"Your path is to be shared...It will be called The Golden Thread Road"
~White Buffalo Calf Woman

Friday, February 2, 2018

The Year of Deepening

One of the advantages of being Pagan is a grace period for New Year’s resolutions. I always look forward to the new year for the chance for new beginnings, starting fresh, and making changes in the way I think or do things. Not that you can’t do any of that at any time. Every moment is technically a new beginning with infinite choices for what your next step will be. But there’s something about the turning of larger cycles that lends itself to our own mental and emotional cycles, to have specific points at specific times that support specific intentions.

And so on the Gregorian calendar, the one we use with all the months of the year, January comes around and makes me feel excited to drop old, unproductive patterns and to refocus on what’s important on my path; To regain my bearings to navigate my life. Then for about a month I have the opportunity to try things out, change my mind, tweak intentions, and solidify my focus for the year because with the arrival of February, on the Pagan Wheel of the Year, comes the Celtic celebration of Imbolc, when it is the traditional time to make dedications and set intentions for the year. To me this is when my intentions really take root, especially because these dedications are declared in a ritual that takes place in sacred space, which aligns and deepens the commitment.

For several years now I haven't done much at this time of year. There’s usually the token "Woo-hoo! Things are going to be different now!” But that sense has not been long-lived, and survival in my outer world -- rife with 'world-crumbling' challenges of home, work, transportation, relationship -- has overridden any initial burst of energy toward my intentions for deeper, spiritual growth and change. It has been a really rough few years. And as I listed the areas of said challenges, it just dawned on me that they are all survival challenges, death/rebirth challenges, root chakra challenges. I could not have honestly said this before now, but coming through those challenges has deepened my rootedness. So again, as devastating as things may have seemed at the time, and as many moments as I may have doubted that I would even physically survive these challenges, there was purpose in the chaos, and what seemed like destruction was actually the construction of deeper, stronger roots. And the deeper your roots go, the higher you can soar. And what gives me the perspective to acknowledge that is that I’ve seen the first glimpses of flight.

For a couple years now I’ve been attending my friend’s Singing Bowl Sound Baths, which have been miraculous in helping me heal and recover from a devastating narcissistic relationship of the previous year. So when I went to the New Year’s Day sound bath last month, I thought I was as recovered as I was going to get and that everything was back to normal. Psyche!! As I sat there afterwards listening to the discussion that inevitably follows, something shifted. I suddenly became aware of a part of me, a deep part of me, that I had lost track of and forgotten. I don’t even know how to describe or put into words who or what this part of me is, or how integral he is to my True Self and Identity. It was a feeling of waking up to something, in the same way you might drive for an hour then suddenly awaken to where you are as if you were driving in your sleep. It was like I'd been sleeping these past few years, driving hither and yon on automatic with no bearings, when suddenly the clouds parted, revealing my North Star. And in that instant I remembered where I was headed and who I was. In that moment I had purpose and direction. In that moment I was whole.

After the aforementioned narcissistic relationship I had taken a year off from dating to collect myself and focus on my own growth, but it suddenly became clear that it'd actually taken me the last two years just to recover from the spirit shattering damage of that experience. NOW I can begin, or continue, the journey of self exploration that was seemingly interrupted or set aside about three years ago, which was such a strong and deep part of my consciousness for so very long.

This then is my intention for the coming year -- I dedicate myself to my own soul deepening. I dedicate myself to maintaining my ship's bearings toward my truest, deepest, most authentic self. Under the umbrella of this dedication comes a renewed dedication to my cartooning and my writing. I've begun doing a daily doodle, drawing at least once a day, and by publishing this post I'm already doubling the amount of blogging I did last year. This then is the year for more deeply exploring and expressing my Authentic Self.
This then is my Year of Deepening.