Today is the first day of Winter in the U.S., and here in Colorado, on my parents’ farm, I just laid outside in the grass in a sleeveless shirt. As much as I long for a snow-induced hibernation, I revel in the sunshine and walk barefoot in the crunchy grass. Today, I begin my journey inward, seeking the medicine of Mother Earth to settle down for Winter, ground myself, hibernate and gather strength to spring into action in a few short months. As the days begin to grow longer once again, I have finally arrived to a space where I get to slow down and manifest the next step.
I am so grateful for beautiful sunny Fall days like this, which remind me that there is comfort and beauty even at the end of a Fall. Even when we face plant from life, or Crow pose, the beautiful earth is there to catch us, to hold us as we heal.
2018 has been a year of re-evaluating priorities, giving my Self credence, making space for and ever wrestling with my opinions and feelings, downsizing my possessions and dreaming of all of my many options ahead. Many unexpected turns, wonderful experiences, tough decisions, and turbulent moments arose as I negotiated my way back into the United States, back into friendships, back into family.
Coming back home stirred up many things which I thought were snug in my past, and the truth is, I had taken a lot of time off of my family for so much of my life, way before my move overseas. So while I was feeling so very good about ME after my two years in Brazil, it became obvious pretty quickly that some other people needed my attention.
Although I had “dealt with” many things from my childhood and early adulthood in therapy and yoga and self help workshops and readings, etc., I also maintained a safe distance from all the things during those times. Little did I know that I could not advance to the next level until I confronted all the things head on.
The voice called me home, and when I arrived and all the things were stirred, I wanted badly to revert to my old coping mechanism and flee–I even applied to jobs and started arranging a place to live in another city. But through serious self-reflection and questioning some may call prayer, and by talking about it in a couple of safe places, I came to the understanding and acceptance of sticking these challenges out.
One physical manifestation that I find fascinating, is that I carry my weight on my tippy toes, that I rarely fully plant my feet. Even as I typed that I brought my awareness to my feet, toes on the earth, but not my heels. I didn’t notice this about myself until I started the amazing yoga instructor training, Breathe for Change, but it is so telling of my attitude towards life: Always be ready to run. My flexibility in my feet and ankles has been compromised by my not planting my feet. My life has always been lived at such a fast pace. Even since returning home, I have spent at more 2 nights a week on the farm, living mostly out of my car and always on the go from town to town.
It is no wonder that the need to Ground myself has caught up with me, and thankfully not in the form of being bedridden, as happened to me once in Brazil, where I was ordered by the doctor to stay home from work and off my feet for two weeks while an injury to my Achilles tendon healed. Like a snow globe, I need to let a lot of things settle and integrate to find clarity and stability before I know in which direction I will next walk.
Some of you may be wondering about “The Mission,” the work to train Native women in self-defense; it is still in the works, simply slowed down. My exact role in it is no more clear than it was one year ago when I decided to help, but what is more clear is the need to be patient.
The good stuff is getting closer, and I have faith that by the time winter is over, that I will be fully back on my feet and ready for the next race, and I am also confident that when my next race begins, I will be stronger and more stable in body and mind, with the foundation and endurance to make it through the long haul, for now I know how important it is to slow down along the way and care for my Self when She needs it.
I invite you all to give your Self permission to do the same thing, to do some grounding work and nourish your inner goddess, whatever that looks like for you.