Winter's Last Gift Before Spring Takes Hold…
If you’re having trouble with overwhelm, or just need help DIVING INTO a big, soulful project that you’re ready to gain momentum on, this article is for you. Especially as Spring begins, but really anytime we’re trying to move from ideation to action, this last, sacred gift & question from Winter can help…
Every year in early Spring, the Hummingbird’s miraculously return to an Aspen in our yard. And in every heroine’s journey, the crucial task of homing- or the ability to return by instinct to one's territory*- is the beginning, middle and end of the tale, if you look closely. This seeming literal home is, in actuality, our Soul-home, our inner place of reconnection, personal healing and renewal.
Ive been thinking all week about what Winter’s most important strategy might be, as we head into Spring. I got a question instead of an answer . . . “How will you remember and remind and cajole and steal yourself away to your soul-home all year long?” Winter makes this easiest with her dark, cozy days, but we need this inward-turning-time to happen continually.
Our soul-home is our requisite hovel, hidden in a sacred place for each of us, and only we hold the map there. We’re required to go there, cry there, revel and unwind and find pleasure from the inside out there. Talk with our shadows. Read, write, create. Or just BE. Maybe it’s an hour; if we’re lucky it’s a day or two periodically. Sometimes, it’s just a deep moment we steal for freedom-dreaming while doing the dishes.
It could be called “self-love” or “self-care,” but something about these phrases- while helpful- lack the soul-sensibility and dark-night power that the pleasurable but often arduous task of returning to home to ourselves fulfills.
This periodic return is the filling the well time. It's the mulling-over-ideas time, and the thinking-through-problems time. It’s the hold-council-with-one's-spirit-guides time. It’s the recharge, dream, unravel time. If done well, it’s possible to emerge from this time having taken crucial steps, created something, or very clear on what needs to happen next.
Daily self-care is essential for both physical and psycho-spiritual maintenance. Periodic homing is more like the shaman’s visit that heals the valleys and mountains in you, and makes them verdant and strong and resolute and soft and more durable - again and again. “Self-care” alone cannot accomplish this.
Since becoming a mama a few years ago, I can honestly say it’s been inexplicably challenging at times to heed the call home. Slowly but surely, I’m reigniting these returns to my den. Slowly learning the exponential value in putting my oxygen mask on first.
We don’t need to stay too long way down in this deep inner place of a hundred thousand names. Nor should we. But, we have to come home to ourselves, again and again, if we want the life and world we dream of. All people need this, even children. And/but especially women, for whom the whole world screams constantly: help me!! When we stay in the “top-side” world too long, we begin to fray and tear at the seams, come undone, lose our minds, our ideas, our will to keep going with our scariest, wildest and most passionate desires.
So as Winter leaves on the big winds of Spring, don’t be afraid you’ll lose all her quiet coziness. The seasons don’t only appear in big turns of the year. They happen in the span of a month, a week, even one day!
>>Make it an act of sacred rebellion to notice when Winter-energy is descending on your soul or a certain project. Take time to turn inward, come home to yourself for as long as needed or as long as you can. . . take time-outs, all year long! And if you tend to long for Winter’s end? Remember the importance of slowing down throughout the year, as opposed to burning the candle at both ends. :)
How will you know when it’s time to return home throughout the year? What are the feelings, triggers or shoulder taps that will remind you it’s time to go?
Returning home can take 10 minutes, or ten hours or in extreme cases, on and off for years. Only you know. And that is beautiful. And that is the challenge. The more you go, the easier it gets to know when to go! You’r allowed. Everything and everyone around you will benefit.
Blessings to you this Spring & Beyond!
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Notes & Credits
*See Clarissa Pinkola-Estes seminal work, Women Who Run with the Wolves, in the chapter named Homing: Returning to Oneself.