People are looking for change, yet when change comes the same individual responds with fear. Change is often overwhelming; re-scripting the inner dialogue, establishing and following through with new wished for behaviour, and then remaining consistent. Changing our lives and habits is a big job, firstly for the mind and then for the rest of us. Yet, change is a natural part of life.
Change can look a bit like this- The New Year’s resolution, all good intentions, post-holiday demands of life setting in, backed up by ingrained beliefs followed by the inevitable, “I’ll do it tomorrow” the thought which willingly hammers the first nail in the proverbial coffin!
I’ve done this so many times! But, 2019 was a year of deep thinking her in Dorset. My family are leaving the nest (one down, one to go) and this left wondering me “what’s next for me?” It’s such a huge change now that my time is not filled with full-time parenting. I was intent on not being a total pain in the arse for my kids due to my own feelings of loss or becoming stagnant through inaction.
“Is this good for me?”
I mused on the following;
“What is that I really enjoy?”
“What do I actually want?” This one was tough.
What is it that I really love?”
“What am I passionate about?”
and “What contribution do I or could I make?”
At first, I was a bit stumped. The last 20 odd years have been so filled with the need of the, now grown, boys, that I’d lost sight a little of what I am about. Actually, if I’m totally honest, I’d lost me completely. Not the Mum me or the Shamanic and Spiritual me but the ME me.
Honestly this was quite a shock and took time, tears, healing and some hard-core ceremony to find my personal ground again. Fear was the main character that I was facing. Fear of going it alone without excuses to hide behind and fear that if things don’t work out, I have full responsibility. Eek! This was a leveller that led me to the aforementioned questions!
Whenever an answer popped up, I followed it with, “Is this good for me?”
I realised I’d been suffering even more from empty nest since I released Corvey Crow back into the wild in late spring last year; this release however galvanised my intent and set me wholly on the current journey. His release brought home all manner of things that had been bubbling under the surface and it was time to look at them… but more about the quick succession of powerful lesson another time. (When the bloody book is finally written!)
The essence of my musings and the subsequent answer were as follows:
A deepened love of Nature but was hardly ever out there.
A rediscovered sense of justice and no way to enact it.
The realisation of an ingrained streak of cobweb gathering laziness.
Butterfly mind and magpies’ heart (flitting from one thing to the next and easily excited and distracted by shinny things!)
An evaluation of my skills and abilities. This I was quite pleased with. The study of Spirituality since my late teens and working Shamanically for over a decade does pay dividends. These are my passions or maybe obsessions but either way this is my path, and I am working a little each day to weave this calling deeper into my actions and assisting clients to do the same.
I got honest with myself about various health irritations and above all the realisation that I’ve worked bloody hard to become the woman I am (and constantly discovering), even among the dramas of life, and I was damn well going to live the way I wanted to!
The rest? A work in progress.
Health first. I had a host of test both allopathic and traditional/alternative. Bloods, Kinesiology, VEDA testing, massage and reintroduction of yoga. (Gaia TV is fab for the yoga and other things) I got clear on what was missing and causing discomfort, and this was really important part. Otherwise butterfly and magpie would have been flitting here and there and achieving bugger all! Predominantly though, I took responsibility, adjusted the diet a bit at a time and slowly began to feel a rise in energy.
Then nature. I love a walk, but energy had been sorely lacking and I was only getting out maybe every ten days or so to watch a sunset and stretch the legs. Although I was working with the plants (indoors)most days in the form of loose smudges, Palo Santo, bay leaves and herbal teas to ease the aches it was mainly in ceremony, before and after healing and mentoring sessions. I knew this had to stop, so I began tackling the garden which had been unloved for a good few years.
Beginning to pursue the dream.
I’ve always had a romantic idea of owning land, become largely self-sufficient and inviting people to stay for a while and work through their spiritual process when life’s thrown them a mega curve ball. A place to heal, gently and slowly, through working the land, honouring the journey and spending time in ceremony.
As a medicine woman who wished to practice more of what I preach, I put my money where my mouth is and enrolled on a Small Holders course at the Kingston Mauward Agricultural College. This was supported by a deep calling to live more in line with natural cycles and on reflection is helping with that cobwebby lazy streak. Nature, like the Tax Office, wait for no woman!
Wow! What an absolute delight! Tractor driving first day! Followed by all thing livestock, foul, planting (inside and out) land management, slaughter, butchery, soil and crop rotation. I have loved every minute of it, even the torrential rain and scary bits.
Pig are big, powerful and took a real fancy to me (250kg of pig amour is nothing to trifle with!) Cows are beautiful, strong and intelligent. There are various types of grass and sheep can blow up like balloons if fed the wrong stuff! Who knew? Well to be fair, probably thousand of people but not me.
This process has tested my nerve, I’ve had to seriously get over myself, speak with the fears and allay and acknowledge its concerns. The main thing that sticks out and that is I really, not only think I can do the whole Small Holder thing but KNOW that I can. It’s a real source of enjoyment and packed with rewards. This means that I am a big step closer to living on my terms and providing something of value to others. Realistically the work has just begun but I’m up for it!
We all have dreams and one small step at a time we can realise them.
Now I know that this lifestyle is not the ideal life for many, but I do know that you have an ideal life living inside you somewhere and it’s totally possible to live it!
When our dreams, wishes, goals and choices have meaning I believe they are more likely to realise themselves. When we know our ‘why’, clarity remains. When things get tough, meaning helps us stay motivated. When we are asking what is good for us (and listening to the answer) we can’t go far wrong. It is when we are led by fad, fancy and predominately wounds that when the shit hits the fan.
We are told by outdated core beliefs, dogma and salacious media click-bait that we are not okay and this plays into feeling of uncertainty, at times manifesting as paralysis. “Lose weight yet have a round arse, have straight hair yet natural curls are beautiful, be vegan save the world, yet mono-culture soya crops are destroying the jungle… The list is endless, it’s blah and confusing.
Only we can really decide what is good for us or not. Only we know our inner desires. Only we know our purpose and our passion. And we can, if we take inventory, move towards our dreams one step at a time. A trick I’ve found is to start where I am. Assess what I have. Gather what is available to me and be grateful for it all.
Living the practice…
My spiritual/shamanic practice helps me to navigate the often-strong feelings that come hand-in-hand with change. From the boys leaving home, through working with the lazy streak, to remaining focused and knowing that I can meet whatever the future holds. I take it all to ceremony, either as an altar to honour how things are or perhaps a fire to burn off some of the old. My favoured and most revealing process is the shamanic journey for gaining insights where I struggle to accept certain realities or resist what I know to be true.
This spiritual lark is not just about ‘church’ on Sunday or the odd workshop where we come home glowing, only to feel shitty again come Tuesday. It’s about weaving your truth deeply into your daily life - "Being the change". Bringing meaning to the mundane and knowing internally that you have all that is required to live and walk your passion and purpose, even if you’re not quite there yet. Plus, all things happen in divine time….
This year, I will live closer to the cycles. I’m building a ‘Tiny Holding’ in my back garden and preparing the ground for the coming year. I’m clearing, digging, lifting, building and recycling so that one sunny evening in August I can sit outside, eat a salad that I have grown, pick warm strawberries from the plant, sip medicinal teas blended from herbs in the flower bed and know that all is right with world… all the while, learning about more about myself as eachmoon passes.
We can all find the truth, the time and the inclination if our hearts are in it. When we put in the work the Universe really does unfurl in front of us and with the digit 2020 firmly grounded, I’m excited about the adventure and the change!