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As humans, we live in duality ie. good/bad; right/wrong; left/right; light/dark; masculine/feminine. These dualities are constant and extremes to each other. While sometimes we are at one end (extreme) or the other of a duality spectrum, often we are somewhere moving along the continuum. It is the dance between the masculine and feminine duality which interests me, especially in regards to clients presenting with one-sided issues.
We, as humans, are both feminine & masculine energies. The balance between the two varies, often depending on what we are doing and what our perceived roles are. Our world, right now, is very much based in the masculine. For the most part, we live in a male-dominated patriarchal society. This means that traits such as success, wealth, empire building, climbing corporate ladders, excelling in tangibles (sports, business, finances) are to be admired and emulated. Our worth is tied up in the tangible aspects easily measured and compared. These tangible traits are especially coveted in men. Women are often encouraged to strive towards the same goals as men, and to hold the same ideals. This is detrimental to society because it minimises the importance of the masculine and feminine roles in our relationships, and our communities, by implying one aspect is more important, or better, than the other.
The balance of energy in the world is shifting. We are moving into the feminine being the dominant energy, while the masculine energy moves along side to hold the space, and support, what the feminine energy offers. Feminine aspects are intangibles such as intuition, empathy, creating community and connection, flow, opening space, being, vulnerability.
The shift from the masculine (or mental) to the feminine (or emotional), means that traits such as kindness and empathy and compassion and opening space so others can live in their truth, authenticity and integrity will be the traits of ‘success’. It doesn’t mean the masculine aspect is diminished. Quite the contrary. It is movement towards an equal partnership where the energies of each are celebrated and appreciated instead of vilified and disparaged. The dance between the masculine and the feminine goes something like this: The masculine is the building or house; and the feminine is the interior of that house. A man works for, and provides a house (tangible) and a woman fills it with love and warmth and belonging (intangible). The two energies are equal but different and work together to provide and create a home. Our male/female relationships should be a dance of weaving the two energies together and allowing, and encouraging, each to stand in its power.
Change of seasons
First day of autumn. And with it - rain. All through the night. Such a welcomed sight, sound, smell. In between the gusts of wind and shaking leaves, a collective sigh can be heard. A kind of 'ahhhh' as the water soaks into the trees, flowers and earth.
The temperature has also dropped. Being a born and bred New Englander, I don't go much by the southern hemisphere's idea of seasonal change dates. Here, the new seasons are heralded in on the 1st 's- 1 June; 1 September; 1 December; and 1 March - autumn. In my bones I know the seasons change on equinox and solstice dates. So when people here say things like, 'This isn't much of a day for the first day of summer!' I hold my tongue and think, 'Give it three weeks.'
Old timers in the parts where I grew up used to say that if you look at the weather on the equinox, you will get an idea of prevailing weather for the next six months. I have got to say, the times I took note of this, it proved eerily accurate. What no one wanted to see on March 21 or September 21 was the weather blowing a strong nor'easterly gale. The old timers also used to say that winter wouldn't come until the ponds were full. In other words, if there wasn't sufficient autumn rain, then the winter would be mild. Another observation which proved its truth many times.
These bits of Yankee wisdom were told to me by old timers who lived their lives on a small island, 14 miles to sea. There is a reason why talking about weather is a commonality - it is something we all live with every day. And when you live in a small community, buffeted by weather, wind and tides, you develop keen observational skills. The weather determines your livelihood. We come from agrarian societies - the weather meant feast or famine. Being able to read the weather patterns, and intuit what they meant, could be the difference between life and death.
We live now in a society where other people tell us what the weather is. Sometimes, listening to their forecasts, you have to wonder if they have windows to the outside or if they have ventured out of doors. They rely on computer mapping to tell them what's coming, instead of their senses, memory and intuition.
Sound familiar? Sometimes we can get so far from our own selves that we believe what others tell us instead of what we intuitively see, feel and know to be true - in our bones.
The old timers didn't have the technology we have today. Yet I would listen to their observations every time over what a weather report on TV might tell me. They listened and felt what was going on around them. They were connected to nature and to community. They took the time to listen and observe. And those skills allowed them to sense things 'in their bones'. They put trust in what their surroundings were telling them.
We have had a very hot and dry summer and throughout it all my husband has been saying, at least once a week, 'I think we could be in for a cold winter.' To which I think, 'Yeah. Not going to happen unless we get rain.' So, as I sit here on the first day of autumn (southern hemisphere time) and the weather is cool, blowing a gale and raining, I think it could very well be a cold winter. And I am thankful for my husband's persistence in getting us set up - there is already wood in the shed and a new, hopefully warmer and more efficient, wood stove waiting for installation.
I will be noticing the weather again on the equinox but for now, I am listening to my intuition which is saying, 'My husband might just be right...'.
Bright blessings for this transition between seasons. Remember that all you need to know is within you, if you are able to still the mind and listen. If you are feeling out of touch with this, step outside. Immerse yourself in nature. It will help you to hear and feel what you need to know. It will ground you back into your body; back into your intuitive self. Happy autumn/spring.
I learned the word liminal recently. It was the perfect word, at the perfect time. Like most words, it can have a few definitions, but what resonated with me was its reference to the space between; a transitional time; a threshold. Between what was and what is. Or what is and what will be. The space where we are neither one thing nor another.
I think why I fell in love with this word recently is because it described, in one word no less, where I've been. And as difficult as that space was at times, it was also incredibly joyful.
Most everything in life is a process and often we are unaware of these transitional times. We move seamlessly from one thing to another. Like breathing. We inhale and we exhale, not often aware of the space between breathing in and breathing out. If we focus on that space, the experience becomes something new. Something else.
That leaving of the old to start something new. The space in between is liminal space. And that space can be all manner of things. It can be overwhelming because we are essentially in 'no man's land'. We are not our usual self. We are no longer connected to what was, nor yet present in what is to come. And that is the beauty of transition; of being on a threshold; of liminal space.
In that space, though, we can feel vulnerable, lost, anxious, depressed - it's not a space we are used to hanging out in. We go through transitions all the time, every day. Between sleep and wakefulness; between daily activities; between wakefulness and sleep. We are often not aware of them. And some of the transitions are easier than others. But what about the bigger transitions - changing jobs, partners, homes, towns? Those are all major changes. Do we give ourselves enough time to transition? To be present in liminal space? What would happen if we did?
I have recently been gifted 2 months of, essentially, liminal space. While I was in this space, I was uncomfortable. I couldn't understand what was going on. I was in incredible flow. Highly creative and happy. Yet giving my self such a hard time because I wasn't making money. It was such a fight between what I love doing versus mainstream money making employment. I feel like the space was a gift because it was a special time. And although the transition hasn't been something tangible, I feel like a completely different person; slightly askew from where I was. But totally taken with where I stand and the view around me. I feel like I have crossed a threshold.
I didn't know I was in transition - I just knew I was no longer where I was, yet not arrived at where I was going. Liminal space describes exactly where I was, the whole time. Who knew?! I am ever grateful and ready to step forward.
Bad knees & integrity
I've been having trouble with my knees lately. This isn't anything new. But the degree of how unstable they have become is scaring me. I have never been able to trust my left knee. (And no, the symbolism of being able to move forward into the feminine is not lost on me.) This comes from a childhood of knee dislocations which would have me wandering along quite nicely one second and then crumpled on the ground the next. These scenes were awkward, and painful, to say the least.
I had surgery on my knee when I was 14. And although my knee has not dislocated since, I have never fully trusted that it wouldn't. I am still realising how much this fear has impacted me in my life. I am hesitant to cross roads, I am extra careful around furniture at knee height (not wanting to inadvertently knock my knee cap out of place, like what happened in drafting class when I was 13). But I've always been okay with just plain walking. And I am very thankful for that. Because walking has always been one way for me to process and to ground. When all else fails, a walk helps.
So it is to a new level of fear that I have come into lately as walking has become increasingly difficult. I don't trust my knee any more to support me. I feel like I am going to topple over backwards and this leads to great jerky moves of my whole body. It's really quite freaky. It's like a startle response without the actual startle. I no longer trust in the fluidity of my movement. In short, I feel like my knee is lacking in integrity.
Which is interesting because this week's Ocean Oracle card is Rosa Rugosa - INTEGRITY. What I find interesting is that I am trying to walk a path - walk MY path. And I no longer trust it. And while I know there is something physically wrong with my knee, I can't help but wonder at the metaphysical stuff around it: according to Louise L. Hay's 'Heal Your Body', knees 'represents changes in direction in life and the ease of these movements'; left symbolises the feminine. I remembered today that these jerky movements started a couple of years ago. As I was contemplating the transition from permanent state government job to self-employed healer, I used to walk in the park near my office. It was on these walks that I started to feel unsteady. Now I have transitioned so far into the healing side of things that I forget I was ever an extension horticulturalist. But lately I have been having trouble trusting the process. And although on most levels I feel completely supported, in a couple of ways I feel completely unsupported. It's as if my physical knee is reflecting my internal walk. So as I walk further along my path, in my truth and integrity, I am being challenged by all manner of things which currently seem to manifesting as a dodgy knee. I've got choices up ahead. The path is not only in one direction or even one path. I know I need to keep moving forward, even when that movement is awkward and scary and uncomfortable. And even if my knee is lacking integrity, that doesn't need to reflect the integrity of my choices. In gratitude.
First of March. First day of autumn. And with it...rain. I love rain and I love the introspective days that rain can bring, especially when I have time and space to enjoy them. I love being self-employed and therefore able to schedule my days with some sort of flexibility. So most days I am able to balance life and work and rainy day adventures. (Or sunny day adventures, should ever the sun decide to grace us with its presence again!)
I moved to NSW in 2001, to a job in horticulture. I was positioned in Young and I used to joke that I brought the drought with me. It was a tough 7 years in that district, especially for farmers, and I vowed that when the drought broke (after I had moved districts to Mudgee) that I would never again complain about rain. So a couple of years later, when I spent 5 months in the eastern US during a June where it rained 26 days of that month, I kept my promise and instead of complaining about the mould growing on shoes and walls and books and things, I bought a good rain coat and learned to talk with the ducks who had taken up residence in a pond which had formed next to our hut.
So what do we do with 'when it rains, it pours'? How do we bring into balance something which isn't? How do we go from drought to flood, with love grace and ease? By maintaining the inner balance we all have within us. By remembering that this too, shall pass. By remembering one extreme, while heavily in the other, and standing strong in the middle of it, if only in our imagination. By remembering we, like the land and nature, are resilient. And through chaos comes change. And through change comes growth. And through growth comes balance. Eventually and if we let it.
I love the power of story and story telling and writing is an integral part of my healing journey. More about me here.