As I wrote about in my last post, 2018 was an intense year. It carried with it this tone of seriousness. Getting down to business.
Towards the latter half of the year, as I was re-integrating more masculine energy in my life and being and business, I inadvertently also fell back into some old patterns. Black or white thinking. Pushing really hard. A lot of grasping energy.
Feeling very driven, and not in a nourishing or motivating way.
It bubbled to the surface in December. As is the way of the feminine soul, it appeared to me first in dreams, and then in my body.
I dreamt of being driven by my inner patriarch to a beach that lacked any vegetation or shade, nothing to protect me from the piercing sunlight. If you imagine the lush and green and moist landscape of the wild feminine, this was the opposite. Instead of animals, there were airplanes, mechanical birds, perched in the water.
The dark, cool, quenching yin energy of the feminine was nowhere to be found.
At the same time that I had this dream I started experiencing eyestrain. Having never had eyestrain before, I thought it was my sinuses or allergies. It took me a while, and a conversation with my mentor, to piece together that it was actually my eyes that were bothering me. They were exhausted. I couldn’t look at the computer screen, my phone, a book, or even another person without my eyes feeling painful and depleted.
On one level, this was an invitation from my body to invite in more of that yin energy. To step away from screens. To slow down. To give more time to devote myself to the darkness of winter. The season of hibernation.
But the soul speaks through the body much in the same way that it speaks through your dreams.
It can hold an image, which resonates with many layers of truth and meaning at the same time. Often, because we are such a rational and literal culture, we stop at the physical nature of symptoms and miss that soulful, symbolic gold.
The eyestrain was physical in nature, and limiting my screen time and starting a yoga nidra practice definitely helped in easing the pressure on my eyes.
This physical symptom also carried with it a deeper, metaphorical meaning.
On the night of my birthday in December, a burner on the stove was accidentally left on in our kitchen. I realized it just before going to bed. Unprompted, a thought arose in my mind:
This is why I must remain vigilant.
I caught myself. It was as if I mentally tripped over that last word, which a piece of me had thought so automatically. Vigilant. So specific it caused a visceral reaction in my body.
As someone who has worked to heal my issues around control, and used to rely on control as a highly unsuccessful way to mitigate my fears and anxiety, this word felt inextricably interwoven with an old belief system and way of being that I thought I had shed.
I looked up the definition of vigilant: keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties
Synonyms: watchful, observant, attentive, alert, eagle-eyed, hawk-eyed
Huh. All of the words that were related to vigilant had to do with a very specific body part…the eyes.
I even joke about my knack for spotting potential trouble when my husband and I are out walking Sophie, our dog. I will say, “Just so you know, there is a cat under that car three houses down and on the left, in case Sophie pulls.” “How did you even see that?” my husband asks. “Hawkeyes,” I respond with a proud smile.
And sometimes being hawk-eyed is something to be proud of. But walking around in that state constantly, believing that I must always be vigilant, keeping my eye out for any potential danger, is exhausting. Physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting.
The thing is, I hadn’t even realized that I was doing it, that I was back in that place. It felt comfortable, familiar, known. It slipped from consciousness.
And this is an important note for us all to remember: I sometimes have women I work with ask me with mild exasperation in their voice, “When will the work be finished? When will I be done with this pattern, once and for all??!”
I know the frustration that can arise when you see the same damn thing come up again and again, AND also, healing is not linear. It is a spiral. Cyclical. You will come back to the same pieces of yourself time and time again, given the opportunity to heal at deeper levels. Approaching it with hopefully new awareness and consciousness. Kindness and self-compassion go a long way.
For me, this unconscious, ingrained pattern of vigilance (and the belief systems and behaviors that go with it) coming into consciousness was humbling. In some ways, disappointing. I thought I was done with that shit! And simultaneously, it also truly felt like a sacred invitation to know myself more deeply.
Through turning towards that vigilance, and the abyss of anxiety and fear that it tries to keep me from seeing, feeling, and experiencing, I am being guided to a more rooted and expansive understanding of who I am and what I am here for, in the largest sense.
My work, what I am curious about, my complex relationship with embodiment, has started to take on new meaning. I can sense a facet of my soul’s journey in a way that I was never aware of before.
It’s as if a portal of new understanding opened all because my eyes were tired.
This is why I love this work. This wildly feminine approach to life is rich and layered and nuanced. It asks us to see our lives, our bodies, and our dreams in new ways.
It reminds us that we are guided by something that is so much more vast than our rational minds can begin to comprehend.
Our job is to open to, become curious about, and court that mystery, both within and without.
Then, even in a mundane situation like this – where too much screen time leads to eyestrain which reveals an old and humbling pattern I thought I had moved past years ago – there is still this palpable magic.
The symbolism. The meaning. The interconnection.
This sacred reminder that we are in living and breathing relationship to everything else, seen and unseen.
It is always available to us, if we are only willing to turn towards it.
Are you ready to stop running, to stop numbing, to stop searching and waiting for answers to appear outside of yourself? Are you ready to turn towards the truth and wholeness of who you are, in both darkness and light?
If wild feminine soul work intrigues you – you hunger for a joyous relationship with your body, you yearn to learn the symbolic language of your own soul, what you most want to become is only ever more of yourself – Reclaim Your Wild Feminine is a sacred nine month container to come home to the truth of yourself.
To shed what is not yours to hold. To know your own values, feelings, and needs. To rise and live by that inner compass.