It’s been a long 2023 so far at 16 days in! Who’s else is feeling that?
When I say long, I mean for me, different themes and energies are already making themselves known. Some because of personal circumstances, others coming up with the work I am doing with other people.
I know that it’s all meant to be here with me now.
If I have learned anything from the past three years it’s this: when I open myself up with intention and with acceptance for what is in front of me, I am usually guided along the right path. Following the path takes all of me – my mind, body and soul. My divine and my human. It’s not without unexpected detours.
Who did WOTY (Word of the Year) this month? I did and I chose three words – Congruence, Coherence and Integrity. Coherence came up in 2022 on a podcast I was listening to, referenced then as meaning everything in your life pointing in the same direction. The quality of being and feeling unified. Congruence appeared because I kept mixing up coherence and congruence. I took that as a sign that I needed both. A few of the words that stood out to me when I looked up the definition of congruence were harmony and agreement. The final word – integrity - came to me in the form of a book. In a span of a week, the book The Way of Integrity by Martha Beck was put in front of me three times. I took that as a sign too. I purchased it on Audible and listened to it as I made a six-hour road trip to visit my best friend. I was riveted to every word, and integrity completed the trinity.
These three words at first felt a little overwhelming, like I was signing up for a year of monthly dental appointments. But quickly I noted that there are plenty of places in my life where I see the need for congruence, coherence and integrity. And so here I am.
This is my second year of creating and hosting my Expand Beyond Recovery Membership. Our theme in January is “Activation”. Now that might sound a little like I’m running around setting everyone’s goals on fire. I’m not. I’m presenting and teaching self-regulation and self-coaching techniques so that we can meet and move through resistance, challenge, and triggers. This feels important because no matter what resolutions or goals we have set for ourselves, shit is going to happen!
It turns out the simplest tools can sometimes have great effect. Especially if you put some belief, some trust and some faith in them. Water. Nature. Breath. Movement. Elemental and magical.
In 2021, I visited a sacred property with the SHE RECOVERS Foundation in Arizona. It was full of labyrinth’s, medicine wheels and vortexes. A winding creek ran through the property and when our group arrived, it was a deep, brick color, full of sediment by the runoff from the surrounding mountains. By the end of our retreat, the creek was running so clear you could see the shape and colour of the pebbles at the bottom. Again, I took this as a sign the work with the group was complete. (The same thing happened with the second group, by the way.) This property had four natural wells and is renowned for its healing water. Dr. Masaru Emoto, a pioneer in the study of water, demonstrated in his work, that water is shaped by its environment, thought and emotion. He visited this valley to photograph and study the water and found beautiful crystalline structures; the water from each well had a different and uniquely beautiful intricate design. One very interesting image of the water from the creek, seemed to show a detailed map of the entire property. Doesn’t this seem mysterious and magical? Well, our bodies are essentially half water. We are deeply connected to water. I came home with – not only a water bottle filled with my favorite well water – but a sense of gratitude and reverence for water that was new for me. Water IS a tool. I had a client once text me in a panic. A few minutes later, she texted back that she drank a glass of water and realized that’s all she really needed in that moment.
Our connection to nature and to our own breath are tools. Embodiment practices and movement are tools. They are also spiritual practices. They speak to our human and our divine, grounding and expansive. When is the last time you took an action or used a physical practice over trying to think your way around a block or challenge? Even though I know better, I know what my go-to is, what I automatically do – I try to figure it out. I’ll never forget hearing this nugget from a wonderful teacher, Aruni Nan Futuronsky: “Figuring things out is NOT a spiritual practice”. It never has been for me. I see the most change in my thoughts and emotions when I drink a glass of water, shake and move my body or walk in nature.
And so this is my work for myself and for my clients this month: ACTIVATION of the wisdom – the medicine – we can find in our physical selves and perhaps with the earth’s elements. Whatever else we meet, create and learn this year, certainly will be supported by grounding and change-making practices. If you are looking for an intimate group where you can do this kind of work, reach out. The Expand Beyond Recovery membership is a place where you can explore wellness, healing, growth and expansion on your journey. I guide the group with a different theme each month, exploring movement, inspiration and ideas in circle with curated resources, sharing and integration practices. The membership costs what you might pay for a daily coffee in a month. All the work we do together, is yours forever.
Click on the button below or book a consult on my website if you’d like to learn more about the membership (or private coaching).
Remember, you are the greatest project you will ever work on, and this life is the greatest journey you’ll ever be on.
I’ll sign off now with one of my favourite Mary Oliver quotes, reminding us that every little step counts. “Attention is the beginning of devotion.”