Happy Chinese New Year and Blessed Imbolc, dear ones!
The Year of the Yang Metal Rat began at the New Moon last week, with celebrations lasting through the Full Moon Lantern Festival next week. Associated with fertility, wealth (of all resources, not necessarily money!), attention to detail, and collaborating with community to build and protect resources, this Rat Year offers a new beginning -- but a small one, including significant reflection on the past, more focused on analysis than on the emotional aspects.
For more detailed discussion of this Rat Year, check out this thoughtful astrological article here, wherein we're invited to ask: "Will we step up and unite to dismantle our systems of oppression? Or will fear get the better or us?" We get to choose, with awareness! (And, that choice is made much easier if we tend lovingly to our own inner and outer Resources in the process!)
In more Western terms, today, here we are at Imbolc (or Candlemas), the midpoint between Solstice and Equinox, when the light is returning. Some areas may still be in the depths of winter, while others are just noticing early glimmers of Spring (in the northern hemisphere, where I'm writing!).
I find Chinese Lunar New Year and Imbolc to be much more energetically powerful than January 1, as they work with the natural cycles of the Moon, Sun, and Earth to support our seedling intentions. I have long loved the celebrations of Imbolc -- a time of setting intentions in the fertile soil of the still-deep darkness, to be nourished by our wintry candlelit songs, that they may flourish in the summer sun and come to harvest in the autumn.
Our simple Imbolc altar, reflecting on alchemical Fire and Water
And, by this point in the new calendar year, we've usually already spent some time reflecting on the past year and considering what we want to grow in the coming year... Perhaps we've even tried some things on, and realized we weren't truly aligned with those "resolutions" in the first place! So this is an excellent time to tune in again, and to notice what feels More True.
What seeds shall we plant this year?
What's quickening underground, in the Earth, in our bodies, in our subconscious, in our Wombs, ready to give rise to new life this spring?
What gentle nourishment do these seedling intentions and projects need? (Perhaps they're not yet ready to be shared with the world; there can be wisdom in waiting until the weather warms... just ask the flowers!)
It can take Courage to Be With our inner-guided intentions, to tune in to what's quickening within us and in our environment, to begin planning or actually planting what we wish to grow and harvest this year. Especially if there have been myriad past disappointments, losses, or things we wished to harvest that never came to fruition, or came about differently than imagined. (I reflected on this recently when I finally wrote the birth story of my son.)
Allow for the tenderness.
Allow the reflection, of Darkness and of Light.
Let this remain a Yin time, of Being more than of Doing.
Notice how your body feels, what it needs to feel nourished, safe, and warm.
Notice your spirit, what's stirring in the depths, what's integrating, what's being conceived, what's ready to let go for the new.
In this Yin time before the rising Yang energy of Spring, it's essential to nourish our Kidneys, to stay warm, to rest, to breathe, to include gentle, intentional movement to support our physical and emotional well-being.
Some of my favorite practices for this time of year include:
If you'd like to learn more about these practices, you'll find Spontaneous Qi Gong, Kidney Breathing, and a Wise Self-Younger Self integration meditation (as well as other clarifying exercises) in my complimentary mini-course, "Embodying Courage in Challenging Times" -- my gift to You!
These simple practices have supported me profoundly to:
I want to support us All in moving forward with love, compassion, ease, gentle strength, authenticity, and resilience. Which can become much easier with these few simple practices in our toolbox!
If you're not already enjoying it (and especially if you've had a challenging month, as so many have had), you can access it here. If you do already have access, take a moment to re-visit those practices, or your journal reflections, and notice what arises for you differently now... these practices deepen over time, and their effect is cumulative! And, feel free to share them with a friend experiencing challenging times, too! :)
Many of the other Qi Gong, breathing, and Womb practices mentioned above are shared more explicitly in Thriving Beyond Trauma: Foundations of Sacred Sensual Embodiment, my online course for women, which is currently on sale until February 8 (the next Full Moon). And, to celebrate your Presence in my community, you may also use code IMBOLC30 for an extra 30% off the current sale price -- as well as 30% off any Alchemical Vitality Coaching Package, to support your on-going integration of these practices, as well as your overall well-being in the coming year!
Because I want these practices and services to be more accessible, and I appreciate the Courage it takes to continue to show up for deep healing, particularly in challenging times. I deeply value the opportunity to support powerful change in your personal life, and trust that our individual healing supports the healthy evolution of the Collective.
As we each courageously become more fully aligned with the Essence of all that we are, we simultaneously illuminate, encourage, and amplify each other's potential for healing, growth, and thriving.
Thank you for sharing your journey with me as you have so far (in whatever form that has taken!). Thank you for Being in this world, offering the gift of your Presence and engagement.
It's an honor and pleasure to work with clients who vulnerably share their embodied, emotional worlds with me, who engage deeply in their own alchemical healing work -- internally and in community, on the treatment table and in classes, in person and online. Thank you!
I believe that as more of us learn to shift our own physical-emotional ecology healthily, and to encounter our personal challenges in empowered, thoughtful ways, the easier it will be to shift larger, global challenges too, one day at a time.
When we get better at working with our own Qi and aligning with our True Essence with every challenge we face, we grow our ability to co-create a more loving, respectful, healthy, sustainable world.
And it starts with the individual. It starts internally, as we plant seeds in the Darkness, and gently nurture their fruition into the Light. And, it's all infinitely more possible and enjoyable to do so in loving Community!
Thank you for Being all that you are, and all that you're Becoming.
Wishing you an abundance of resources, peace, rest, deep nourishment, and courage as we deepen into this new year!
Feel free to comment below or email me let me know how you're doing, and what seeds you're planting for this year -- I'd love to hear from you!
Recent wintry waterfall snuggles, appreciating movement + stillness + Love!
P.S. Feel free to share this with anyone you think might resonate, so we can continue to embody the courage it takes to co-create a thriving world together!
Use code IMBOLC30 at checkout for an extra 30% off Thriving Beyond Trauma: Foundations of Sacred Sensual Embodiment and/or for 30% off any Alchemical Vitality Coaching Package. (Through February 8th. Please note that full-price purchases made at other times directly fund our ability to offer easier access to these materials for other beautiful souls at this time, and thus the sale price cannot be retroactive. Thank you for supporting both my family and our growing community with your commitment to your evolving well-being!)
Want to engage with our community more regularly on Facebook? Click here to join our private group, Thriving Beyond Trauma: the Tao of Sacred Feminine Embodiment.
Thank you for your Presence!
This Free Mini-Course includes 5 practices to:
All of these practices will support you in living into your fullest authenticity and vitality amidst these challenging times. Join us!
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