How has your winter been?
If you’ve been following my blogs you’ll know that I had asked Santa for the gifts of pottering and hibernation for Christmas and I was pretty chuffed to have found both of these in my Christmas stocking!
If I’m being totally honest with you though, I think they were kind of forced upon me as a necessity rather than a gift. Let me tell you why (pour yourself a cuppa first – this is going to be a long one!).
If truth be told, I had a pretty rough Autumn and entry into the Winter season.
I was working with a lot of beautiful young energies during this time who were undergoing significant amounts of stress trying to fit in to a world which, as you know, can be pretty harsh at times.
I now realise that I hadn’t been protecting my boundaries enough whilst working in the environments that these beautiful souls were enclosed in and I was losing my balance.
On top of this, I chose to leave part-time employment where I had been a team leader for nearly 36 years.
My choice - but oh my it was a difficult one as this employer had been one of my security nets in that it provided financial abundance to help me set up my own business and to care for my husband when he was severely ill.
This was also the place where I met my husband and many lifelong friends and I underestimated the effect this would have on my energy levels.
By the time I reached mid-December, I was exhausted and was literally forced into my hibernation cave.
This enforced healing involved much rest emotionally, physically and spiritually and I began a process of recovery and renewal.
My body began naturally to repair the damage that had been caused previously.
Initially I felt a reluctance to enter the hibernation cave as it reminded me - once again - of having to take the journey of the butterfly, which isn’t an easy one.
This caterpillar was having to break down again in that dark cocoon. I entered a period of mourning as I began to discard a life that once was.
I dreamt I was:
- “in-between” lands
- “in-between” gates
- “in-between” lives
- “in-between” relationships
- ”in-between” people.
I was 53.
My body was changing, my thoughts were changing, my libido was changing, my energy was changing.
My relationships were also changing - I no longer had to lead a team now, I no longer had to nurture my 21-year-old son who was flourishing in his life nor did I need to care for my husband, whose health had improved dramatically.
My life was changing in every way and oh - I had also entered the menopause.
And then it hit me – I was a menopausal woman!!
My menstruation had paused and so had my life.
I was at a “crossroads”, a “change of life”, an “in-between zone”.
I was neither who I was before nor who I was becoming.
Who was I?
More journaling ensued.
I realized that I’d had experienced a relatively easy journey through the menopause as far as my mind and body were concerned. But now sensed that there was a deep and profound transformation taking place within me as if I was holding space for something new to emerge...just like that butterfly.
I was indeed at a crossroads!
I could, therefore, choose to embrace this new sense of self that was struggling to emerge
Cling to the old me who was comfortable in her cocoon, in her hibernation cave.
I could retire now and live happily ever after in my comfort zone. My job was done. I had successfully brought up my son, cared for my family, had a career and ran my own business.
I knew that if I chose the path of change and began to travel in the direction of unknown worlds that I would no longer be the same person that I was before.
Did I really want to transform into another person at the age of 53??
As I pondered on my choices this quote was sent my way, I just love a quote!
“One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.”
Abraham H. Maslow
My heart leapt when I read this and, at that moment, I crossed the threshold into a brand-new land!
After much soul searching throughout winter in my hibernation cave I now find myself in a new relationship with myself; with others; my commitments; my work; my energy; my values; my priorities; my boundaries; my self-care; my choices and a deepening need to CHOOSE ME.
I am no longer limited by the expectations of others or society and therefore feel much more in control of my own destiny.
I am a woman in mid-life and a being of choice!
This awareness of choice gifts within me the freedom and serenity that Sue Patton Thoele describes in her book “Freedoms After Fifty” ...
“When I was a young woman, I thought ageing meant loss and limitation, but I’ve learned that it’s really about freedom - especially freedom from fear. But also, free to be uniquely myself, free to say what I mean and mean what I say, free to genuinely enjoy and celebrate life”.
In the weeks, months and years to come, it is my intention to step through the gateway to my brand-new life and create a beautiful wild garden.
I know this will involve much personal growth and transformation.
I fervently hope that my journey will not only transform me but also my community.
Who knows if we all choose to nourish and nurture ourselves with lots of love and self-care we may even be able to transform the world ...... “mighty oaks from little acorns grow” and all that!
And so my friend, in the remaining weeks of winter I will be continuing to nurture my new landscape. After all, personal growth - just like a wild garden - requires a lot of quiet time and solitude to ensure it has plenty of nutrients in order for those “dream seeds” to be planted successfully in spring.
I’ll also be pruning and decluttering my thoughts, emotions, home etc. so that I can have clear spaces in which to begin visioning what my brand-new wild garden landscape will look like as the year unfolds.
I’ll keep you posted on how my wild garden is thriving, and feel free to accompany me on my journey this year as it evolves throughout the seasons.
You might even want to begin to create your own garden or give me some gardening hints and tips!
Speak soon and much love till then