“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”
I’m fascinated by the notion and process of a caterpillar’s metamorphosis. Cocooning themselves with just what they need before emerging, ready to fly. Their colours have brightened and they are secure in their form. Google tells me it takes about four weeks for this process and is weather dependent. This month if you remember I wanted build some armour … so I continued to wrap myself in my very own cocoon. I think of as it shrinking inwards to expand outwards. Securing myself.
The expanding … it’s unpredictable when this will occur but when it started to happen, the sudden shift, I knew it was time to say goodbye to February and come here to write it up. The month of focussing on security. And like the caterpillar it has been dependent on seasonal and cyclic forces. Here I am a month later, not on the 1st of the month but 28 days after I wrote up last month. A moon cycle later. A hormonal cycle later … yet another thing that fascinated me this month. The way this rhythm (my biological and ruled by the moon star sign rhythm) has found its way into my year of writing monthly. My very own personal rhythm.
To me this synchronicity happens with we find our path, our way. It is about connecting deeply with ourselves, of feeling like we’re home. It’s developing an honest awareness of who we are and why we feel what we feel. Not necessarily in control of the feelings just feeling them, noticing them – pondering them. These thoughts are difficult to capture in words. It is a kind of spirituality, of trust in something bigger than our own importance and yet it is where there is room for us to be important. Important as part of that something bigger. An ongoing voyage … one we sail each and every day. One where – who we are is interconnected with the world we live. One where we are not only part of evolutionary and biological influences but we’ve surrendered to them, are guided by them and strengthened by them.
This is difficult in a cluttered, noisy world. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … clutter isn’t about things. Minimalism by essence isn’t about not owing things. It is about choosing what and who we will accept in our lives and minimising what it is that doesn’t contribute to living peacefully. Filtering input and how we spend our time is a constant. I personally can’t find my own way without granting myself some solitude (and thriving within it) and without mentors, kindreds, music, building strength from the inside and by loosing a few toe nails (or whatever) along the way. Living my ‘best’ life is not prescriptive – there is not a ’10 ways list’ of how to do it. It has days of messy and is riddled with beautiful imperfection. Some days ALL my shit is together. And how it looks? That changes too! We’re all different and a little the same. And our way, our paths while they will cross – they’re not the same. Many will arrive in our lives, lots will leave and less will stay. How wonderful is that to accept and find joy in – it is ok to move and beautiful when we find the precious ones who stay.
The cocoon of February was prepared by the work of January – of exchanging the air and letting go off things that were keeping me still, distracting me, holding me if you will. As I sailed into February I decided to revel in the things I know I need. And as you probably know when we create some space to sink into we find new ways to think and see the world. New people and moments of synchronicity appear and we experience the joy of having moved – of lunging forward. Did you know there are plant foods that help balance our hormones? A friend who I see regularly taught me about a couple that I’m incorporating. Flaxseed for the the first 14 days of our cycle and sesame seeds for the second phase. I think working with my natural hormones is probably something I’d like to understand better. I have heard of the book Woman’s Code, do any of you know it? Or do you have any others to suggest?
Since returning from our travels it has been a battle to find my place, knowing deep down it is here but not sure of how to do ‘here’. Discomfort and hesitation has been constant. Although the winds are changing, perhaps those of you who have followed me for a while sense the change. My voice is returning. Again I have things to say. They are different things, stronger things, I am different. I want to expand into this space in time. I am ready for what the world is asking from me but I had to sail in the wild winds for a while. To build strength and confidence, a new armour and I needed to find where I am. Always, there will be flux for me but I’ve taken flight this month. This blog (blogging) has again has been a place for me to write my own next chapter. Literally writing my way forwards.
I continue to walk and I’ve hiked another stage towards Rome. More than that I am walking each day … and those phytoncides! The are the good stuff. Seriously if you’re looking for magic chemicals – hit up the forest, the trees will share them with you. Forest bathing – best way in my humble opinion to find a path. And for decisions to find their natural way. My book writing project has gone to sleep and I haven’t yet started Italian but news things, things that ‘fit’ my now have taken shape. And I have that number by Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli to take me to that special Italian place. My Dutch lessons continue and have been a wonderful grounder. A place I have to be twice a week. A commitment. And interesting class mates, how I love being an observer of people.
I have jumped a bit this month. I sat my drivers test. Golly that was hard and in all honesty a bit shattering to my confidence. I passed but not after being mansplained why I was lucky to have passed. Thankfully, the kids and I went to Ireland the following day and as I piled them into a hire car and hit the road all of that was undone! I can drive thank-you and have done so for the past 26 years. I can also take my kiddies away on my own road tripping and in one of my favourite countries … BLISS. Freedom, adventure Fran is back.
Also I started my masters. Yes I did. And I love it. I really did need some direction. I am a worker ant. I’m ready for (and need) deadlines. I’m not a rule taker or follower of a queen, there’s a difference, we’re all contradictions aren’t we. And ain’t that in itself a wonderful thing to celebrate and embrace. It hasn’t been easy … in fact I actually have to tell myself not to worry, to keep going. I have to do that because as much as I love it it is really hard. I don’t understand the concepts in the depth that is expected and I know I won’t sail through this unit. Nope, not this one (statistics and research methodology) it has been a lot of years so I accept that. My marks starting off will be less than perfect. BUT, I refuse not to try. I want to do it. I’m ready to see where this can go and it feels good having my mind blown!
I also found some new mentors. In a new place. Did I mention last month that I discovered twitter? Ha ha funny I know. Most people are finding strength in logging off. It is all about intent really isn’t it. For me now, twitter is rocking my world … so many opinions, so much discussion, newness in thinking. One of my new mentors is feminist Jane Caro. And her courage to stand up has been the catalyst to expand into March. This new month is about being fearless. Fearless in my pursuit of being ‘here’.
The butterfly has flown, newly morphed with powerful wings and a purposeful spirit.
As always I am blessed with a wonderful tribe, a tribe that lifts me and shows up, always at the right moment. That’s the universe at play, wonderful people with the right actions at the right time. I was thinking about this as I walked the other day. How lucky I am and how important it is that we do it for people. That we show up for them, tell them they are heard, see them. It makes all the difference and it is what strengthens people, it gives them voices. It also builds something – strong communities. And communities, well don’t they come in all sorts of wonderful guises!
The photo above is the beautiful work of Janet. My friend and mentor who understands far more about the moon and its influence than I ever could … if last week was a bit icky for you – it was the mercury retrograde. It was for me and she taught me that on exactly the right day! Happy anniversary day dear one, my kind friend with a bigger and softer heart than anyone I have ever known. What a bloody SUPER power that is.
And with that I wish you all a Buen Camino until next month kind hearts, the sun is shining here, freezing and blowing gale, but shining so I’m going for a long walk in the woods.