Earlier this year, I decided to gift myself a Qoya retreat in Costa Rica to ring in my 40s. The retreat was happening right after the new year, so it also felt like a wonderful way to invite in the energy of enlivenment that I was seeking to embody in 2023 (enlivened being my word of the year).
The theme of the retreat was Open to Receive, and that theme has continued to both unfurl and deepen throughout this year.
When I originally read the name of the retreat, I thought of receiving as the counterpoint to giving. And as I wrote in a previous letter, learning to release the culturally-approved role of giver and leaning into the less-heralded (and more vulnerable feeling) role of receiver has definitely been one of the lessons of this year.
However, a much larger learning and unlearning has also been taking place.
The retreat center I went to is located in the beautiful jungles of Costa Rica, near Manuel Antonio. Within a 30 minute walk, which includes about 200 stairs, there is also a beautiful, sacred waterfall.
As I bathed in these cool, refreshing waters, I heard a clear message:
You must learn to receive life. All of it. You cannot filter out all the pathogens without also filtering out the nourishment.
That was it. No further instruction would be given. Nor was it needed.
I already knew that receiving life was a tall order.
In Homecoming I write about how, via my dreams throughout the years, I have been invited again and again to drink from the waters of life. It is a recurring theme that, at least in part, inspired me to write the book.
Marion Woodman writes:
“The fear of receiving resonates
in the deepest levels of the psyche.
To receive is
to let life happen,
to open to grief and loss,
to open to love and delight.”
Never have I felt more stretched in my ability to receive life than in this past month. Opening to the excitement and joy of releasing the book; opening to the grief and loss of losing my beloved soul creature Sophie. Holding and stretching into such vastly contrasting territory of human experience and emotion.
“To let life happen”, as Marion says, is to surrender my illusion of control. To unclench my fists and loosen my grip on life. To dance with it, rather than attempt to wrestle it under my own dominion.
To trust in life’s greater unfolding, even when I wish it was different or it exceeds the boundaries of my comprehension.
Somehow I can sense that this is also intimately tied to my intention of enlivenment.
I cannot feel enlivened while simultaneously attempting to keep life at arm’s length.
Enlivenment requires that I trust myself enough to allow life to move me.
Because perhaps when we are open to receive life, in all its forms and expressions, is also when we feel most deeply alive.
As I am moving through this death and rebirth portal, I know that it carries mythological weight for my life. I will emerge on the other side a changed woman, in ways that I cannot fully anticipate.
It is precisely these types of moments and experiences that the Homecoming coaching program was designed for. It is so meaningful when we are able to see and be with and appreciate the interweaving threads in our lives, when we can approach these times of transition through a soulful lens (while not denying our aching humanness), and be held in a container that welcomes all of it. If you feel something BIG is brewing in your life and you’re ready to turn towards it, learn more about my Homecoming coaching offer here.
There are also other times in our lives where we simply want to dip back in, are in need of occasional support when we feel stuck, or are welcoming a new perspective. For these times, I offer individual Wild Woman Sessions. You can book those directly here.