What came down from heart to pen to paper were the personal things -- my resentment, jealousy, and envy. The anger I've carried in my heart, the hard places in me that have resisted forgiving. My feelings of inferiority. My fears, personally and collectively.
Although it wasn't what I had intended to work on, I know that this kind of shadow work is powerful and effective, and I trusted that if it was coming up intuitively, I needed to do it.
Trusting the darkness is so much what the winter is about. It's a time of deep stillness, reflection, and transformation that happens below the surface and in our inner most recesses of heart and spirit.
As I watched my piece of paper burn, a beautiful sense of clarity and readiness flowed over me. I felt truly ready for the possibility of this new year, for leaps of faith and brave steps forward and deep dives into self-love and love of all types.
If you're not feeling that clarity and momentum just yet, or if something feels like it's bogging you down as we move into the New Year this week, let me suggest a nice bonfire to burn it away and scrye into, and/or doing a fear inventory as we move into the New Year. The Fear Inventory is an exercise I first experienced working with another wonderful coach and now use with my own clients. The title is misleading (I think because the original version, which is somewhat different, comes from 12 Step Recovery Programs). It's much, much, much more powerful and magical than the words "fear" or "inventory" imply.
I threw it up on dropbox if you'd like to give it a try... you can access the Fear Inventory Worksheet here (no opt-in, etc., required).
To your bright spark,
PS. Sometimes doing shadow work can bring up some heavy stuff-- even for those of us who have done a lot of it, or don't think "it'll work for me." I recommend pouring yourself a lovely cup of rose and oatstraw tea, or taking a couple drops of pine or hawthorn flower essence, or spraying your favorite balancing aromatherapy mister and lighting a candle before diving into the Fear Inventory. Make it a sweet ritual where you feel supported by beauty, by life, by the other sweet beings of this planet. It doesn't need to be complicated.
PPS. I love love love connecting with you folks on Instagram! It's my favorite micro-blogging and connection platform. I post information and inspiration on plant magic, feminism, goddessy stuff, and cute pictures of my baby girl all the time. If I haven't followed you yet, please drop me a DM! You can find me here.
PPPS. One of my dreams for this year is to create a beautiful and amazing podcast about herbs, magic, tarot, feminism, and other witchy stuff... but that's not yet a reality. Until then, I recommend listening to the Herb Nerd podcast, which is so damn good. I'm listening to it like everyday. I don't have any connection to Monica, but I'd like to. Anyway, it's staunchily recommended.