This was my intention at the beginning of the year. With the exception of intermittent spurts of activity (like moving back to Dallas in July), that rhythm has been much slower than in previous years.
With less of the external world pulling at my attention – no dinners with friends, no in person classes or workshops to teach – in many ways life has slowed down and I have slowed down right along with it. When it comes to my work I have allowed myself to take my time, to wait for when things feel right, rather than forcing myself to post on social media or send out a newsletter. This has felt like a time of deep listening, both to my own inner wisdom and the currents that have been ripping through our world, as well as a time of integrating my journey of the past decade.
Last week I danced to one of Rochelle Schieck’s playlist (she is the founder of Qoya) on the theme of Begin Again. The final song in that playlist was aptly Begin Again by Taylor Swift and as I danced to welcome in new beginnings, tears began to stream down my face. There was no story associated with them; they just arrived on their own as I listened to that song and moved my body.
And I was reminded of how tender new beginnings really are. Often in our culture, we blow into new beginnings like a hurricane, with much force and gusto and optimism (at least that’s my move), that we don’t take the time to feel into their tenderness. Their inherent vulnerability. As if by doing that we would somehow jinx them or lose our nerve; it is safer to move in full steam ahead.
In so many ways, this has felt like a year of endings, personally and collectively. Of laying bare and dismantling systems that are breaking down or built on unjust foundations. When I look out onto the world and see destruction, burning down, and the turning of the ages, the stirrings of a new beginning feel almost foolish. Daring. Bold in its tenderness and promise. Dangerous.
Like a shoot in spring that emerges through snow-covered ground, new life sometimes feels impossible. And yet, there it is, emerging against all odds.
Can we allow ourselves to delight in it? To protect it from harsh winds or searing sunlight until it is ready? To let it be tender and small and impossible for a time?
To learn to trust in quickening of the shoot and to dance with the vulnerable hope it embodies is the medicine of spring in our lives. I know it’s a bit strange to be writing about the medicine of spring as it just turned to fall here in the northern hemisphere, and yet our own wild rhythms are rarely what we expect them to be.
And this medicine is part of the greater wisdom of the wild rhythm. Knowing when to let go, when to surrender, when to pull our nourishment inward and back to the roots, when to shine our light, when to rest and when to effort, and TRUSTING what we hear and feel and know.
To me, this rhythm belongs to the ways of Wild Woman. She who is of the earth, who embodies the wild nature of what Clarissa Pinkola Estes calls the “life / death / life cycle”. This is her dance.
But it is the Wise Woman within us who sees. Who allows. Who invites us to surrender to this ancient rhythm because she has intimate knowledge of the whole. She knows that the fullness and ripeness of summer is not meant to last an eternity, nor is the cold and barren ground of winter. She holds the consciousness of the whole cycle, of balance in motion, harmony through time. By cultivating her presence within us, we can place greater trust in our Wild Nature, our own divine and instinctual timing. Because it is the Wise Woman within who knows that this too shall pass, whatever “this” you may be finding yourself in right now. Whether difficulty or delight.
It is all transient. It is a single season within the year. A phase of the moon. When we root into the consciousness of the Wise Woman, we can be fully present to what is without being attached to it always remaining the same. We accept (or love or delight in) what is, while also holding space for what might become.